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About writing ״The English School״

 I need some extra courage to expose myself to write about some of the ‘adventures’ I had in writing my book – The English School… and I did.

In fact, at the time I was busy writing another book (still in my drawer), but one night I envisioned the story of a woman who travels to South America following an add she founds in the Internet. So, for six years, I lived a double life, one of my own, and the one led by the story.

אוקלנד, ניו זילנד Auckland, New Zealand
אוקלנד, ניו זילנד Auckland, New Zealand

My heroine’s name was Naomi at first, but in a cruel and unpredictable event (for me), I had to say goodbye to that name and find her a new name. Just before closing my book and sending it to the printers, I realise that Naomi is the heroine’s name of a new book just published by Shay Sarid “The Kindergarten of Naomi”. Sadly I had to say bye to my Naomi, but luckily I found Daphne, the heroine of my book, which was positioned perfectly in the story. 🙂

The book cover in English, but the book is not translated yet.
The book cover in English, but the book is not translated yet

The book was written just about as a spirit forced me to write it, I’ll say with great caution. Chance and Karma are involved in the making of the book, as in the story itself. Another important detail is, the book was born in a far away country, in New Zealand. It is interesting to acknowledge that a book has a life and history of its own, completely independent, with no connection to the story and life of the writer. In my case there is even a country of the birth place, and a date of birth. “The English School” was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 8, 2008.

I visited New Zealand as my son Arnon was working on the film “The Warrior’s Way”. His home was ideal for writing, bright rooms in a luxury apartment, with windows overlooking the leisure boats and harbour of Auckland. New Zealand’s sunsets were the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

גשר אוקלנד בשקיעה, ניו זילנד Auckland Bridge at sunset, NZ
גשר אוקלנד בשקיעה, ניו זילנד
Auckland Bridge at sunset, NZ

At that time I was writing another book that I began a few months earlier. One night I found myself like in a dream; Physical sensed reality and dream twilight together. And here I come to be in an isolated school in Peru, in South America. Suddenly I was involved in that mystical vision, in the history of a woman who left everything in her home country (Israel), disappointed and discouraged from her life after her husband left her for a younger woman, and I flew with her to an unknown path. Led by her, as she sat on me like a spirit to write her story. I had to move everything aside and write the story of this woman! The English School itself, although was located in a remote area of ​​Peru, universal Anthroposophic ideas were the base of it’s teachings, influenced by Rudolf Steiner, the founder and developer of these ideas. The school philosophy conducted me, revealing itself to me slowly and I learned all about it and acknowledged it. I was led forward in the darkness and inside the story by it. My heroine actually pushed aside wildly the book I was writing earlier, and so in full bluster, full awareness and curiosity we speed together, devoted myself to it, and to her.

פרחי הקנטוטה, סקיצה ראשונה Cantuta Flowers
פרחי הקנטוטה, סקיצה ראשונה
Cantuta Flowers, first draft

Passive responsiveness and dedication became like an obsession, it pre occupied me full time day & night. Every day after reading the pages I had written the day before, I was barely satisfied, but the story grew and evolved in joy, and it was thrilling.

I realise I wrote some wonderful manifestations, the plot developed well and the language was rich. Writing and repairing; Writing, erasing and correcting and writing again. Weaving the story in words and language was slow task and precise, putting extra attention to the safeguarding of sound, like in music with it’s own rhythm.

Humbly and modestly I’ll say with great respect to the writer Shay Agnon, that I identify with him – he who said – he was happy about every page he writes using the Holy Old Hebrew language “…And I will give my soul away for it!” And I clung to this idea, knowingly or not.

ציפור שיר בשמורת האי רנג׳יטוטו, בניו זילנד, Rangitoto Island NZ Photo: 8 Feb. 2008
ציפור שיר בשמורת האי רנג׳יטוטו, בניו זילנד, Singing Bird, Rangitoto Island NZ
Photo: 8 Feb. 2008

So much for today. I will continue to tell you all about the wonders of my writing expedition next time.

Sivananda Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas

CIMG6012 - Version 2.I was lucky to be twice in Sivananda Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas

It’s an amazing place to spend a vacation. The retreat is in a small island next to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The most important thing for me was to practice yoga and relax

The atmosphere In the retreat is extremely tranquil. The teachers and stuff are professional, so one can have great improvement in the yoga practice. It’s a crystal clear feeling, for the mind and soul, to start the day with the morning meditation and end it with .Satsang

I love the natural healthy delicious vegetarian meals, I am sure they are cooked with love.

During my stay at the ashram I attended lectures on mind and spirit, health, .all with extremely interesting speakers

היוגי רָדָהנָטָה סוומי, כתב את הספר "The Journey Home"
היוגי רָדָהנָטָה סוומי, כתב את הספר “The Journey Home”

Going to the beach was an amazing experience, relaxing, joyful clear sky, with only a few people around. The water was sparking-brilliant-Turquoise!  All together – a unique magical beach.

The Yoga Retreat is a perfect place to clear ones mind, to relax, and to practice yoga. Also it can be excellent time to organise new ideas and stages in life.

I have been in many places, but the Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas is placed in a very special place in my heart.

חוף הים המדהים בבהמס.
חוף הים המדהים בבהאמס.



Chicken in Mustard + Green Salad

What we eat – Is what we are

Keeping our good health in mind

There are days that if we do not have delicious food at hand and noting was especially prepared for us by a cook, so we’ll eat just anything… These days are Holidays and it’s easy to sin… with the special festivity Jewish foods. That’s way we have to check out the calories.
So please, take a little longer and prepare a delicious healthy meal, with glory tast, for the lazy ones in mind.Ingredients: Chicken (in pieces) without the skin. (to remove the skin – please wear disposable gloves, which greatly facilitate the work. You can leave the skin only if the chicken is thin.)  2-4 heads of Onion, 1 Fennel, 4-5 Carrots, 2 Sweet Potatoes, 2 Parsnips.

Spices: 2-3 tablespoons mustard Dijon, 2 teaspoons turmeric, a pinch of black pepper, a handful of black peppercorns, a pinch of salt.

Preparation: First repare the vegetables – slice, peele and share in circles. The fennel cut to four parts. Put the slised onion in a large pot with little bit oil (not olive oil!) Fry shortly, and add the vegetables and a glass of water and the spices. Close the pot and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat. Put the chicken pieces and close the lid. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces in the sauce and add a glass of water. Close the lid and cook another 20 minutes with the lid closed.

Tips: Because each stove have a different fire power, for the first time, please look in the pot occasionally, to see that the food is cooking well and not burning!

Additional dish – Green Salad: Cut lettuce, cucumber, green or red onions, sherry tomatoes, parsley, dill, mint and all the other appropriate green leaves to your taste. Add olive oil, Olives. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon, Just before serving.

Bon Appetite!


Travelling with My Parents Around India

Rishikesh, Lino Cut, 2019

25/3/08 train towards Rishikesh (*)

I met on the train from Delhi to Pathankot an Indian man. He was about 50 years old, wearing most modern cloths, colourful, on the bright side of the palette. He was full of happiness, it was impossible not to see it.

After a short small talk about the train time-table, he said to me with joyful face:

I am taking my parents with me to travel around India. He posed shortly, than he added:

Both cremated!

I am taking the two gars everywhere I go.

I spread their ashes into the Ganga river in Varanasi, at Delhi’s wide river, now I am on my way to Rishikesh, I will spread their dust around the Holy Temples and at the Ganga river.

I will be travelling with them all over India. They have never left their hometown, so I take them to travel around India, in all the places they wanted to see but they never did.

He looked at me with a big happy smile and went on to his cabin.

(*) it’s not going back in time, I have got some notes in my rucksack….

Crowd, 2015


Marco Pola’s Adventures and The Tibetan Monk

Pathankot, 24 April 08

I am in the end of my journey. To reach Delhi I need to take a bus from Mcleod Ganj to Pathankot – a ruff ride of 5 hours, only 130 Km, than a night train to Delhi. I booked a seat at the sleepers compartment – the most exciting part, and checked the time table for the bus. 

I checked-out from the Guest House, which was clean with a nice view, but I didn’t like the attitude and the coldness of the people; every thing was exact but cold. It’s a family Guest House, the family and the extended family lives there; from the in-lows to kids of all ages. Most probably they do not want the influence and close contact with the foreign guests, but for me – an average Israeli, that likes some kind of human contact, it’s too distant; if I wanted that kind of Customer – Guest relationship I would book a room the Ritz Hotel!

They didn’t even ‘manage’ to get me a boy to help me with the bags to the station…. I just left their door step and a few smiley boys offered me to polish my shoes, to curry my begs etc. – just anything to earn a few rupees.

I set in the bus, all packed and ready for the journey. At the front there was a Buddhist Monk with a nice open face organizing his luggage, with him another woman monk and a Westerner. He enquired about my journey and was happy to hear that my destination was to Delhi too.

I looked at my ticket to see and check all the destinations and connections I have in front of me, when I realized that I am on the right bus, but just a day earlier!! I expressed my surprise loudly, and the Monk asked: What Happened?

I had a busy morning: Seeing Dr. Yeshi Dhonden – The Famous Tibetan Doctor, packing my stuff, going to the post office to send home the extended luggage, but I didn’t recheck the schedule…

Quickly I realized I have to make a quick decision, as the bus was going to leave in a few minuets.

What you want to do? Asked me the Monk after I explained him the ‘Balagan’. (disorder in affairs.)

I did not feel it’s right for me to go back, I am ready to move forwards, I said. Is there anything interesting to see around Pathankot? I asked the Monk. Anywhere descent to stay the night?

He actually answered only to the second question ( I realized latter): We ourselves are going to a Tibetan Retreat, they’ll prepare for us nice food, we’ll rest and refresh until the late train. You can come with us, and stay the night, he said.

Tibetan Retreat! I imagined a monastery with a Guest House, library, heem of Monks praying heard in the corridors, just like the Tibetan monasteries I have seen around. With that picture in my mind, I confidently stayed in the bus.

The ride was long, it was extremely hot, sitting in discomfort with loud passengers coming and going. At dark, around 20.00 we arrived. The Monk took the lead; he took a simple Rickshaw (not a car Rickshaw) and the luggage of the four of us was put on top. We’ll walk! Not far! He was heading first and we – 3 women followed his quick steps.

We arrived at the chubbiest livable house I have ever seen. There were lots of steep steps to go up. The rickshaw-man was extremely obedient to the Monk’s orders and he took all the bags upstairs. Than the Monk gave him 20 rupees. Off you go! he closed the deal! the rickshaw-man stood there a while longer astonished, but didn’t dare say a word and moved on.

We entered a large room, few plastic chairs were scattered around, few beds and two big plain tables. A smiling Tibetan looking woman greeted us with warmth. A large photo of the Dalai Lama was positioned in the centre of the room, and an orange cabinet with artificial flowers on top was housing the Dalai Lana’s photos as young. On top, with great respect a large photo of Golden Buddha was placed.

There were other people eating in the room, the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant. Cold water was offered immediately and than our request for food to be prepared. The Monk and me ordered Tibetan veg. soup with noodles = Topa. The Polish woman and the Tibetan Monk craved for meat and ordered a meat dish. The Monk felt pretty at home went for a wash, and the food arrived quickly; the two young boys served us with efficiency. 

Don’t ask about the toilet and washrooms, said to me the Polish women in a quiet voice.

I was at the Tibetan Retreat! Every thing was plain but I felt at ease, the hospitality was greater than any luxury. The Monk asked me if I want to move to a better Guest House, but I decided to stay. Soon enough all the guests left, one was heading to Nepal, another to Ladakh’s area, and I was given the large bed. I was woken up at 06.00 AM as the boys started cleaning the room for the new day. At 08.00 o’clock a Tibetan cooked breakfast was served to 5 Tibetan passengers, all men.

The two Indian boys age 11, ageless, were all over the place cleaning and serving the guests. They did not speak English, and hardly spoke at all, in mostly men’s environment. They do not go to school, nor read or write. Their only knowledge they enquire is trough watching Indian agressive movies at the guests requirement. I do not know their story, but they have at the woman’s Tibetan Retreat hot food, clean beds, and good treatment. The Cook is a young woman from Ladakh, she slept at the other side of the room, hardly noticable.

I am off to go about town to look around; the main and only attraction is the main train station that was newly build!!! so I will spent my time in the Internet shop = Thank God, for that invention!

For me the main attraction was meeting this people that managed to survive in odd jobs and ruff situations, meeting the Tibetan woman that runs her business firmly with care, pride and love.

Late Addition:

1. The brother-in-law of the Tibetan Woman came later for a visit, he told me that the Tibetan Retreat was opened on 1968 by an uncle for the Tibetan refugees that fled from China to India. The house had ups and downs and even was going to be closed after the death of the old uncle.

2. Rinzi – The Tibetan Woman insisted to curry on her shoulders my two heavy bags to the station. She was so full of love to me. At the station we hugged like we knew each other ages ago.

3. The Pathankot Market happened to be a nice lively friendly market.