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Architecture and Urban Planning - A Memoir \ David Best
IV 1980 - 1990
 Mayor Demitriadis was enthusiastic that this project should proceedas as soon as posible.  In explaining the issues and problems to a group of colleagues at the Conference, Teddy apparently must have said something like “That's no problem; I've united a more problematic city than yours”.  Demitriadis a short, thin, live wire of a man was at his side within a minute. “Can you help me, Mr. Kollek to further this plan?”  Teddy, as it was recounted to me, said something like: "What you need is a planner like David Best, he's an expert on uniting divided “Central Business Districts”.  Completely independently, Walter Bor from the U.K. who knew me well as a Town Planner in Israel and because of his previous involvement in international planning activities abroadl, quite co-incidencely, also recommended me to Demitriadis.  The wires of recommendations had critically crossed!

    The organization of the project was under the auspices of the United Nations (U.N.D.P.), who had already started planning activities on the Greek side.  The next development was the receipt of an invitation to me to present myself at the Reginal U N. Headquarters in Armon Hanatziv,[ of all places], to meet the resident Deputy Director of the United Nations Regional Office in Jerusalem.  “Did I have the time to spend six months in Cyprus?”, he asked me, I didn't know, but to be on the safe side I said “Yes”; I was too busy looking at the interior architecture of Austin Harrison's Armon Hanatziv to pay much attention to what he was saying.  They had turned all the beautiful rooms in the Armon Hanaziv into offices and I was considering complaining to him about this, but by that time he was already giving orders to his people to prepare U.N. diplomatic papers for me to cross over the Buffer Zone between the Greek and Turkish communities. “’You will have to undergo a medical examination” he was saying to me. “Yes, that's all right”, I said beginning to feel that I had just been inducted into the French Foreign Legion.  I expected him to say, “You will get your flat cap with the white linen neck protector on your way out”, but instead of that I got a cup of excellent tea with milk, served by an Indian gentleman who may well have learnt the art of brewing tea during the British colonial occupation of his country.   Within a month I was settled in Nicosia, about to enjoy one of the most interesting half years of my professional career.

      As I lounged by the swimming pool at the Sports Club over the road from my rented flat in Nicosia, I had that same feeling as one has, when the airplane takes to the air and you are off on a holiday.  All the problems and hassles you have had previously to deal with. remain on the runway which you have just left behind. It is a moment of supreme bliss.  I was sorry not to have brought with me my dog eared copy of Lawrence Durell's' 'Bitter Lemons', to bone up first on the Colonial bit of Cypriot history, before plunging into the even more Byzantine politics of the present Cypriot problem, this time the Turkish Greek conflict.  What a relief I thought, to have to deal with other people’s conflicts.  I was already beginning to feel like Graham Green.

     To be an international planning advisor! The words are magical.  On the surface you belong to nowhere and everywhere. 
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