Tel Aviv Diary August 28- September 1, 2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - August 28 -September 1, 2007

August 28, 2007

Got caught up in the pre holiday spirit today. I don't know how it happened but I found myself in a housewares store. This is where many people cope with their anxieties about the new year - getting gadgets that will make cooking less painful, hosting more fun, and being a guest a welcome state. Even bought a new bowl. Don't ask if I need it.

Maybe I'm just compensating for bad news.

When we were out last night, sitting in one of the restaurants at Sea and Sun, someone mentioned that Gadi Yaacobi died. No! I exclaimed and covered my mouth. Why? Did you know him? Ezi replied, we just saw him last month! But no one heard him or my No! because of the loud music and the revelling. And I remembered how grateful he was that I translated his poems and how generous he was with his time and attention. We read together in March in an attempt to draw attention to the Writers' House. The first time we read together it was at the UN, but with his gentle manner this great event seemed like a simple reading rather than a major step forwsd for Israeli culture.

August 29, 2007

Take a look at this site: Jewwatch and then look at Google's explanation as to why it comes up second when you look up the word "Jew." Got to tell you - if algorithms are determining our morality, we're in trouble. I think I'm going to sign one of those petitions. The only problem is that the petition misspelled antisemitism.

I have actually met people like this man who manages this jewwatch site, a guy who reminded me that if i lived in Germany a few decades ago, I'd be ashes instead of a professor. I was about to talk to his wife about Adelaide Crapsey, who she'd met as little girl. i can't remember if I had the nerve to continue with the conversation.

August 30, 2007

Breakfast meeting at Gan Ha'ir - City Hall. It takes me fifteen minutes to get there and fifteen minutes to navigate the underground parking garage. Then, after a half an hour of talking I pay 10 shekel to get out. I think it's a crime to have to pay to go to city hall. Now I have to go to the carmel market.

Where it cost me almost as much to park, but had a much better time. I wish I had bought the blue men's underpants that said Maccabi Tel Aviv in yellow. I wish I had bought the shocking pink knee-high bloomers that said love all over the right thigh. I wiah i

August 31, 2007

I could have bought a pulley for lifting my bicycle to the ceiling on the internet, except they don't ship to Israel. So we took ourselves to the pulley shop on Meron street in south Tel Aviv. Not a quaint place. The unnamed windowless workshop demanded walking a plank to get inside. And the neighborhood where i walked Shusha while Ezi found the part we needed was pretty much deserted, glaring, and ugly. But I wish I had thought to take a camera. The details were gorgeous. Not the least of them was a huge "Goretex" sign painted on a rusted door.

I think what is most striking is the discrepancy between the hi-tech way we got there - through the internet - and the 'primitive' place we bought the little wheels that will allow me to lower my bicycle by myself and raise it whenever I want to.

September 1, 2007

Yes, there is a rash of bicycle thefts now. There always is just before the holidays because so many children take advantage of the car-less streets and ride all day. So really the only sounds you hear on Yom Kippur are the praying, the cries of joy from the children and the occasional ambulance.

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