Tel Aviv Diary August 9-13, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - August 9-13, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 9, 2017

why i left the house today i'll never know. it was about returning a book to the library, and although i had planned a day to recover from the Jerusalem experience, the pain in my ears i always get lately when we ascend to the holy city, i would up walking in the middle of the day, most of the time in the hot sun, for 10 minutes. It took only that much time to get totally dehydrated. I used to love being out in midday. Global warming must also factor in the age of the individuals and their ability to bear the heat.

Bibi gave a big speech to an audience of thousands about how the left is persecuting him. It doesn't take too much computation to figure out that the cost of this gathering, including the seats, the refreshments, the security, etc. etc. cost hundreds of thousands shekel, and who is paying for it? Tell me that and I'll stop persecuting him.

August 10, 2017

I would have gone to the opera in the park tonight but shlepping around Tel Aviv with kiddies is exhausting. And we went to all the wrong places. i got all my instructions wrong. so there we were at the health clinic coffee house with two little kids feeding the fish in the pond waiting for their mother. No air conditioning outside. And yet, it was beautiful. Peaceful. And peace seems so fragile, so temporary in this world today - its like we have to grasp each moment. So I missed last night's celebration of 100 years since the revolution. so i missed Tosca tonight. so what.

i thought i'd get over Kurt Gerron once I gave a talk about him. But i'm still obsessed. how does someone who spent their life acquiring presence - getting fat and doing anything that would make people look at him - how could a person like that disappear from view? And looking back at the kind of research i've been doing in the past years, poets who have been forgotten, marginal people in general, i think maybe I'm on a role.

August 12, 2017

We wound up having lunch at the grand cafe. it is open on shabbat even though the rest of the mall in Ramat Aviv is closed. But the voices of the diners, the open kitchen and the stupid music echo in the space and leave me with a headache, and the food isn't so great either.

but i've been to this grand cafe a few times on saturday and it always leaves me with the taste to go shopping. i realize i have not been in an shopping mall for the purpose of going shopping for a very long time. there seems to be no reason to buy clothes, to look amazing, to enjoy. How can one celebrate in this environent.

So today I was looking at government tenders for the arts. Lots of money for Mizrachim. No money offered for Yiddish, for Ashkenazim, etc. There is so much tradition here that is getting lost every day, it is impossible to imagine the number of writers who are ignored and forgotten, especially the older immigrants from soviet countries.

August 13, 2017

The only advantage of remaining in Tel Aviv in August is the fact that the traffic is lighter. But this year is different. It's just as bad this month as every other month. and almost as much fun, if you don't drive

I took some of the kids today to see some of the sights around our house - the frog pond, the peacocks' night roost on the fence of the botanical gardens, the tree where the storks sleep. turns out these are almost as good as the museum i can never get to in the afternoon because of all the cars.

With all the children sleeping all over the floor of my living room and office, my mind turns to my old fears - how could i protect them from dangers, from enemies? I remember running down the stairs to the shelter with two of them in my arms just a few years ago. I remember running down with one of their mothers 34 years ago. I remember hiding under a metal table in London when we heard a sound that might have meant the blitz was not over. And I think about Charlottesville and the ease with which evil rises

here in the article I read in the Forwards. How easy hatred is.


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