Tel Aviv Diary - December 25-29, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 25-29, 2014

Christmas may be irritating for Jews but Israeli politics is a tornado. Israel Beiteinu, always run under the principle of the corrupt communist system that developed in the mid twentieth century, is now emerging as a group of gangsters reminiscent of Chicago in prohibition. Tsipi Livni's party is dissolving behind her.

December 27, 2014

New Orleans is as far away from Tel Aviv as it could be, but it the market when i bought some pistachio nuts the salesgirl asked me, "Ma Nishma?" It was a wonderful experience and i'm sorry i went away without buying much more.

New Orleans

The woman sitting on the stoop
held her head in her hands
her tears ran
from between her legs
down the stairs
like rain
on Dauphine street.

December 27, 2014

As promised, we continued our graveyard tour of poets. Today was the turn of Stan Rice, whose tomb with Ann Rice affected me deeply. I suddenly realized how much of their lives was caught up with New Orleans and with their own lives in their impressive mauseleom.

Some guy was taken away in an ambulance on Iberville Street last night. On or two homeless guys were sitting around on the sidewalk next to the walls asking about how he was, but the medics ignored them. I guess every one else was a tourist. it felt so strange to me - I kept remembering the old joke about why nobody makes love in the streets of Tel Aviv - because everyone would be stopping to give advice.

December 28, 2014

The Haunted House tour of New Orleans was so fascinating I forgot for the moment that i shouldn't be standing around, much less standing in damp weather. Wonderful stories that I remember from Frank Yerby and Noel Gerson's novels told in an enchanting way by a guide named Jesse. But what stories form the framework of this romantic city. The stories of Tel Aviv are so much more banal, but the ghosts - although they do not appear to us - permeate our lives. We live on memories.

Mpst of the romantic and gory stories of New Orleans have to do with the slave trade and the terrible inhumanity. the ghosts are usually about terrible and justifiable guilt that has been displaced to the past. The door has been closed on this past, and all that is left is the screams and moving lights of campfire tales. Our stories - even the gory history -has an ideology and a current reality. "This is where," Ezi will say, "my parents were drinking tea when someone rushed up and demanded his father take the wounded Arlozorov to the hospital. Got his car seats all bloody, and he died soon after. Did Bandi hear who killed him? In the trial Bandi said he just murmurred. It wasn't true, but he wasn't going to start a new legend.

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