Tel Aviv Diary - March 28-April 1, 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 29-April 1, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 28, 2009

Y-net in Hebrew review of the Panic evening on thursday. Worth reading if you can.

Now that the spring is here, we can concentrate on the reading at the botanical gardens on April 1.

In fact there seem to be innumerable poetry festivals coming up. It does my heart good. Actually I think it does everyone's heart good.

Here's my office before Passover cleaning:

But the holiday is arriving - I just opened a tube of kosher-for-passover toothpaste.

March 29, 2009

Started the day by cornering my doctor for a prescription for my bladder infection. I call at 8:30, he tells me to come over, we talk for a minute, i get my medicine, and by 9 i'm back in bed, ready to begin celebrating my birthday - after 3 days of agony.

But a day in bed means having to bear the agony of Israeli reality tv. Until recently reality tv meant learned people analyzing the news, but now it is just silly competitive children trying to be amusing. No subtlety, no wisdom, no depth. (You can see the medicine has not yet kicked in)

March 30, 2009

Yes, I've been neglectful of these pages in the past few days. It's just that the little things in life gets in the way.

"How do you expect this to be an equal state when the flag claims it as a Jewish state?" Ezi said when I shared my conflict about the flag waving in Uhm El Fahm to tease and torture the Arab residents.

March 30, 2009

Someone asked me today what it is like to live in Tel Aviv, in 'a bubble,' separated from the rest of the country. The word 'bubble' echoed in me even after I answered that I thought Jerusalem was the bubble, and Tel Aviv is actually connected to the rest of the world in a way that some other parts of the country are not. Tel Aviv seems to me as exposed to the problems of Israel as anywhere else here, and the residents no less involved. But, i admit, we have a different perspective on things.

What a beautiful day it was. Suddenly we have entire days - the long-delayed daylight savings has changed everything here. It only gets dark at 7, and there's an entire afternoon of sunlight. So I could, for example, take my dog out for a real walk before the darkness sets in, and discover what's new in the neighborhood. Two things struck me today - one that there is a very large amount of clothing piled on the streets (spring cleaning? Why not donate?) And the other is the large numbers of religious people who have moved into our neighborhood. I've been following the movement - first the study center, then the cut-rate kindergartens subsidized by religious parties, then a few families, and dormitories for male students. There is no way to consider this as an incidental occurrence. It is much too regular and methodic.

March 31, 2009

Here's a little poem for tomorrow:


Donít let April fool you. It isnít only in the buds
That your hope is renewed, but the aromas, the tastes in the air
Entering your flesh in ways it wasnít awake to know.
Close your eyes, feel the sun play into your pores
recalling how cold you were for so long,
how much you depend on the renewal
of the world for your own survival.

Donít let April fool you. Itís not just little truths
That poets turn to for lifting their spirits,
and itís not only the cruelest months
that wake you to your integration with the trees,
the snails, the details all around.
Think of the months before, the worn light
Graying your sight from the thought of revival.

Maybe it was always there, that hope
And when it comes, you call it April.
Donít let it fool you Ė itís here whenever
You have the nerve to remember it.

Our big debate right now is how many ministers we have in our new government - the number keeps growing, and the price for the taxpayers keeps growing too. But the real issues aren't being dealt with - not how many ministers there are but how are they going to help us out of the messes we're in? what are we going to do with the economy, with our neighbors, with the environment? we haven't had a decent plan for the water issue in ages - we're on the verge of rationing for households, even though the percentage of water for domestic use is minor. Oh, I could go on for ages about this mess, but we'll have to wait until the government is formed to see what they'll do. Then I can kvetch in context.

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