Tel Aviv Diary March 3-7, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 3-7, 2018 Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 3, 2018

That's it. I decided yesterday that since Purim is still being celebrated and since I feel better for our trip to the Land of Israel museum I'd go in costume. I wore the gold embroidered coat that Bracha Kopstein gave me at least a dozen years ago and I've never had the nerve to put on.

I was the only one.

The tourists stared, the locals tried to ignore the embarrassment. At first I didn't want to take it off because my black sweater underneath was a bit stained, but i soon saw that it was the very stain that would make me a part of the landscape. Took the coat off and tried to stick it into my ornate gold purse.

Then I concentrated on some of the gorgeous glass scuptures - ancient and new - we found there. The glass structure is my favorite building. Some of the sculptures are wonders but it is the building that always impresses me.

When we walked out we hit the crowd of retirees leaving the lecture - so glad I took off the gold coat.

and all the while as we were getting drunk, taking the adloyada concept of Purim away from the religion (you most likely know that ad-lo-yada is the idea of drinking until you don't know the difference between the good guys and the bad guys because of all the costume switching in the Purim story), Bibi and Sara were getting grilled separately by the police about bribery, attempts to influence the press, gifts - in short, corruption. I know they are convinced they deserve all these things and that they actually do not. But I really don't want this to drag on. And I really don't want another leader who will see himself as king, but the fear of an incompetent government in such a dengerous situation is very great.

And I don't like the vulnerabiity we're exhibiting to our enemies in the press either. Yes, we have a right to know, but they don't.

March 4, 2018

"Seriously," a friend says to me before he leaves my door, "We can't do without him." He was talking about the political situation. But even as we spoke Bibi was cooking his brilliant little revolution - making an impossible situation for the religious parties he's been cowtowing to for so long that they have to threaten elections. And in the elections he wins even more votes than before because people really do believe there is no one to replace him. And there isn't, because he has let no one of any importance near the positions of power. No one here has learned how to do anything. So, as Oren once said of Olmert - "he's a crook. but he's OUR crook..

When I saw Tamar Zandberg last night on the satire show, "Back of the Nation", I knew she would be taking away votes from the Labor party. She may be an impossible idealist, but she's OUR impossible idealist.

March 5, 2018

Zyggy Frankel poem, one of my favorites,


With all the
safe periods coitus interruptus
and emigration

why is the bus so crowded?

Everybody seems to be buying online, but why are the malls so crowded? I couldn't even find parking at Ramat Aviv mall. But with all the people and all the shops I found nothing I wanted. All I was looking for was a toy for a baby - something soft and cuddly and crinkly and simple. natural. But there was nothing. really. so after all the high end designer stuff that everyone was buying i went to Zara. which was also crowded. a line never under 8 people to the cashier. fortunately there was nothing for me there either. Choosing clothes at the mall is just like my choosing candidates. nothing for me. Nothing suits me any more - I've lived in better times.


March 6, 2018

Our upstair neighbors' pipes burst - all of them - Almost every room in the house is dripping, some pouring, even though the water was turned off hours ago. I don't know if we will sleep tonight at all.

so nothing else interests me but mopping.

March 7, 2018

We had really wet dreams last night. Even though we turned off the mainline, we couldn’t stop the water going down the walls, dripping from the ceiling, oozing out of the electrical outlet, etc. We mopped alternately throughout the night, and now that the plumber halted the major flow of water by breaking the neighbor’s floor and finding that the leak was in the heating system, we’re beginning to evaluate the major remodeling we’re going to have to do. That’s it, only beginning. For now the paintings stay on the floor of the dry part of the flat, the buckets stay under the major leaks, the electricity remains off in the most important parts of the apartment.

Az me lebt, derlebt men, we say in yiddish. if you make it through, you survive.

Here's a poem about how my mother kept all of us safe in new situations: Poems without borders.

i have to admit that after Bibi's visit to the US I'm beginning to think that he should stay for a while longer. if he can get enough votes to operate without the religious parties and be chastened enough to behave, maybe we can live with him. maybe it's like not getting divorced for the sake of the children and suffering until it's too late.

want to read my latest book? It's here. the invitation for the launch is here