Tel Aviv Diary - November 16-20, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 16, 2011

At the health clinic I slide into a chair next to an old friend - haven't seen her for years. "How do you like the new museum?" I ask her, fresh from the experience of the Tel Aviv Art Complex. "I hate it," she answered, turning from the clerk who is finalizing her payment. The clerk taking care of me keeps typing but smiles to herself. And then, when my friend has left, whispers, "I think it's wonderful." With my aching back and neck and knee, I still braved the rainstorm and flooding to go this morning, joining my family, and we all agreed it was a great place. Maybe because we didn't have occasion to examine it from the outside (my friend at the health clinic said it looked like a big wart in a modernist landscape), or maybe because we had great company, or maybe because we spent much time in the cafeteria, we all loved it.

Look, even in the cafeteria, the dialogue between Michal Rovner"'s installation of people walking, and the visitors, is exciting.

The space feels open and multiple, and though it reflects Tel Aviv, it also seems freer and brighter.

I know I'm not supposed to take pictures in an exhibition, but Omer's interest in the audiovisual aspect of Anselm Kiefer's magnificent exhibit was too much for a grandmother to resist.

November 17, 2011

Ever try to take pictures at the opening of an exhibit? All you can see are people. And this new one at the Design Museum in Holon is worth looking at and playing with. So we saw a lot of young enthusiastic artists and lots of our friends who could not for the life of them figure out what the point is. The point is that there is no point, but a myriad of possibilities. The exhibit reflects this, and so does the entire museum, Go there as soon as you can.

November 18, 2011

Bibi has announced we can get new replacement doctors from India - He must be thinking of The Millionairess with Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers. It's an adaptation from George Bernard Shaw and the heiress in black corset falls in love with the Indian Doctor, Dr. Ahmed el Kabir, and they sing a duet together "Doctor I'm in Trouble.

Well WE ARE IN TROUBLE - the medical system here has been slowing going downhill for a while, with private insurance covering the big gaps - a lack of cooperation between the systems reminiscent of the signs in the subway warning that travelling between cars is 'muy peligroso.' And now the doctors are totally fed up - quitting all the time, making plans to transfer into other fields, move to other countries...The medical system needs a leader - a minister of health - and all we have is Bibi.

November 19, 2011

We have a river!!! The Ayalon has begun to look like the Yarkon! And this happens maybe twice a century! The sixth day of rain and there are a few more ahead of us. And even better, if you really don't want to get wet, there are breaks in the rain - our schedule happens to be pretty flexible right now and we can shop or take out the dog or do our errands in between the storms. It's important now to stay out of the danger of pneumonia, falls, traffic accidents or drowning since the doctors are quitting right and left, and the government is holding firm.

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