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

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

October 9, 2017

Did I tell you that on the 17th I'm doing a little show in Dizengoff Center with Leah Taran? details here. it's about clothes. "

I hosted a little meeting about getting PEN back into Israel again. We haven't had a PEN organization for 19 years initially because of some misappropriation of funds, politics, etc. And later because it was made incredibly complicated by the international organization. Now the officers from the International organization have encouraged us to try again. i dont know why but I'm incredibly optimistic. to have an organization that stands up for human rights in a country where artists feel depressed.

October 10, 2017

No Balabusta should be caught dead in a supermarket on the days before holidays. My sin was a sudden desire to make a kiddush at home after the bar mitzvah on Saturday with no real plan in place and a knowledge that tomorrow will be closed after one and only open for a few hours on Friday. So I found myself on the way to the local supermarket with only two items to buy. I should have realized that having to park in the far corner of the lot meant trouble ahead. But I was transfixed by a tall man standing on the grass with "Bitachon" (security) printed in white on his black shirt. He stood for a moment on the tiny grass traffic island between the rows of cars and then knelt on his jacket to pray. That moment of holy silence enchanted me, and I forgot what I would be up against. Indeed and when I entered it wasn't as bad as I had feared. True, it was crowded, and the lines were long. But they had the evaporated milk I was craving and the flour and I saw that the 10 items or less line was not long. There was one woman waiting with her basket and an lonely cart behind her. But almost as soon as I lined up, a very tall man came up and took possession of the cart. "You shouldn't be in this line," he said, "There's a line over there for single items." "But it's long." I said, "And I'm here." "I know this place well. And I'm in front of you," he insisted, and pushed ahead. "I'm in a hurry," he called back to me over his shoulder,"And I've got kids with me and ice cream." The cashier looked up surprised and clearly intimidated. "Sweet," I said, but decided there was no point in arguing. He, in turn, tried to be pleasant with the cashier and greeted her but she seemed too confused to understand what he was saying and he had to repeat his membership number a few times for her. When he began placing his items on the belt I realized that she was overwhelmed by the quantity. "Ten items or less," I muttered, but he ignored me and kept loading food. After he paid, he wished the cashier a pleasant day and left, and she turned to me, white under her black hijab. "He was too nervous," she said. That's when I realized she had been shocked as well and was now afraid that I would also be angry with her for not insisting on a proper protocol. We are all intimidated by the same type of person. But I am ashamed that I did not speak up. For her sake. And for the sake of his two sons.

October 12, 2017

I have to be really bored not to write. Or very involved in writing. right now it's both. i'm finally getting the yiddish right and am waiting to finish up with the bar mitzvah, get through the Ezi's tests, restart PEN, then get my teeth fixed and go on vacation. A loose cap is killing me.

And both of us have no energy - probably because of all the suspense. What made my day was Goldstar Slow Brew at Nechama and a Half.

I think last night got me down - we met some great people but the conversation slowly moved to the future, which we all know is very bleak. My nightmare is always of war and destruction but there is the alternative nightmare of this country becoming ruled by religious law, which is more possible.

October 13, 2017

Tomorrow - the big day of the bar mitzvah.

And in the background more and more frightening news in the world and in the small group of the family. More news as it happens.

Should we be unhappy that Fatah and Hamas join forces? I am happier with this than with Trump's radical steps lately. My opinion is based solely on one base - that people joining together seems more comfortable to me than fighting each other. Even if it looks like a ploy.

In 1925 - Bandi, my late-great-father-in-law took this photos of seven mills. This place still exists, but only in ruins - i love the place on the Yarkon river, but the mills disintegrated long ago.

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