Tel Aviv Diary September 24-28, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - September 24-28, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 24, 2017

My fault. I missed a hyphen in the code. After a couple days of sleeping and visiting friends and walking, I woke up this morning and saw the missing hyphen. This is an amazing recovery - of the site and of me. I really needed to catch up on a few weeks of sleeplessness - for various reasons, sometimes good, but still - lack of sleep.

I was still sleepy on FRiday evening when we came to Rachel's for her traditional 'after party' - twice a year she invites friends the night after the holidays, when people of my age are usually just a bit weary of hosting family and in need of conversation about world issues and friendship and maybe just being guests.

Last night we decided to prepare for the Israel Path (Shvil Yisrael) hike we're doing on tuesday and we walked to the Port. As if we were just taking a walk with no meaning this time around. But there was the post put up in honor of the British victory over the Turks on December 21, 1917, when they managed to cross the Yarkon River.

There is another post on the other side of the river, hidden in a little park, that we photographed a few years ago in imitation of Ezi's father's photograph in 1925. But this one time I suddenly realized how many victories and losses have occurred in this little plot of land, and how much has been endured.

September 25, 2017

It's been a long day of meetings and I am wasted. tomorrow at 7 we begin the first leg of the Israel Road, Shvil Yisrael. it means leaving home by 6:30 in the morning and coming home at night. if you have followed me in the past you know this is a typical outing for people in Israel, learning about the land. Do I have the strength? I'm not at all sure.

Nevertheless I have finished gathering readers for the evening of October 1, 100,000 poets for change. it will take place at Sippur Pashut in Neve Zedek at 7:00 p.m. and will be at least tri-lingual.

Now I have to see about organizing the PEN meeting next week.

September 26, 2017

We made it home. It was touch and go for a while. The heat was overwhelming at times, and because i was a bit slower than the rest I never got to the lecture-stops in time to find a rock to sit on. But the lectures were fascinating. Archeological layers show depths of war over war. Phoenician, Canaan, Aram, Greek, etc. etc. And in the background we hear the booms of gunfire on the Syrian border. The comparison and contrast was amazing.

We only did 7 kilometers of the Israel Trail, but my phone says we walked over 12 kilometers.

We got to see parts of buildings built by King Ahab. We got to see sacrifical altars that were built and rebuilt by different religions, arches built long before the Jews. Tel Dan, one of the sources of the Jordan.

By the way it IS chilly and cold.

Even I was excited.

September 27, 2017

Among the other exciting things we did today was the administration of a flu shot. What made it exciting? The nurse who took Ezi first, and then me, spent a great deal of time putting information into the computer and asking questions: "Do you have carpets in your home? (Old people slip on carpets) Have you fallen in the past year? Do you take less than 4 pills a day. How tall are you anyway?" The excitement was not in the questions but in the anticipation of whether, before or after the blood pressure monitoring, the fiddling with the obstinate computer mouse, the shot, and the repetition with the next patient, me, she WOULD WASH HER HANDS, OR RUB A LITTLE ANTISEPTIC ON THEM. And guess what, we had nothing to be excited about. She never turned to the sink behind her or touched the antiseptic bottle.

September 28, 2017

Some people prepare for Yom Kippur by cleansing their souls. Me, I seem to be reacting to the flu shot and am staying in bed and recording movies in case i'm still sick and need to watch tv on the big day.

Fortunately i'll be probably be great by tonight and be able to face my maker with all my wits about me.

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