Tel Aviv Diary - April 7-11, 2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

April 7, 2015

Where has the time gone? We spend our days wishing we could join the five hundred thousand picnikers but knowing we couldn't face them all in the effort to see the spring flowers and blue skies. We stay home and visit with family and friends near by. I would have loved to go up to Metula but the traffic jams are becoming legendary.

And maybe Bibi's negotiations are weighing down on us. Maybe, we wonder, he's right about Iran and it's good that he's making trouble for Obama. And maybe Isis will be at our front door in a few months. And we can almost hear the tunnels in Gaza being rebuilt with all the money given to them for reconstruction of the homes we ruined.

Well actually we do other things than sit around wishing and waiting. Give me a minute and I'll think of something.

April 8, 2015

We remain close to home while all Israel is on vacation and traveling everywhere. We have a nearby swimming pool (heat wave today), good crowded restaurants (I write about in Trip Advisor) and tomorrow we're going to the circus!

April 9, 2015

I'm trying to stay away from the news and just have fun - family and friends. We tried to get to the holy city of Jerusalem last night but the traffic made it look like too much trouble, so we went back and had chinese. There's a fair chinese restaurant on Allenby and it was just one of the places open and serving chametz. Tel Aviv is such a relief from Israel sometimes.

Today we went to the circus. Somehow I remember having gone to the circus before - but never with one grandchild who is an acrobat, one who's crazy about motorcycles, one who loves music, and one who goes mad for spectacle. A good end to chol hamoed.

April 10, 2015

Today was the last day of Passover, but because Shabbat begins at sundown, there is no way to buy bread. So the good people of Israel must add another day to their holiday. I don't think it is good for anyone, this extended holiday - Let's begin with the fact that parents are tied to their children, who have little experience outside of the framework of school and organized groups and therefore have to be entertained. So parents have to find some kind of solution for their children. They take off work, enlist grandparents, organize hikes and trips with the family, and eat. One result is that the nature reserves are crowded and so are the roads. So we stayed home most of the time and saw friends and family. Some of my friends who are alone find the holiday particularly trying, even though there are always things to do. Tomorrow is the last day for family and sunday everyone goes back to work and school. i'm sure they go back relieved.

Yarmouk - Is there anything worse than dying of hunger? Our sense of helplessness is overwhelming.

April 11, 2015

Because of the rain, the Mimouna celebrations have been cancelled. We will have to make our moufleta ourselves:

Ahalan woo Sahalan

Okay I am not only not going to make moufleta, but i am probably not going to enter the kitchen again for at least a week. This is a holiday where I annually gain at least five pounds from overeating.

And now it is too cold and rainy to go out and walk it off. From the wonderful heat two days ago to the storms of today...

Maybe now we will be able to concentrate on learning the Arabic alphabet - 28 letters, 4 different ways to write them with different vowels and in different places in the word - it boggles the ageing mind. I may just be too old to learn the language. But how can I not?

Check out, if you can, Mira Awad's interview on Oshrat Kotler's magazine tonight. It explains why I am so insistent on learning Arabic.

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