Tel Aviv Diary August 11-17, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - August 11-17, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 11, 2016

When I told my Turkish friend I had breakfast with my cousins, she said, "You must mean your second cousins. Ashkenazis don't have first cousins." That reminded me of some joke-rumor going around about how Miri Regev was complaining about the fact that all the holocaust survivors seems to be Ashkenazi, and she needs to get some Mizrachis into that elite status.

My Auschwitz graduate neighbor came out yesterday to remind me that a certain television newscaster keeps coming out of her paintings to threaten her - he's a Nazi, she says, and I realize that she's psychotic but she's got a point. the news is threatening.

August 12, 2016

All I wanted to do was to get a little gift for our hostess tonight. so i thought we'd just skip over to the local mall for a few minutes. but no. after fifteen minutes of looking for a place to park we gave up and went to the diaspora museum where the gift shop is perfect.

it was a vase made by Ethiopians. Our hostess loved it, couldn't figure out why we got something so nice for her. Sometimes it happens - that a thing wants you to buy it for someone.

August 13, 2016

All our grandchildren and kids are going away today and tomorrow for vacation abroad. Why we aren't going i'm not sure. Compared to all my friends I'm a provincial when it comes to traveling.

But then i'm not totally secure with my body yet.

tonight is Tisha b'Av. Entertainment is closed. restaurants are closed. We often spend this time with friends, or catching up with work, but never mourning the destruction of the temples. Nevertheless I feel it needs to be remembered. That historical events pertaining to Jews should be remembered by Jews. Especially in this case when the destruction of the temples were caused - the rabbis say - by gratuitous hatred.

Which brings me to Sayyed Kashua. He seems to be getting nastier and nastier, even though he is right on most issues. His recent complaint - that there are no Arabs representing Israel in the Olympics - that there can't be because there are no facilities for training in Arab villages - makes an important point. But when he says he would root for any team playing AGAINST Israel, I lose him. He should be rounding up people like me to make sure the government ensures training facilities in villages instead.

But Kashua knows that if Trump throws him out of the US, no matter how much he bad mouths us, we'll open our arms to him.

August 14, 2016

We decided to take advantage of the fact that we have some free time in the summer, that nothing is moving, and went out to buy parts for our refrigerator, and look for a sofa bed for my study. So we checked out the websites of the companies, noted their hours and addresses and set out. First, to the refrigerator parts company. After twenty minutes, and in the boiling heat, we made it to the building, only to find a receptionist who informed us in a laconic tone that the company had moved.

Not so bad. She even gave us the new address. So we took our broken shelf back to the car and took off.

Unfortunately the sign on the door of the building we reached after about ten minutes said they were closed for the month.

Back into the car, and off to the sofa bed store. I got the address wrong so that took a while. But "Dormir" was all shut up with no sign. "No wonder they didn't answer the phone," I muttered, as we turned to the mall that sells furniture - ID Design, just because it was on the way home. I've always found the place pretentious overpriced, and uninspiring. And I kept thinking of all those people who spend incredible amounts of money on impractical and conspicuous furniture because of a sense of entitlement while others can barely afford to eat. I know that's true everywhere, but it bothers me nonetheless.

We came home empty handed.

August 15, 2016

My refugee's lawyer gave me an answer today - She's legal! I'm really excited because that means there's just a bit of humanity in our system.

On that note I have to admit that I have been studying Thoreau because of a radio program on him I promised to do this week but has been postponed to next week. So what are the rights and the responsibilities of the individual? I was soo upset that I was prevented legally from helping out an amazing woman, from giving her gifts and money. i'm overwhelmed that I free to do it. But would I have broken the law? Would I like Thoreau go to jail?

August 16, 2016

We have been making lots of stupid mistakes lately. Maybe it's the summer, maybe we're getting old, maybe we're getting stupid. A guy comes to the door today looking for work - we make a deal with him to paint our bathroom, bedroom and balcony -tomorrow. why? we need it badly, it's true - the neighbor's leak left us with blackened ceilings and darkened walls. but to make a deal with Amnon Almashri who we have never seen before? we did. tomorrow morning for an outrageous price he comes with his brother.

August 17, 2016

So he came first thing in the morning, and worked beautifully for a few hours. and then his twin brother came, and started messing things up - It would have been a beautiful comedy: twin painters, one neat, one sloppy, arguing throughout the morning. One clean, the other covered with paint. And you can see the difference of the quality on our walls. But he was okay, and fast, and we finished in time to go out to lunch. But the house is a mess. And who has the energy to set it straight again.

Today I said goodbye to another student who is going abroad. Another former student gone. And I have nothing to offer to keep them here.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home