Tel Aviv Diary August 31-September 4, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary August 31-September 4, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 31, 2018

I've been getting some rather nasty letters - about last week and the museum. problem is, they have made me a bit nasty about my answers.

I am usually able to turn situations like this around and make them more positive, but the atmosphere is so strange i have not been able to use the positive energies sent my way to make this experience a productive one. i haven't been able to reach out to Yad Vashem to replace the poem, haven't asked them to defend their decision, to say something to me. After all, I didn't ask them to put the poem there, didn't ask for payment, didn't get asked about taking it down.

September 1, 2018

I was planning to work today, and have stopped watching television since Ezi changed to a cheap service - Celcom - that makes the little they have to show incredibly complicated. But i couldn't move my eyes from the screen during the funeral of John McCain. I'll bet most of the world was reminded of all we knew of American values, all we have forgotten and needed to reminded of - "a much needed moment of unity".

what is the proper protocol to wish children a good school year? should we not make a ceremony to celebrate first grade? It depends on the child. There are kids, like my brother, who teach themselves to read before school begins. Me - i remember only too well the confusion of first grade, trying to keep up by looking around me. Because it was a Hebrew day school we split our day between the English teacher and the Hebrew one. The Hebrew teacher, Zipi, asked us to draw a picture - and i was thrilled. then she said to put our names on it. I had no idea what she was talking about, so I copied from the girl next to me. I became Hannah for the a few months until my mother came to school for a conference. English classes went by okay because i noticed the pictures associated with the page being read and memorized them when they were read out loud.

this is how the poet began

September 2, 2018

So for the children the day was neither revolutionary nor traumatic. Me I felt some of the nurses were missing in the ward today, that patients waited with empty bags on their IVs just a bit longer than usual, that the doctor in charge never came by, that no one noticed that Ezi was spinning the regulator on his IV to get out faster. It was like the ordinarily understaffed hospital had too many new parents whose children were supposed to be in day care, but day care was on strike. Yes, the national nurseries were protesting not only their terrible salaries, not only their overcrowded rooms, not only the lack of materials and conditions, but the fact that the government hasn't even negotiated with them.

Today would be a good day to negotiate in general. It is the anniversary of the cease fire between Richard Lionheart and Salah-a-Din. we still have a few hours to emulate these great men...

September 3, 2018

TV is gone again. Cellcom sucks. Just as I sat down to watch the news, all i could get on the screen was instructions on checking for what i did wrong to cause this problem. internet a mess as well. my only question is when to cut them off and go back to some other system. My email is all messed up, my nerves are all confused. Yes yes, you say. you shouldn't need television and email to relax. But I am reminded of my late father-in-law's old man joke, where the doctor asks him, "do you suffer from gas?" and he answers, "Suffer? it's the only pleasure i have left!"

September 4, 2018

Are we on the way to war? It looks like it to me. But no one else seems to feel there is something to worry about.

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