Tel Aviv Diary August 5-10, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - August 5-10, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 5, 2016

beta cafe was only half full for lunch. i was sure that we'd have to make reservations and got all up tight that they wouldn't save us a table, but everyone is abroad. That was wonderful. Especially since i really wanted to go to the market and was only prevented by a lack of energy. And apparently there was a scare at the market - a guy with a knife - but not a terrorist. Better to be bored. much better.

Here's a poem:

Sometimes you get another chance --
when youíre sure itís over and lost
and maybe youíve given up
waving to that ship that is now
way past the horizon.
Sometimes you can make it right
in your head if not in your life
And then sometimes --
not often, you go back and slowly
undo the stitch that ruined the fabric
of the knit, and take it up
and continue from there
just a bit more wisely, more
carefully than before,
just so someone someday
will be able to wear that sweater
and keep themselves warm.

August 6, 2016

Sometimes we're so worn out from all that happens here and in the world we are suspicious of quiet moments. We're almost afraid to get used to them, knowing that at any moment we'll have to adjust to some new terror, new danger, and at the least a big surprise. most of the people I know go around expecting something must happen at any moment. Today I think it might be quiet. Wow!

August 7, 2016

And indeed yesterday was quiet - for us. A little editing, a little translating, a little movie, a perfect day. For some reason we were exhausted by the family dinner the night before - even though it wasn't all that much work. it was a lot of excitement, memories, fun, and my old fashioned cooking for a change. (Ezi stayed out of the kitchen with his complicated gourmet techniques.)

August 7, 2016

It was a hard argument. My American tourist friend, right wing, gave me a very difficult talking to about how he is one of the few Jews in his area who fights for Israel. I believe him. I believe his arguments against the present American administration are genuine. I also believe that not only right wingers are defenders of Israel. And that my living here is as much of a defence of Israel as people who march in the streets of New York with signs.

Anyway, I love this friend as much as I love my other friend who has renounced all relationship with the Jewish people.

So as I am driving from the hotel to take my grandson out for an airing, the radio is full of warnings about traffic interruptions because of a search for a suspicious character. The trains even were halted for a while.

And I reconsider taking my grandson to Dizengoff Center. Maybe it's not so safe.

But when I pick him up he's got a red eye so I stopped at the drugstore for some drops and then - here we are at Dizengoff Center. And there is a toy store in there somewhere. He knows exactly how to get there.

Difficult grandmother that I am, I make sure we go through an entrance into the center that is completely unknown to him. On the other side, totally. If he wants a toy he's got to find his way.

I let him walk ahead of me, partly because i want to see if he has a sense of direction, and partly because i'm still a bit of a gimp. And it works. One wrong turn, but we get there eventually. And by now I have forgotten that I had that moment of terror, that I was sacrificing my six year old grandchild to patriotism.

We stop for ice cream on the way back, carrying packages for both grandchildren and bought cones for ourselves and the people at home, balancing the impossible.

A completely normal afternoon. And yet I feel like I have borne a great patriotic burden.

By the way, as of this moment the suspects are still at large.

August 8, 2916

Up to now I've had physiotherapy that is gentle and considerate of my age and sedentary character. Even this morning at Apos therapy I had my shoes adjusted to my new walk - and received with great admiration at my relative progress. But this afternoon in physiotherapy at the health clinic I got a serious pro, who has left me exhausted and aching. "If it doesn't hurt, it's not doing anything," she said, and I recognized this truth from my youth. But I'll have to see in the morning how I live with this new regimen.

And now I've had to cancel all evening plans and even maybe tomorrow. my legs are not working.

August 9, 2016

The bus didn't have internet. how strange. it had everything else. and everyone was on the phone. i love tel aviv.

August 10, 2016

Implosion - it looks like that's what's happening in our government. and me too. I've overworked myself - after feeling great all week and running around like crazy, I just collapsed. will i be able to recover by tomorrow? my day begins at 7 and we'll see. The thing is this part of August when all the kids are on vacation and the parents are at work. So the grandparents are on high alert. We went from 7:30 this morning until late afternoon when we went to pick up the letters home of Ezi's grandfather to his wife from WWI. This was a great event because the letters got lost for a dozen years when i was looking for a translator from Hungarian. And then suddenly they were found behind a desk drawer - a big bunch of papers - many of them from Pschemishev and Tegikastan when he was taken as prison of war for four years until the war ended and he walked home to Budapest. There he discovered that one of the many buildings his company had built was now being finished and an opening ceremony was planned. But, as a Jew, he wasn't invited. So he packed up and came to Palestine. I might have told this story before - maybe when we explored his company in Budapest a couple of years ago. But every once in a while new and exciting information appears about Engineer Arpad Gut.

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