Tel Aviv Diary - December 10-14, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 10, 2010

I was about to write around 10 in the morning, but then I realized it would be raining by the afternoon so we rushed out to do our Friday shopping. And it was just on cue. By one I began to see the trees in front of our house dancing, while the pines next to our house stood still. Ezi showed me the weather map, which showed winds later on today, but no rain. In the mean time I had taken in all the window plants that might be engangered by the wind, and made sure there was nothing that could fall onto a neighbor. And then by 2 it was over. At least for now.

Okay, I was in the middle of building on this little remark about nature, but my computer fell, and hours after I now discover that nothing had been saved. It's all gone. My fury about how we have so many storms that blow over in a minute around here, but some of them drive me mad even though every one else is already forgetting them. One example: the rabbis' edict against renting homes to "non-jews." It has been renounced and will probably have no effect in the world, but if I were the object of such denigration I would not forget for the rest of my life.

December 11, 2010

Whatever marriage contract you draw up, it is only as good as the good will of the partners. The same is true of countries. If we trusted each other we could find a way to work out peace but we don't and so we can't. How do you create trust when trust has been betrayed?

But we can't get divorced now, can we? So we have no alternative.

December 12, 2010

Yes, I was talking about Hillary Clinton yesterday. My life is usually a mirror of the news. Like the letter we finally got from Pnina Rosenblum about the worm-ridden granola we returned to the company at least a month ago. The letter came with a new jar of granola, a tiny sample of another kind of granola, and another small jar of salad herbs. The letter said that it was sorry for the discomfort we experienced, they would send the product back to the original supplier, and it hoped we'd continue to buy their products. THE LETTER DID NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORMY BREAKFAST WE'D BEEN SERVED. Okay, we didn't unseal the jar once we saw it was alive, so there wasn't all that much damage. But who is responsible for its products if not the manufacturer? And guess what, I can't bring myself to trust Pnina Rosenblum or her products again.

Okay, so it was a little consumer problem. But the first thing I did when I saw the letter was to compare it to the apology Turkey is demanding from Israel on the Marmara. It isn't the same. If I had seen the worms and ate them anyway, and then complained to Pnina that I am sick, it would not be a clear case of her responsibility.

So as much as I respect and love Turkey for sending firefighting help to us in our time of need, and as much as I regret the loss of life, and hate the entire situation surrounding the blockade, I cannot recommend Israel to accept 'responsibility.'

December 13, 2010

8:00 a.m.

I have an appointment and can't find a parking spot so wind up wet through my coat by the time I manage to get from the car to the door. This wetness is accentuated by the unheated office where I sit for an hour and a half and by noon I am beginning to smell of rot. At two I have an opportunity to run home and chsnge into dry and warmer clothes but there is no help for it - the sudden change from summer to winter with no transition and buildings made to keep out the heat are not good for an aging woman's health. If I am mobile tomorrow I'll crawl over to the health clinic for flu and pneumonia shots.

December 14, 2010

Hard to drive in Tel Aviv. It's so crowded and there's always something going on.

Even if you just look up, you see exciting things - Today on King David Street I happened to look up and see a bird.

And then a cat.

The cats are everywhere. No matter where you look. Even in the IKEA parking lot.

Nobody seems to have any trouble with CATS living in Jewish neighborhoods.

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