Tel Aviv Diary - December 20-24, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 20, 2010

So where are you going to be for Christmas? There aren't many choices around here. Of course you might be able to make it to Bethlehem, which is maybe an hour away. Or maybe not. Well there is mass in Jaffa. Or Nazareth. Nazareth! That should be great! Maybe I'll just go to the Christmas party at Pappa's. They have rhubarb pie.

Whose picture will be going on the shekel bills? The face chosen was the poet Rachel, but the controversy goes on. I would have liked to see Rabin added as well.

December 21, 2010

Who noticed that night fell before 5? Who cared? We were busy with the heating in our building. Fourteen families, and central heating under the cold stone floors. who would have believed only 6 families wanted to participate this year? When the floors are warm, there is a general feeling of comfort - when the floors are cold, everything is cold. Winters here are colder than elsewhere because of the cold interiors. I say that, and I grew up in the snow belt. But tonight at 5 Ezi fired up the old boiler, and the house was warm. My chills are over for the winter. And we only need to turn it on at 6 in the morning for an hour and two hours in the afternoon.

So why only 6 families? Some people complained it didn't get up to the higher floors and they cancelled, others replaced their floors and had to take up the pipes because it was too complicated to replace them, and for others the cold is the least of their worries. It's not cheap.

December 22, 2010

Began the day with congratulations for the review of my book in haaretz today. What made it perfect was the designation of "israeli poet." But it is perfect in any case.

The day continued with my ongoing attempts to get through the government bureaucracy to apply for funding for the IAWE. It is an ongoing process for over two years and is finally coming to fruition. Fruition means that in a week or so I'll be able to submit an application if I keep at it. It doesn't mean we'll get it, but I remember the guys in Drejat who spent 10 years trying their village to get recognized by the government. They just kept working at it.

Now I can spend the evening preparing courses.

December 23, 2010

We're birthin a baby tonight - with any luck it will come on erev christmas and he could get by being a little messiah. He seems a little slow in coming, but those doctors at Ichilove have their finger on the pulse, and all those other little monitors, and I'm sure that by the morning baby Regev will bounce out with a real bang!

i can't do anything else till i know he's out. And tomorrow is grandparents day in school so we have a morning ot ignoring the baby and paying attention to the others.

December 24, 2010

The baby is taking his time, and there are other distractions.

Today was grandparents' day in school. The first graders entertained their grandparents and showed off on the blackboard the pictures their grandparents had sent in before. The table was loaded with the grandchildren’s favorite foods and there were booklets the children had the grandparents fill in weeks before. Most of the children were overjoyed to bring their loved ones to their new school, and show off their new skills of reading. But it was the grandparents who thrilled and wondered even more. Uri standing next to me observed, “We didn’t have grandparents like this.” And I responded, “We never had grandparents.”

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