Tel Aviv Diary - December 3-7, 2012 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - December 3-7, 2012 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 3, 2012

Dara Barnat published an essay in the LA Review of Books today called Teaching Walt Whitman in Tel Aviv. Absolutely worth reading.

As I mentioned we had an alarm in one of my classes - half of the students are Arab - and I worried about the sense of identity they must have to be sitting together with the Jews waiting for the all clear.

December 4, 2012

Daily existence continues - no matter what the politicians do and say. We watch the machinations of Yvette Leiberman and Bibi, and go about our business. After an evening of strong contractions, Orit thought it was time to go, but as night fell, the contractions disappeared and we waited for the morning. There was no sign of a strike in the high-risk maternity ward, but the staff was noticeably short-tempered, and with no patience for a very heavy, very strong-minded woman. Sent home, we both went to sleep for the day. I woke up to learn that Rosina Cambos, an actress I had long been acquainted with but only recently came to admire greatly, passed away after a long bout with cancer.

I know this happens all over the world, but there seems to be a special something about this country that makes survival a unique situation here. See, even in the desert

December 5, 2012

What I'd really like to do with my life - 1. sit in cafes in Tel Aviv - with and without interesting colleagues - watching people walk down the street. 2. rest 3. visit museums all over the country 4. eat latkes like there's no tomorrow ....

And what am I doing? 1. correcting exams 2. watching television 3. cleaning up the house in preparation for the cleaners tomorrow 4. waiting for Orit to call so I can run over and babysit if she has to go to the hospital. Maybe that's what I really want to do.

December 6, 2012

Every hour I turn on the news and there's real news here. First off, there are the ongoing stories of our neighbors - who remain just as unpredictable as we are. Then there's the musical chairs game of our politicians. What party, what place, what policy... what a lovely game. It keeps us so happily distracted from the real dangers of this country.

December 7 2012

On my way to Ichilov again. Why o why did she not take a private doctor to get her through this birth? Her health clinic doctor has abandoned her, in an almost criminal way (for her new interest in beauty regeneration), the doctors in the hospital are afraid to take responsibility for someone who should be someone's patient, and she sits there, blowing up bigger and bigger....

(later that day) It was the wrong morning to go in. You'd think people have better things to do then check to see if their babies are ready. But the place was so full there was barely room for the anxious husbands to sit down and the celebrities to hide. The maternity nurses aren't on strike but they don't have much to do in this situation except maybe connect the monitors. The monitor I witnessed literally creaked and sounded like a horse galloping on pebblestones. It did the job but boy was it old. And the ultrasound machine wouldn't crank up at all. Thank goodness for the doctors who remember how things used to be before modern science. If you're thinking of contributing to Israel, may I suggest you take this into consideration. Ichilov - my favorite hospital to date, but some of it really isn't up-to-date.

Oh yes, there's a review of "Layers" in Haaretz in English today, together with the review of Rachel Back's book. Nice review. But not yet online.

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