Tel Aviv Diary - December 9-13, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 9-13, 2014

December 9,2014

With all the criticism of the government and the politicians threatening to take over, I sometimes think of this place as hell. That simple.

And some of the people here really act like hellions, just like the politicians I'm terrified of.

But there ARE many good souls, and others who would behave differently if they knew hoe. And it is the last chance - that these people learn to behave.

This morning, when I was checking the forms for the radio wave treatment at the pain clinic at 4, I noticed that the reference I had from the health clinic was not exact and didn't specify the type of treatment i was supposed to get. So I called the health clinic to find out what to do. After a half hour on the line I was asked to call at 1. At 1 I called back and waited another half an hour before i was told to go back to the place where i haf the original reference at 4 and sort it out. "i can't do that - I have to have the treatment at 4." After another half hour waiting for the supervisor, I gave up and decided to go to the hospital and wee there what could be done. On the way I called again and got an operator who gave me specific information - to send a fax requesting the approval. The secretary in the overcrowded waiting room was happy to oblige and send the request, but then we didn't know what to do. It was then I turned to the old people in the waiting room and asked. All of them were forthcoming with specific, exact, and accurate information. It takes 10 days to get the approval, they said, but you can give them a check that they'll cash only if the clinic doesn't send the approval. 5000 shekel.

The audience applauded, and soon we were cheering each other on.. "get in there and let's see you walk out without limping" and a few of us even wound up singing one of my favorite songs in Ladino, "los bibilicos cantant." I was out of there by 5:30, and although I'm supposed to stay in bed for the evening, am hoping for a happy day tomorrow. Of course the staff is brusque and businesslike and they can't afford anyone to hold your hand, but we can hold each other's hands, and that helps. It helps a lot.

December 10, 2014

It's nice that Boogie and Tsipi aare running together and they already have an agreement to alternate the PM job. But I think I'm going more left. I always go for the middle because I think it has a better chance of winning, but its a little early to compromise.

Today was Tamar's birthday, but I wasn't really in shape to do much about it except sit and kvell. It is not good to be a passive grandmother, and yet I don't have much choice.

December 11, 2014

What do you want to say? Everyone is changing parties - all the old political permanent faces are leaving - such as Eli Ishai, Gideon Saar, Limor Livnat and so on. And the ones who are staying are changing their identities - what would Tsipi Livni's Edsel father think of her joining the Labor party? the mind boggles...

December 12, 2014

Yanky Fachler is one of the more sincere people I know. He left a successful career and a bunch of admiring friends in Israel well over a decade ago out of love for a beautiful Irish girl and has since devoted his time and efforts to making a connection between the two countries. So when I saw he was fired from being the MC of the Holocaust ceremony in Dublin for wanting to mention Israel I was not surprizes.Here's the article: in Jewish World. I wasn't surprised about Ireland, which seemed to me totally ignorant of Israel, even nasty. (I was even stood up by a group of poets who I was supposed to meet as an Israeli writer). I kept seeing it over and again. An exhibit of the Holy Book showed books in Latin, English, German, but not Hebrew. It was a provincial anti-senitism I saw, not an informed one...

And Yanky Fachler could not but object to the separation of Holocaust and Israel. Not with a family history like mine.

December 13, 2014

Elections, that seems to be all that the media is interested in, and all I can say that's positive is that people seem to be more transparent. the secret hatreds are all out.

What are the odds of a change of government? If the Arabs would only vote they would have 20% of the government.

Our Arabic teacher cancelled at the last moment on Thursday. It is the second time she's done this and now we're going away and won't be able to have lessons for another month. People ask me why it is so important for us to study Arabic. and I have to admit - the only reason is that i want to be able to speak with neighbors. And to understand them better.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home