Tel Aviv Diary - February 16-20, 2012 Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 16, 2012

This sympathy notice was sent by my nephew and family. It's the combination of sincerity and irony that wins me over.

February 17, 2012

You shouldn't know from the runaround we're getting from Maccabi over the treatment Ezi was supposed to get this month. "Why do you want the refusal in writing?" "We sent the letter out last week!" "Sure, we'll give you a copy if you come down here -" "What? It's the wrong letter?" (We need it in writing so we can protest it, and/or submit to our private insurance. In the mean time we're in a static place.)"Aren't you terrified of the coming war?" "I just hope we can stay alive (and sane) until then..."

Actually I've lived through a few wars. They are scary and unpredictable - hmmm - how different are they from our daily fight for existence with the gov't, the hospital, maccabi...?

February 18, 2012

The antibiotics I'm taking for Shusha's last big bite have taken a toll on me. We went to help clean out the last of our friends' apartment as they make ready to move to the US, and as always I take a plant to remember them. I'm not happy about their move but at least they'll miss the war. I mean my friends who are my age might not have the strength to take the 'challenges' we may be facing.

Just saw an interview with Benny Ganz, our chief of staff, about the military problems facing us - and the one thing I'm sure of is that I couldn't do it better. He's a real human being and although what he says offers no comfort, the way he says it reminds me of why I'm here.

February 19, 2012

Because my dear friend Shaul died last year - waiting for the arrival of the perfect treatment for his cancer, I have less faith that all will be well. And after a morning of chasing around the offices, I am reminded of a story of a man who comes upon a sign in the street "Ultramodern Whore House." The concept fascinated him so he goes to the little sign by the door, which says "deposit a quarter." Full of anticipation he drops a quarter into the slot and the door swings open, revealing a staircase. He goes up the staircase and there's another door with a sign 'deposit 50 cents.' Now he's getting excited and when the door opens he runs down the long corridor to the next door which opens with a dollar. There he find a long staircase, going down, and he races down where finds another door that says "last door - $5" He slides the money into the slot and the door opens and he finds himself outside facing a sign "Ultramodern Whore House - You've Just Been Screwed.

February 20, 2012

Why have we never complained about prices before? We always knew we were being screwed in the supermarket, but now we realize that there are individuals making the decisions that screw us and putting our money in their pockets. Before we only complained about the taxes and the war. Now we're also complaining about candy bars.

Apropos candy bars - I'm afraid I'm still hooked on American candy bars, even though I prefer Israeli chocolate. So I go for snickers and elite chocolate.

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