Tel Aviv Diary February 22, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - February 22, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 22, 2008

Miss me? Let me know! I'm tempted to get involved in other projects and forget about diaries. I mean there's a world out there, and i miss so much of it sitting at home and working. (Of course if you believe I sit at home working all the time you're much too gullible to be a reader of these pages. No one can sit at home and work all the time in Israel. The phone rings. "What's the matter with you? Can't you see the sun is shining? At the very least come to a cafe!" "It's Friday afternoon - come celebrate!" And who am i to resist?

So i head down to the Carmel Market just as it is closing. There is no place to park and people are still milling about - the sun is shining today and will be shining tomorrow. "Maybe I'll go skiing," someone says around the table at Pappa's. "I'm going to see the flowers," says someone else. Me I'm staying home, even though it will be a glorious day and my friends are all on the roads. We're going to enjoy the fact that our flat does not have to be heated to be comfortable. This has been too cold a winter, even for Ezi.

February 23, 2008

I'm so out of the habit - not only of writing, but also of keeping up with what is going on. i can barely concentrate on the television news - they are far too intense and profound for me. Last night they were talking about the probability of serious earthquakes on this syrian-african rift and despite the immanent and extreme danger i paid no more attention to it then our government does. A few years ago i got panicked about the idea of earthquakes and convinced the other tenants to strengthen our building with cross supports. Most of the apartment buildings in Israel are built on columns and there are few apartments on ground level in Tel Aviv. It was supposed to make the building more flexible against earthquakes but a house on stilts cannot really be strong. So we added cross beams. It cost a lot of money and time, and when it was over the whole thing looked stupid and not much stronger than before. Nevertheless the cross-beams serve the cats well - they sleep in the sun.and escape the dampness of the ground.

February 24, 2008

Today there is a reading of the Israel Association of Writers in English, celebrating arc 19. 4:00 in Rosenberg 01 at Tel Aviv University. There are other literary events - like the launching of the Jewish Book Council in Jerusalem - but I have finally succumbed to whatever flu has overtaken Ezi so I will barely manage to drag myself to the reading.

but it will be great.

And so it was. The unbounded talent here is pretty amazing. Me, I read some poems with photographs about iguanas. It isn't ego-syntonic for me to write about non-Israeli subjects, but the whole issue of the relationship between 'nature,' religion, and the environment is so complex in Israel i find it much easier to look at reptiles and non-religious environments. You can't take a step here without falling over some religiously significant place or biblical animal. (By the way i have a book of biblical animals from 1845 which included dragons)

February 25, 2008

Save march 26 for Panic Ensemble at Tmuna. If you want to see what it will be like, look here

Got caught in the sudden rain storm this afternoon - the irregular heat in our building at the university didn't help my situation - and now i'm chilled to the bone.

February 26, 2008

Pronto Restaurant was crowded tonight - it is always like that apparently - and with a few tables of celebrities scattered here and there. It was wonderful to have dinner with good friends but I wasn't as crazy about the food as I expected to be. Maybe it's because i've got something of a cold. Maybe it's because i am prejudiced, I always have a problem with pretension. I started with arrancino, a favorite of mine from Pappa's, I probably should have started with the asparagus, which looked amazing, because the arrancino seemed stale, its delicacy drowned in the tomato sauce. The rest of the dinner was much better, but i was already in a pout.

I probably should have convinced everyone to go to a sushi place, since sushi is the most popular food in town. Tel Aviv has the third greatest sushi comsumption in the world, and in this respect I'm a true Tel Avivian. (what was that film where the cab driver is talking away about sushi and says he doesn't underestand why some people get all worried about sushi - he bought some the other day, took it home and cooked it and it wasn't half bad. can't remember the name.)

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