Tel Aviv Diary -February 6-10, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - February 6-10, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 6, 2014

It was one of those days - the kind one gets through and then smiles and says thank goodness it's over. And then the phone rings. Grandchildren need help in the health clinic. Today the pediatricians were all at a 2 day conference, with one doctor on call and the doors about to close. Despite the traffic jams made worse by the demonstrations of the extreme religious protesting the enforcement of the draft. No army service - no funding. (a discussion for another time) Anyway by the time we got to the doctors it took an hour and I was surprised to find the children still waiting. After they were finally seen, it turned out we were locked in and had to exit quickly from the doctors' exit. It was then the boy became to complain of severe stomach ache and an urgent need for a washroom. Too far away. So the clean-up delayed our visit even longer.

But we still managed to make it to dinner in Yaffa. Only an hour late.

February 7, 2014

Bicycles - I have learned to fear them (this is such a crowded country and there are no rules so everyone is bumping into everyone else) but after giving away my bike last year, I bought another one today. My son-in-law led me to a little shop where he had traded in his old bike and recommended a different kind of structure, bigger, lower, with pedals more forward nnd a happier position. Since there is almost no way out by car of my neighborhood in the afternoon if school is in session, this may be my salvation.

Or, like so many of my friends, I'll fall off or hit someone and break my brittle bones.

The .guy who sold me the bike, by the way, was a very religious man - one who knew,p bicycles and the physiognomy of their riders and might become a good friend.

February 8, 2014

Ever go dancing in Habima square on a Saturday night? Lots of classic ballroom couples. Tango seems very popular but strangely wooden, something along the lines of the Alexandrovska....

February 9, 2014

It is 9 o'clock at night. We are sitting in our living room with Ezi's sisters and I realize I won't be able to get through another night without a gynecologist. I turn on my laptop and check when my doc has an available appointment. unbelievably he has a slot free at 9:40 p.m. I click myself in, put my coat on and run up the street. There are some pregnant couples before me, and another one comes in after me. So it is not as unusual at all that, but when I step into his office, doc says, "What bring YOU here at such an hour?" "If I COULD sleep, I wouldn't be here." Then we discuss my problem, which, it turns out, is acute, and he sends me for medication. Our local pharmacy closes at 10. I make it in, just as the doors are about to close. "Marchaba," says the druggist, who I interrupted in his flirtation with his assistant. They continue their intimate conversation as she gets her handbag ready for her escape, and the yarmulked boss comes by and mentions that the real closing hours are not for another ten minutes. She has already put everything away because i'm the only one in the store, but when i go to sign the credit charge it turns out she's also put away the pen. "Sign with your key," she says but I'm too slow on the uptake so the pharmacist takes my charge receipt and,p signs with his fingernail. Now it is 11 and all of us are probably home and in bed. with smiles on our faces.

February 10,2014

I did something really awful tonight. "i walked out on a play called "Our Class" not becuase it was not a good play but that i felt i was unable of withstanding the emotions elicited from me. the way the jews and christians come to see each other as the ennmy was too personal for me. Or maybe Its a little too much for me - but the contrmpoary warnings are very clear.

Race is indeed becoming an issue in this country in ways it has never been before

February 10, 2014

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