Tel Aviv Diary January 16=20, 2020 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - January 16-20, 2020- Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 16, 2020

tonight we took our last walk for a week. there is rain predicted for seven days. It never goes that long. We usually expect three days of rain and then the rest of the week of sun. But this year we're really getting it. And I'm not walking in the rain. Certainly not singing.

Maybe because of all the rain, my sciatica came back - not only at night, but all day too. So now my diagnosis has to be changed from "night sciatica" to "sciatica." I'll have to tell the orthopedist to change my chart... That's all i can do because the pills he gave me don't work...

No, I will not talk about the Kahanist party - it's enough they were betrayed and now they will get more votes as underdogs and we'll have more Jewish terrorists than we can handle. How will we ever go back to that previous form of government - what do you call it - oh, democracy...

Because I'm supposed to be giving a talk at the launch of Etgar Keret's translation of his latest book into Hebrew, I read the proofs of the stories in Yiddish and Ezi reads them in Hebrew. Of course I go first for the dirty parts - the words i never knew existed. I mean how do you blow in Yiddish?

January 18, 2020

Yowza - i fell asleep without saving. And I know I wrote a magnificent review of the Cameri's latest production of "The Grandson," an adaptation of Alejandro Casona's radio play "Trees die on their feet." (spoiler) in which the grandmother chooses to believe that the actor playing the grandson rather than the criminal grandson who appears a bit later. It's about preferring to believe in good fantasies instead of the painful and nasty present, Tell me it isn't about today's politics. Everybody cheered at the end because the 88-year-old actress, Miriam Zohar, was so good (even though the challenging role seems to be impossible as a character) and her 78-year-old partner was equally good - alive and entertaining. But i had the terrible feeling they didn't get the point - and maybe there was none and i'm just trying to justify a good play with a bad ending. i had the sense that nobody is really thinking about reality anyway, even though everyone turns on their phones as soon as the curtain falls - as if they are neurosurgeons on call.

January 20, 2020

I keep falling asleep on the computer. sometimes in the middle of a poem. or a speech. or an article. And there is much to do, much to write about. i'm sure it has something to do with the unseasonably cold weather. Yesterday, for example, when the doctor called a pharmacy to see if they have the medication I need and they did, he told me to go there right away and I did. But it was raining, and there was no parking, and i couldn't see to figure out where to go, so after a number of circles I went home exhausted, without the pills, and warmed up slowly for hours until I could think of brushing my teeth. And today, when Yaara and I were making our little movie, we couldn't turn the heat on because it would make noise, but there was not enough light and the weather was depressing and we came home and went right to bed. Now I have just finished ordering food - on the phone from my butcher, and online from the supermarket. Nothing, not even the most wonderful attractions - friends, lecture, movies - nothing exists in this wet weather. Ultimately no one complains, even though their cars are ruined, their shops drowned, etc. because rain is always good...

Wait! I went to another pharmacy after that where there WAS parking, but they were out, and when i told the pharmacist i needed it because i was going to Egypt he said, "it's cheaper there. and you don't need a prescription."

All this keeps us from discussing the issues - we have another stupid election coming up and only my party - labor - is beginning to show signs of a platform. where do we stand on the issues? what do we want to do? it's so important and yet all we talk about is Bibi's strategies to stay out of jail, and whether the issues can work for him. like Naama Yissachar - will he succeed in getting her out of prison? it's clear he's going to meet Putin and they're going to discuss this issue. if Putin wants Bibi to stay in power he'll pardon her. The same is true for bigger issues like Trump's announcement of his big peace plan - if he wants Bibi in, he'll wait until just before the election.


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