Tel Aviv Diary - January 17-21, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - January 17-21, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 3, 2009 With Liz Magnes The Bowery Poetry Club 308 Bowery (Between Houston and Bleecker) 212-614-0505

January 17, 2010

Ever wanted to change your hairdresser? My visit there today was interrupted by frequent arguments between the employee and employer and I left after three hours with a mediocre haircut, a different and not very complimentary color, a lot less money, and a very bad temper. And my head itches. I write this down so that I don't forget it next month when me hair is covering my eyes.

The only good thing about it is that I was too unhappy to go back to work, and met Orit in Basel for lunch. Continuing with my luck we at sushi at the very place where I was disappointed a few years back. And it was good. With two runs I decided to try my luck at Shiruzzi, not that I need new shoes - because their shoes last forever - but I have long been dreaming of a pair of red heels they hadn't been making for years in my enormous size. And they had them! Just like Judy Garland's magic shoes! On sale, yet! But just as I was about to close the deal I not iced there was something wrong with the color of the leather on half of one shoe. So no home run.

Never mind - Basel is a different area of Tel Aviv - lots of long blond hair and pregnant women. Lots of cute shops and cafes. It is a great place to forget your sorrows.

On a more significant subject - Pope Benedict XII took a stroll in the ghetto of Rome, knowing that Jews find his efforts to sanctify Pope Pius XII objectionable. Pope Pius XII is thought to have turned a deaf ear to the please for help during the time of the Holocaust, and whether there is proof or not, that should be enough for an investigation instead of a sainthood.

January 18, 2010

I just paid my grocery bill and now feel I can leave the country for a few weeks to take care of other duties. My grocer works the old way: he has a card file, one card having my name on it, and he writes down every purchase total together with the date. I sign. At the end of the month he totals the bill and sometimes I pay with a post-dated check, sometimes with a current check. I keep the receipts at home and total them first. It is a simple system, and with the help of a heavy thumb on the scale, he breaks even, even though the place is never crowded, and never really clean.

January 19, 2010

I couldn't reach my colleague for a few days. "He's probably in Haiti," a student says, "He goes wherever he can help." "Yes, he was in the field hospital at Gaza last year," another student added with admiration. Nothing like helping others, I say, even when it goes unnoticed except for the people helped.

January 19, 2010

In the morning, while I was still half asleep, my friend called and got an earful about my hairdresses. You know me, these things never bother me, but from sitting around three hours with a wet head I now have a full blown sinus cold. A few hours later, Vitale himself called to apologize profusely and formally. Now why wasn't it me to give him the dressing-down he deserved? I didn't have the energy. I had told him all my complaints all along the way, but I was too polite and he didn't take them seriously. Maybe Lieberman was right to do what he did with the Turks? I considered that possibility for a moment. But then the comparison fell apart, because there is one great difference between my hairdresser/me and the Turkish government/Israel. My hairdresser needs my business. He isn't being bought by someone else.

January 20, 2010

I have to warn you - this is my time of year to do research, and since proper research is not easy in this country, I'm travelling. So my reports, such as they are, may become a bit different in their perspective.

Watching Bill Moyers interview with Richard Goldstone I am on the one hand unhappy with the accusations, unhappy with the Prime Minister's lack of participation with Goldstone. On the other hand, I am impressed with the entire presentation of the interview, happy that the questions are raised. Some of Goldstone's conclusions are patently wrong, but some need investigation. But it has been long clear that we need to do our own investigation, our own report, and it is terrible that we have not published it.

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