Tel Aviv Diary - January 30-February 3, 2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 30, 2015

Only 49 days until the elections. where can one volunteer to help bring people to the polls? I haven't found it yet. At the protest poetry reading last night i kept wondering whether i have a right to protest if i don't vote.

January 31, 2015

We still haven't cleaned up after last night. Friday night dinner is great, but who wants to waste a shabbat washing the floor. We began our shabbat with looking up Susan Sontag's film on 1974 Israel on youtube with a five hour brunch in which we met most of last night's guests, a few compatriots in the entertainment and literary business, a journalist friend, and, well, interesting people left and right. From there we visited the Eretz Yisrael Museum to see the Georgian film , and only now am I reading the mail of the last couple of days.

Yet the sadness of the week does not leave me. Even the slow and profound film reminded me.

February 1, 2015

A quick trip to south tel aviv - i've almost forgotten what a different and wonderful world it is, the people, the smells, the differences from one block to another. Our visit was to the clock repair man, and the clock we brought to him is the one of Ezi's grandmother whose chimes put me to sleep and wake me in the morning. Leaving the clock at a repair shop would be impossible if i didn't feel it was like leaving it at a place like home.

This little chore helped put the crazy political situation into proportion - to remember the sound of home. Our parties are throwing all kinds of accusations around, but what sounds like it hits the right time. The whole story of Bibi and his misuse of funds is not the real problem. it is that we need to make a home here, a home for all.

February 2, 2015

We may be on the verge of a heat wave, and the skies certainly are summery, but the flu epidemic is harder than usual. Not because of the numbers of of patients, but the lack of space in the hospital, the lack of doctors, the lack of attention to the issue of health even in the elections. In all the political speeches I've been hearing lately I haven't heard a single word about the medical crunch. People are literally dying in hospitals waiting to be seen by an overworked doctor.

I am not in that situation. At best I have a bad cold, and I had a standard mammogram today. The worst part of it was there was something wrong with the computers and there was only one receptionit where there should have been five. but as soon as i finished the forms a technician was waiting for me, led me into a locked room and told me to undress. that was the last thing she said to me. When it was over she told me to get dressed and went out and locked the door. i'm not sure what was going on in her mind but i know how to turn a lock and got out, grabbed the disk and left.

February 3, 2015

After the periodontist sent me for painful x-rays that took my morning, I got a call back from the mammography clinic to come back for more tests. It won't take a minute, the secretary said, but it took hours and moments of agony. While I was waiting the televisions were suddenly turned on and the announcement came of a traffic accident with 50 wounded and killed. Of course all of us turned from our doubts and worries and stared at the screen. "Is it a terrorist attack?" one woman asked. "It could be," someone else noted, and the tragedy turned political. When I got home, at last, and turned back to the television, someone was accusing the government of causing the accident because they didn't fix the narrow road intentionally causing the death of the women who were returning from prayers in Jderusalem. By his accent I realized that it was Arabs who had been killed, and the politicization of the tragedy shifted its axis.

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