Tel Aviv Diary January 6-10, 2020 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - January 6-10 2020- Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 6,2020

what a beautiful day it was - a little respite before the next storm. we should have walked to the beach and had a beer but both of us have too much work so we wound up taking no advantage of the few moments of sun. Anyway, I think, we've got a short time before the Iranians respond to their hatred of the US by hitting us hard. like the Iraqis did in the Gulf War. Hard to enjoy oneself in this climate.

January 7, 2020

What was this day like? After our morning gym we drove to Netanya where Ezi had a minor surgical procedure and were back home by noon. but then there were chores and no time to rest so we got to the wedding with no rest. and the wedding was big, noisy and with lots of food and dancing. Our companions are very right-wing and yet very nice, and they are not at all worried about Iran or Iraq.

January 8, 2020

And now we're back into it. intermittent storms. One moment clear, then half an hour pouring rain and thunder. it's my summer dream - and now winter nightmare. The ground has absorbed as much as it can, and now the water runs on all the streets. I tried and failed to put up a video of a couple floating through tel aviv like the couple on the bow of the Titantic, until the camera pulls away and they're on the roof of a car floating window-deep down the street. It's funny but i'd hate to be on the streets now. We came home before the great thunder and lightning, and the guy we were meeting had his umbrella broken and his glasses torn off his face and broken from the wind only an hour before. I don't expect to last the night with electricity.. i even cancelled my appointment at the post office tomorrow.

You know that, don't you? If i want to send a letter from the US I put the stamped letter outside my mailbox and the postman picks it up. Here, I have to go to the post office, wait in line, and send it off - hoping it will get there. But of course i could slide the stamped letter in the mail - still hoping. Yes the mails are pretty horrible here. I was incredibly pleased that with the new system I could make an appointment and not wait in those long lines. But when the letter took forever to get to its destiny, i lost some of my enthusiasm.

January 9, 2020

I had just come home from an exhibit on autobiography - self-portrait, and was thinking how much i had to say about the subject of self-analysis in today's world of instagram, when i fell asleep. the concept of self-reflection made me fall asleep, . It's like that poem I wrote once about the excitement of a new state:


As soon as you begin to wheel the carriage
the baby inside stops crying
as if any where else
has got to be
better than here.

Usually his eyes
open wide in anticipation,
but very soon he falls fast asleep

from the very monotony
of that hope.

January 10, 2020

The cafe was crowded this afternoon and evening. Not my cafe - i don't have a cafe in my neighborhood where i can be found every day. My friend has a cafe where no one but she went when it was pouring. And today when the sun came out, so did all the customers. And so did we.

In the old days there were cafes that i always visited - the writers' cafe in the writers' house on Friday afternoons before 3, and after 3 Cassit. Sometimes I went to Stern too. Some people still meet at Mersand, but they aren't people i really know, and i so miss the atmosphere of the sleezy Cassit, and the dingy Writers' cafe, that i can't imagine where to go. Maybe I should do something about it. My friend's cafe, Toseret Haaretz, is too far away to visit regularly, but even though my visits are far between, the owner, Michel, always remembers me and has something personal to say. That's what a regular cafe should be like.

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