Tel Aviv Diary July 12-7, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - July 12-17, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

July 17, 2016

"A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our live...s". Anyone remember Walter Cronkite and his show "You Are There"?

Never mind. Last night we saw a play by Jean Claude Greenberg called "The Workshop" translated from the French into Hebrew. It's about a clothing workshop between 1945-1951 in Paris, and the effect of the war. the protagonist is a holocaust survivor looking for her lost husband and finishing clothing in this workshop. She finally gets the response that her husband died in transit and six years after the war ends she goes completely crazy. This was a spoiler, huh. Except that I knew people exactly like that. They weren't in Paris. They found their way to Rochester after the war. Willy Neisner, for example. A short guy with big ears who lived in the Jewish Community Center, where they had rooms for rent for men. I remember I could read at the time - my brother and I sat on either side of him at some event or other and played with this matchbook that said "Congratulations" on it. "Who's getting married?" one of us wrote. "Willy Neisner" the other answered. And we couldn't get Willy to smile at our game. That was the last time we saw him. He hung himself in his room.

There were others.

And whenever I meet my Aushwitz-graduate neighbor I embrace her as if I were embracing all of them

July 13, 2016

Spent the morning doing blood tests and then getting my shoes fixed back to where they were before my last operation.

and visiting friends. once again i have to apologize to the dear friends i had to put off - this was was much harder than the last one. much harder emotionally. and when i get through this i will throw a party for all of you who tried to help me.

July 13, 2016

found a doctor. first doctor to see me since my operation. my own doctor went on vacances and left a blood test request that i couldn't uncover until today when i went to the health clinic in person. after that things went quickly. the results are in and i'm still incredibly anemic. my doctor won't be back for another month and then it will take forever to get an appointment. then my trainer suggested some guy - i called. he answered. he said to come in 2 hours. he looked at my scar. he looked at my partial test results. he said i am fine and need to recuperate. even picked up on my humor and warned me not to eat iron girders because the building will fall down.

July 14, 2016

le jour de l'indépendance est arrivée. Ah, that Marseillaise. I have to admit that song is pretty bloody and the older I get the less I have a taste for blood. And yet this is a great day in the history of civilization.

In a mischievous mood today I had a discussion with a cab driver about the economy. he said it was good. (He works on a payroll for a private company). I suggested that capitalism could be improved upon with cooperation. "Like socialism?" he hissed. "Like kibbutzim?" Not necessarily I said, knowing he has to be polite to me, but not wanting to pull his chain too far. like cooperation. I give him some example of different people working together for mutual benefit even though they are not of the I swallow the word 'race.' "I understand!" he says, "Like when the religious open their homes to out-of-town guests they don't know because there's a wedding in the community!" okay, I say. That's a start. "Even when you don't know these people and they might be from another sect." At that moment I realized he was talking from personal experience. He was frowning very seriously as if remembering an unpleasant incident. But I couldnt leave it alone. You know, I said, a lot of the Arab communities are learning that they achieve much more when they all work together to improve their schools, and to try to establish public areas open to all. I was thinking of my friend in Teibe's invitation to Idl Fiter and her work to join Arabs and Jews together.

This was going too far for him, and even though we had spent more than a pleasant hour together, he started looking for a way to change the subject.

July 15, 2016

We sat on the beach tonight, our backs to all the tourists and Arab families eating ice cream. Ezi had his phone app on tracking planes and he pointed out two planes one after another landing in Ben Gurion. Turkish domestic aircraft. "They're coming straight at us!" I tell Sabine, and she turns on the flashing light on her bike helmet in order to warn them not to hit us. We joke around about this strange event for a while before we go home to discover there is indeed unrest in Turkey. what kind of revolution is going on there? The news in Israel seems to know more than CNN.

July 16, 2016

Indeed, if you want to know about what's going on in the middle east, watch Israel television. Or Heller is always on the spot - today in the middle of a demonstration in Turkey. And the reporters don't hesitate to criticize the 'demockracy'. I don't get it. CNN must have millions and millions of dollars compared to our teensy budget and yet we have Or Heller everywhere.

I seem to have a snap hip. it creaks when i walk. got to do an x ray tomorrow and see what i screwed up. This is not a good country to be limited in motion.

July 17, 2016

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