Tel Aviv Diary July 29-August 2, 2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - July 29-August 2, 2007

July 29, 2007


Not only the famed tunnels and battlements, where you can see anywhere on the web, but the streets alone have their surprises and fascinations:

We wound up in the famed Abu Christo where the people behind me - seen enjoying their meal - complained loudly at the end that the food wasn't good and they weren't going to pay.

The food was fine, but the sight of the boys in the water was even more pleasurable.

We're going to Herod's tomb today in a family trip with the archeologist. Then maybe I'll have time to get back to work, and to explain some of these photographs.

July 30, 2007

We didn't make it Herod's, but we wound up at the Ben Tovim family dinner. Because Ezi's grandparents were in Israel during the Holocaust, there are hundreds of Ben Tovims running around. Because my grandparents were all in Lithuania, there are almost no survivors. And last night, with such great conversations and memories being shared, I suddenly remembered the beginning of Henry Taylor's poem, "Riding a One-Eyed Horse": "One side of his world is always blind."

One story about the old days: This young man goes to the burial society to buy a plot for himself. The ancient man in charge takes his money and is asked for a receipt. "No, it's okay," he answers, "I'll remember."

July 31, 2007

I am a woman of many hats. Literally. A few years ago when I realized that the brown spots in my face would only grow no matter how much sun screen I use I began wearing that ugly headgear that always looks pretentious and gives you hat hair no matter how short your cut is. Hats give you some shade from the violent glare too.

So when I read that Ehud Barak was promising a protective umbrella for Israel I thought first of the way it would negate the need for a hat. It would be like a steel net that would deflect bombs, maybe with elastic in it so that the bombs would spring back to the sender like in the cartoons. I stayed with that vision for a few minutes at breakfast until Ezi began giving me technical details of the chetz and other engineering wonders. Somehow the whole thing doesn't sound convincing. Those Patriot missiles didn't do much good in the Gulf War. Maybe I can get a steel and elastic hat.

August 1, 2007

By popular request, here are just a few more pictures by Ezi Gut who has been giving my perspective of things, here Ka'alot Nimrod:

So when we were in Akko I made him photograph a restaurant by the water:

We didn't take enough good pictures of Ezi's quest to find the Nahariya he used to visit in the summers. He used to stay -whar - fifty years ago - at Mrs. Cohen's Boarding House, he said, but for a moment didn't remember exactly where it was. For a moment. But then he took his bearings by the water tower:

The house isn't there any more, and I don't see the point of showing photographs of some plain apartment complex.

August 2, 2007

Although I have repeatedly kvetched about Ramat Aviv G and the strip mall there, I keep finding myself running errands in the mall this week. I hate its gold pretentiousness, its senseless conspicuious consumption, the sense of shopping as potlatch. Today as I was buying one of those token gifts, a bar of scented soap, the manager stlowed down my petty transaction to berate the salesgirl for not treating a well-paying customer with the proper servility. "She was really rude," the girl answered, and began explaining the whole story. Normally I would have interrupted or walked out, but they were playing some really danceable Arabic music and I just waited patiently, choreographing the song into a complicated dance in my mind. "I don't care how bad her manners were," the manager said, in an irritated tone, "she was buying a lot of stuff. You'll ruin the reputation of the shop this way."

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Home

you are visitor numberCounter