Tel Aviv Diary - June 10-14. 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary -June 10, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

we're celebrating Bloomsday on June 16 this year. I've often wondered why we don't do it here at the university in the English department, but as soon as studies end, at the beginning of June, most of my colleagues leave the country to do their research elsewhere, and the students are stuck with studying for exams. this year, though, we're doing it at the Irish Ambassador's. The right way. There are pubs here who celebrate the day with Irish folksongs but most Israelis have no idea of its existence. let's face it, this is the book that no one has read. but when you do read it, you realize his genius. Anyway, it has been a great pile of work for me so far, and I've neglected my thoughts a bit on line. I've especially neglected my html and didn't realize last week was missing a link. not until I got an anxious phone call from a far away friend.

Oh yes, there were the holidays. Shavuot, Eid El Fitr, Pentecost - it seems like we celebrate them all. the only holiday I felt I missed out on was Shavuot, I would have liked to spend the night studying or dancing or singing folk songs....

and maybe its just the desire to cling to something solid - like tradition - even if it isn't quite perfect.

June 11, 2019

I've been to a number of board meetings this season - somehow i wind up as a member of all kinds of charitable institutions - and all of them suffer from the same problem - poverty. less money then they had planned for. at least the English writers didn't buy a building and remodel it. it makes me feel so much better about the board meeting of the Israel Association of Writers in English that we're holding next week. We at least have enough money to publish the next journal.

we had planned to spend a month in New York so we could enjoy some sophistication for a change, but since the elections have come up we cut our time to two weeks and will now be running around like crazy trying to get basic business accomplished. i'm not optimistic about the elections but i'm desperate. so are we all.

June 12, 2019

Pride. From the window of my grandchildren they will be able to see the Gay Pride parade begin. No parking on their street from Thursday night until Friday afternoon. The flags are all over Tel Aviv. "What are they?" I ask the 8 year old and at first he says - oh they're left over from Independence Day, but later, when i say they're about gay pride, he says, "Oh, so you know about them! So why did you ask me?" He's got friends whose parents are L or B or G or whatever. what am i treating him like a kid for? who's protecting whom? But how can i tell him that in 1965 i sat in a parking lot hugging a bawling friend as we sat outside a gay bar he had escaped from because of his terrifying guilt? It was 2 in the morning outside a place called "Dave's" if I'm not mistaken, and that guy was dead of AIDs by 1984 when i finally found some who knew him.

we're listening to Nathan Brand's radio program from yesterday on 103 - when to my surprise he read a poem of mine. It's been a while since I've been read famous at all.

Listen to it here.

June 11, 2019

One additional point to add to the LBTG education. I would really like to see hetero education as well - relations, sexual and otherwise.

My Indian student is taking a course in conflict resolution - and i didn't think to ask her until today what the nationalities of the other students are. Guess what, they are not local. Of course the course is in English so it shouldn't be surprising, but it suddenly gave me a jolt.

Apropos conflict resolution, the absence of activity on the part of the political party contesting the reigning party was explained to me tonight. Someone asked, "why don't generals get into fishing when they retire?" and the answer was, "they don't have anyone to hold the fishing pole."

June 14, 2019

rockets in the south and gay pride in tel aviv. the bubble is impervious.

Is there a way to light a fire under Benny Ganz? His last name means goose. What if Barak starts his own party? Will Ganz join him? Will they be able to form a coalition? Will we ever be able to make peace or has the escalating mutual damage become too much to forgive? tune in this summer to see if we have a war that will skew the elections.

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