Tel Aviv Diary June 28 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - June 28-July 2, 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 28, 2006

Tomorrow - pay attention - at the opera. You call for tickets. You go to the opera next to the library. You get your tickets in the box office. You go around the side. It starts at 8:30. We're on second.

Wouldn't it be nice if everything around here was that simple?

We got kids disappearing around here - we're operating in Gaza - and i better get out of here because we're getting our websites hacked like crazy since yesterday.

From the waiting room of the gynecologist, a communal sigh emerges as I walk in. There are three very pregnant women and an old timer my age. They are watching the silent television that hangs high on the wall of the waiting room and is showing the afternoon news, and as i look up, the picture of the kidnapped teenager's identity card fills the screen. "Oh, how will it end?" one of the woman says. I am still looking at the tv and say without thinking, "he's gone." Then I look down and see that all of the women are horrified at my words, and I add, "Maybe they'll trade."

I don't believe it.

June 29, 2006

The funeral is today. Now how do we go on tonight with a totally irrelevant show about how to recognize the 'other' after such brutal murder? Me, I escape.

I've been looking up a language Ezi and I have been discussing for many years - Lachoudisch. It is a dialect of German, still spoken in a small town in Germany, with many Hebrew words in it. You can look at a partial dictionary here:< a href="">Schopfloch is the name of the town. Words that aren't there are the ones i remember that Jews must have taught their neighbors to make fun of them, like "tumeh" for 'church' and 'ganif' for policeman. Nevertheless the presence of this language awakens in me a whole world that must have existed there between the Jews and the Germans, a world of relative, and ironic, peace.

June 30,2006

Apologies to all those people who could not get tickets last night - but I TOLD you to book in advance.

You missed a great show. At least our part was great. We were stuck backstage at the opera for hours so I could not tell you anything more than that the first part was long. Here we are back stage.

July 1, 2006

Reviews? just in hebrew




Noone mentions that the poetry was in English - which just goes to show you how acceptable it is in Tel Aviv, and how comfortable people are in English (or that they didn't want to admit that they understood not a word).

You may know that there is an ongoing 'discussion' about language around here - how to promote the dominance of Hebrew. Shop signs, for example, have to be in Hebrew, and some radio stations play only Hebrew songs. I get alternately harrassed and ignored for writing poetry in English. Anything written in English here is considered a kind of betrayal of Hebrew, or a provinciality that indicates alienation from the communal culture. And indeed we Anglo writers are a wierd bunch - individuals bound only by a common language. There's little support or desire to support each other.

And almost no agreement about politics.

July 2,2006

Gaza may be facing a humanitarian crisis but we are into the world cup.

Whoops - lost the whole story. This is the flaw of writing on line. Maybe tomorrow I will reproduce it. But not right away - got to visit the Bahai Temple.

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