Tel Aviv Diary March 13-18, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 13-18, 2018 Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 13, 2018

just can't take the pressure. 1. elections 2. medical procedures. my doctor called me this morning to make sure i don't weasel out of my FNA this thursday. he made the appointment himself. this is where they stick needles into my thyroid to see if any of the nodules are cancerous. i've done it a few times before and probably complained about it in these pages. no anesthesia, just some Russian saying 'keep still' while you literally stick your neck out for the needles. 3. the IAWE - i do all the leg work. go to the post office to get the mail, go to the bank to deposit money, send out the journal, etc. and i get none of the credit. no one even says thank you. 4. PEN - months ago we agreed to get the signatures of the most well-known writers so we can start it up again. and we didn't do it. so i called a meeting in a very inconvenient place that's near the train station so the woman from Haifa could easily get there, and two of the three other people involved didn't show. my afternoon was wasted - it took me almost a half an hour to find parking there - not to mention the woman from Haifa. and we could get nothing done without them. 5. the insurance informed us that because our damage was 'third party' they don't cover it, so even though the water damage is from a communal pipe, it was in our neighbor's house, and only they get compensation. that really got to me.

otherwise everything is fine.

March 14, 2018

and today is another day. thank goodness.

and a great day it was. Netanyahu backed down and claims he won.

so here's a slice of a long day: i am walking around Dizengoff Center with a five year old grandchild holding a bag of new t-shirts and tights. she sees some pajamas in a underwear shop window and walks in. the saleslady greets her and asks if she would like to buy a bra. The kid answers in the negative. "a bathing suit then?" she offers a padded girdle-like affair. the child shakes her head. i pretend to be interested in a night shirt and admire it. "i'll come back with grandpa" I say vaguely. "Why do you need grandpa?" the kid asks. The salesperson immediately interjects, "So he can pay for it."

And so the child learns a lesson on female life.

the other kid was starring in a foreign language film:

March 15, 2018

ides of march - but so far so good. Ezi and Shawn managed to figure out what was missing in the hall of the Yiddish writers that could allow me to do a powerpoint and they think they have the pieces. it only took a morning. late afternoon was devoted to the FNA I have been so terrified of for the past year. I went in, having forgotten my health card and barely managing to bring the doctor's recommendation, and full of tranquilizers. soon i was in the doctor's office, with a nurse and a recorder, and despite my qualms and complaints, got the two biopsies in my neck within minutes. within two hours i was home, and that's when i began to unravel. as much as i knew that all my joint pain and my head aches were psychosomatic, i was too exhausted to move.

and it is behind me.

March 16, 2018

no nap today. there was a terrorist attack and i can't even think of sleeping. maybe for the reason i can't sleep in a plane. personal responsibility. we may argue all day long and disagree about everything but we actually do feel responsible for each other. that's why we interfere in each others' lives so much.

did i mention that the paper boy skipped the english version of Haaretz today, so Ezi ran after him and he apologized that he had no more and gave us Jerusalem Post instead. also Yidiot and Yisrael Hayom as compensation. The Post was a real pleasure. I discovered my friend Mark in a feature, and then while i was leafing through the pages, a little piece about my own launch.

In general I discovered what a nice place this country is. it really is a lovely country is you don't pay attention to the politics, which has never been clean. Reading the new book by Ehud Barak, on the other hand, every page seems to reek with corruption, his own as well as the others.

March 17, 2018

An amazing book launch at Ruth Abraham's house. The South African representation was impressive, and their support of each other admirable. Americans don't stick together that way in Israel.

one of the reasons restaurants are so noisy in Israel is that everybody brings their kids. and the kids - when they're not allowed their phones - make noise. we went out today to the balcony of Grand Cafe, where it is usually relatively quiet.

it was hell. i heard almost nothing of what was said at our table, and the baby banging with her spoon across the porch gave me a migraine. my 'medium well' was almost raw, and the kids grabbed my chips until i stuck my fork in someone's hand. i'm not a gentle grandmother when it comes to food.

My food, that is.

March 18, 2018

As we were driving home from an usually full day of shopping, listening to gentle rock music on the radio, I began to have withdrawal symptoms from the news. How is that we have not heard any updates since 9 in the morning and here it is 4 p.m.? Immediately we changed the channel as the newscaster explained "in case you have not yet heard, there was a terrorist stabbing today in Jerusalem. The victim was taken to the Shaare Zedek hospital and will soon be operated on." By the time we got home the operation was about to begin and is still going on.

want to read my latest book? It's here. the invitation for the launch is here