Tel Aviv Diary March 16-20,2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 16, 2007 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 16, 2007

No, I'm still in NY. Sleet, cold, and a hotel without water for the morning and no rooms after noon. Flights are so far ok, but tonight who knows. "Why should this bother you?" a friend says, "you're going to get nuked soon."

March 17, 2007

Still here - a horrendous evening at the airport ended at my poor niece's apartment in Hoboken past midnight. We were too tired to think about dinner, fell asleep in our clothes. And now we don't know if we'll get on a plane tonight. If Ezi didn't have flu it might have been bearable, but no food at the airport, three and a half hours standing in line with our suitcases, and the total incompetence of the few airlines people remaining to take care of us was too much when added up. I kind of compared the sense of total desertion in Newark to the sense we had in the war that our leaders didn't know what to do part of the time. The difference was that in Continental I really felt that nobody was home, they gave up on us. In Israel I always feel people take on responsibility for everything, whether they actually can do something or not.

And here I am at the airport again. We're still on standby and the plane is frozen to the tarmac. Israelis do not understand this. They are worried, upset, waiting. This is not only a Jewish trait - Mohammed Bahkri is also on the verge of losing it. One guy is trying to make his father's funeral that was postponed from yesterday because of the cancellation. Some woman told me her daughter is giving birth and has no one to be with her. Another man has an operation scheduled. Why am i in a rush? I've got grades to give in, classes to teach, and a headache this big.

The only difference between yesterday and today is that the staff is very human and understanding, and that helps.

March 19,2007

Since both of us have fevers and sweats, holding ourselves together, unable even to pick up the dog from Hagit's, my diary is not yet about Tel Aviv again. Wait.

No - either I'm really too sick, or the news is too complicated for me. I can't figure out what's going on around here. I mean in the U.S. I turn on the news - there's a robbery, maybe a killing, a parade, and the weather. That's it. Here there are far too many issues. There may be a murder, but it's incidental. The national news are what counts. Even the simplest details are complex. Take for example, the war this summer. It was only declared a war today. We don't have a name for it yet, although the historians are working on it. It may be the Second Lebanon War, or the War to Save the North, but whatever cliche title is chosen, I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion and maybe a bribe or two.

March 20, 2007

I have no idea what this literary event is going to be like. I only know that this afternoon on "The Zohar, Poetry and the Portion of the week" is going to be interesting. At the Writers' House on 6 Kaplan Street on March 30, Orna Rav-Hon is going to host Rafi Weichert, Gad Yacobi, Meiron Isaacson and me and we're going to read poetry. The point of the whole event i think is to create more positive vibrations at the Writers' House which has been in great disarray for years primarily due to bad feelings. It's at 11 next Friday morning.

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