Tel Aviv Diary - March 30 -April 3, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 30-April 3, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Landing in Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon is always hard. If you need food the supermarkets are closed, and this time because Sunday is the beginning of the holiday they will only be open in the morning. And then they're crowded and the food is not terribly fresh, since they're waiting for after the holiday to stock up. So I made sure we had enough food to keep us for the weekend. But I was afraid to buy meat since we had a refrigerator accident the last time we went away and had to throw out all the food. And tomorrow is holiday so I have to invite children for dinner. 13 people. So despite the coughing and the chills we went to Tiv Tam this afternoon. Not only is it open but there was no room to maneuver a cart there. Crowded is not the word.

My major activity today though was thinking about Sayyed Kashua and his column about returning home from a lecture tour in North American - how he was questioned from all directions about his writing in Hebrew, his Arab identity, and how he just wants to be able to say what he thinks. He's the extreme example, but we all feel it in some way. In Tiv Tam I felt it more. The supermarket is Russian, not-kosher, not-Jewish, and I am there to prepare for Passover...

March 31, 2013-April 1, 2013

Can't stop coughing, even got to the point where I think I was hallucinating - feeling a blow to my head when I was trying to sleep. So I'm going to skip Ezi's maphtera and the Mimuna tomorrow.

I've never been crazy about the Mimuna, that Moroccan addition to Passover that consists primarily of eating fried dough soaked in honey, but now that I'm feeling so lousy the idea of celebrating, even if there is no logical reason for it, sounds good to me. Google's April 1 joke, the one about introducing Google Nose would have been great for me today. The heavy dust in the air here is probably contributing to my malaise, but the fact that I can't smell the gorgeous spring hiding out there in the garden is just awful. Never mind, as long as I can't smell what's going on in Syria, Korea, and the rest of the warring world, I'm okay.

April 2, 2013

Another day of television. Except for an excursion to the pharmacy. Where were the pharmacies in Hungary? I was looking all over and the only one I found in Siofok was closed without explanation. Before I needed one, I passed a few in Budapest - they were all small, hard to find, dingy. But I may have been busy looking at the impressive buildings.

A pharmacy in time might have saved me this illness now. And our doctor is not back from vacation now so I have to self medicate. Fortunately it's all cheap. A little cough medicine, some antihistamine, aspirin, nose drops and all that stuff. And then a little peek into the extensive cosmetic department for some comfort and cheer, which is just as important as kleenex. Thank goodness also for the wonderful pharmacists with their sense of humor that does not diminish their care. I am sure there is a reason so many of our pharmacists are Arab, but I don't have it figured out yet.

Then back to bed and television.

April 3, 2013

(Cough cough) I think it's almost over, but a new symptom has appeared, a total inability to watch the news. Somehow it all seems mad to me - with the exception of the seasonal interest in Holocaust survivors.

It isn't a sham - many of the people now running the country are children of survivors who left us with the need to find s reason, a purpose for their survival.

"that's what I need? a cortizone shot?" "Well you could do physiotherapy," "I do that already." "And you could do an operation." "Now?" "Are you fasting?" "Never." "Then let's rule that out for now." It may be my ditzy personality that elicits strange answers from doctors, but this was one at the end of a long day of babysitting, wrong doctor at wrong address, then right doctor with long waiting list.

At least I have a smiley bandaid to come home with.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home