Tel Aviv Diary - March 3-7, 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 3-7, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 3, 2009

The point i was trying to make yesterday is that we are not seeing things in proportion. I don't mean the victims of Ponzi schemes who have no way to continue any kind of secure existence, but the general population who have a little less than they had before. This kind of half-glass empty half-glass full thinking is no where more obvious than in our reporting of the lack of water in the Sea of Galilee. We even turn the level of the water into a competitive game we're losing. The weatherman says "we've had 30 centimeters added to the sea of galilee, but we're still missing 5 meters to rise to the minimum red line."

Don't I sound like a crochety old lady, maybe with a few hairs on her chin? Well, I'm celebrating - having had the last of my stitches out this morning. So even though the writers association doesn't have enough money to pay its bills, and even though more than one writer owes me money, I'm celebrating.

March 4, 2009

I may have to give up the concept of writing a tel aviv blog - after all, i'm too busy to enjoy the city. i'd like to - really. It isn't hard. I just passed by the local grocery and all the guys are sitting in the sun on plastic chairs with their feet up enjoying the respite from the rain. A beer, a backgammon board, what more do you need?

Me I'm getting busy with a whole bunch of poetry contests, classes, lectures, and of course, the 26th of March at the Einav Center,

March 5, 2009

I can't talk about politics any more," Sharon says. "Can't watch the news, can't read the papers, can't listen to the radio." I know what he means. The feeling of helplessness, of being taken over by monsters, is a recent trauma that goes on top of all the others.

March 6, 2009

It was a day for walking. The weather is so warm it would have been perfect to go to the sea, but there's no swimming because of a sewage leak, and anyway we're too lazy, so we discovered our neighborhood. And there, in the middle of the quiet suburban houses, we found a new Chabad house. It looks like a regular home, and if i hadn't been told (grocers gossip) I wouldn't have noticed the picture of the Rabbi from Lubovitch in the window. But they sent around flyers of a megillah reading on Monday so i wanted to check it out. There is also another house, just down the street from us, that seems to be given over to the same purpose, and there is no doubt Ramat Aviv is becoming religious. Getting ready for Shabbat we went to the local pharmacy for our drugs, and were overwhelmed by the increase in the religious population at the learning center next to the dormitories that are mostly inhabited by Arab students. As the Arab pharmacist brought us the boxes and boxes of medications, I watched the hatted and bearded men stocking up as well. There is something about the uniformity of their dress and fashion that makes them almost invisible to me - they appear interchangable until I look deeply into their eyes. Then they become individuals. Unfortunately, however, they have been taught to avoid eye contact, and it is usually very difficult for me to strike up a conversation. I don't give up though. The very thought that I could be overlooking human beings as individuals so frightens me that I always make a concerted effort.

March 7, 2009

While rockets fall in the south, we enjoy the Sabbath - visiting a new baby in the family, shopping for gifts, visiting friends, ignoring the work on my desk. The weather is my favorite - Chamsin - and the pleasure of it is intensified by the knowledge that tomorrow will rain. If only we could have the alternating warmth and cold.

Yes, we're doing a show - it's in Hebrew and English. My stuff is basically in English - and is the musical and majority of the evening. Better get tickets in advance.

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