Tel Aviv Diary May 19-23, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - May 19-23, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 19, 2017

National Aerobic competition - Noa participated today and got second place in her category. We are proud grandparents but I have never been able to get the idea of competition clear to me. Is it good or is it bad? Do losers gain by competitions? The excellence demonstrated by the winners seems to prove that it is good for individuals and for excellence in society. But there are more losers than winners and sometimes they just give up and resent the whole system. Tonight hundreds of Palestinians are in physical conflict with the Israeli army. Is there any connection? Maybe not. I'm still proud.

May 20, 2017

One of the earliest memories I have of Tel Aviv is of the old bus station. I used to take the bus back from the university at Be'er Sheva (it was a three hour trip) and find myself in Neve Sha'anan where they sold shoes too small for me and at the end of the street felafel to tide me over for the trip to Ramat HaSharon. I had to walk a few blocks to get to my bus, and on the way there would be tapes for sale of music I'd never heard the likes of. At some point I got to know some of the sellers, some of the drivers, some of the places i could stop at after a really hard day and get a few kind words.

But today when we took the tour of the 'new' bus station that replaced the one I went to in the '70's, it was a nightmare. The last time I was there a few months ago, we were focussed on finding the yiddish center, and tried not to look around. This time all the shops were closed and we were taken through the empty dark hallways to the depths of the folly, the giant empty bus floors, the nuclear bomb shelters, the behemoth of the parking lot. it is a place of bats and rats and cats, and it feels it.

We're going back to see it live next week.

May 21, 2017

Spent a little part of the morning trying to figure out what "formal wear" means on the invitation to an award ceremony tonight. Google says tux and long dress. The photos of the ceremonies here, however, show people in dowdy business suits and regular dresses. So I'm covered. It is one of the few joys I have after directing doctoral theses pro bono to see my guys making the big awards.

Dan David Prize, it turns out, is not for the little prize winners but the big ones. And these were really big.

May 22, 2017

Among the prizewinners was one of my favorite human beings, Jamaica Kincaid. To hrst hrt yesterday and today She kept reminding me of what it is to be an individual, a real person, even though I was surrounded by university colleagues.

At night we decided we have to have the kids for saturday lunch. but we don't have time to buy meat. so we went tonight to Tiv Tam the Russian supermarket, but although i thought it was open all night, it closed at 9. next door, however, was Rami Levy, the kosher supermarket favored by the religious. So we bought kosher meat. the thought of two supermarkets, one carrying treif from all over the world, the other carefully kosher, was equally wonderful.


May 23, 2017

So today - while Trump was trying to warm up the Palestinian and Jewish people to get ready to foist the Saudi alternative on them - I was finally convinced to see a PR lady to promote my book and all the other books I've ignored as soon as they were printed. After all, if Trump can succeed through PR alone, then so can I. So I went to see her in the cafe where she meets all her clients - and who knows, maybe she'll be able to get me some reviews.

Yes, I watched Trump on tv and yes, I was impressed. He didn't say anything substantial its true, but his goal was to warm up the participants, to begin to build trust. It may sound crazy, but i think he has a chance.


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