Tel Aviv Diary May 22-26, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

- May 22, 2008

Lag B'Omer - when we were younger we supervised bonfires for the kids, but this year we're just keeping the windows closed so the smell of burning wood that covers the land doesn't get to us.

On the other hand, I had the opportunity to walk along the Yarkon River today and it was magnificent. The water appeared pure, the red kayak passing by a perfect addition, and the water birds blissful. All the stories I've ever heard about the Yarkon was that it was poisonous - Ezi's uncle contracted Billhartzia from the river years and years ago. But today it seems idyllic. So things don't always get worse around here.

May 23, 2008

Fridays are not usually a good day for cats at the university. They don't get fed well because the students aren't usually around. But because the people are gone the animal life is more obvious - and apparently the generous feeding of the cats has resulted in the death of many of the smaller local birds, leaving the air free for the crows. So even though I hear thousands of birds around my nearby home, on campus the music is more restricted. The politics around here works the same way - you have to be very careful about disturbing the balance, even when it seems like a good thing.

May 24, 2008

These are perfect days - the birds are incredibly happy and the sky is blue. We're investigating some infected surgical scars on Ezi but it looks like we'll be going out to lunch at Babba's on the beach. If it comes through this will be the milestone of the week, since we were in a weak state of quarentine for the past five days. But how can one neglect this wonderful air, the breeze, the sea? My alternate plan, to walk along the river with Sara, is also amazing. And I keep hearing that all the things I missed during the week, "Fiddler on the Roof," the Tel Aviv book party at Kastiel, Tom Stoppard, etc. were equally amazing. That's another thing I like about this city, a plethora of alternatives.

Babia's on the beach - don't go there - we got there about 2:15 and had some lemonade. it was empty and we got served a pitcher of lemonade right away. But by the time our friends arrived, it was full and it took half an hour for them to get glasses. The food was banal and the service slow as molasses. "I don't understand it," my friend said, "it was great a few months ago." Maybe it will be good again tomorrow. And I'm willing to take the chance because there was one thing they couldn't ruin, the magnificent view of the sea.

May 25, 2008

Morning coffee at Nona. Try it sometime. The street is full of cafes - there are well over 400 in Tel Aviv, and somehow there are always people sitting there. We had a standard business meeting and I was sorry I hadn't brought my laptop because internet is free.

Some of the subjects of conversation at the cafes are 1. Shimon Peres, who some say is eating his heart out that he lost his chance to become Prime Minister now and 2. Boaz Mauda who didn't win the Eurovision contest but made a fair showing. I wasn't crazy about the song, but there is a real power in his voice.

Appropos singers, there is a video to Bob Dylan's "Neighborhood Bullies" that is a bit over the top for me: here.

May 26, 2008

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home