Tel Aviv Diary May 23-27, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary --May 23-7, 2018 Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 23, 2018

so what's new? the day started with blood tests. it took less than half an hour to go in, register, and get stabbed, and by the afternoon part of the tests are already back. UTI. no wonder i can barely move.

Nevertheless I move. There is too much to do and the weather became more bearable today, After a terrible heat wave - that prefigures a terrible summer. I guess we'll have to get away at last for a while.

But the big news is that Oren is coming back - in less than a week.

May 24, 2018

All my day I was busy with banal but important things - doctor, pharmacy, university, babysitting, doctor. we ran late and missed the gallery opening in Kfar Saba but we were comforted by watching "The Good Fight" which doesn't cease to amaze me - getting to close to reality, but with a sense of humor that cuts through the madness of contemporary society. It seems to make life possible.

As we were leaving the hospital for the parking garage I saw a number of signs that said 'exit', so even though it wasn't the usual way we would leave, I dragged Ezi to the door. What we found was a series of doors and as we went through each door it was beginning to look like we were rats in a maze with no cheese at the end. and then an elderly woman in a uniform appeared. Upon questioning, it turned out that she only spoke russian, and when we asked her where the garage was she shook her head, "ne znayu," she answered. "auto," I said. "ne znayu." that's a phrase we know well - I don't know - because we hear it so much. She took us to the elevators that were hiding in one of the halls, but we shook our heads. and finally she brought us back to where we came. Spasibo I said, thanks. And realized i knew a tiny bit of Russian. It meant nothing to her - everyone should know Russian. But when the pharmacist sent me off with a bag of medicine and I said 'Ramadan kareem' she literally glowed.

May 25, 2018

Did I mention that i had a poem in Ma'ariv yesterday?it's online but there is no way to link to it, and anyway it's in Hebrew. and it really makes sense only in the original yiddish. let me try to make sense of it in English.


There are no photographs,
Not of my grandfather nor my grandmother –
I’ve never even seen a word they wrote

I have never met
My mothers’ sisters or her brothers --
I have never heard their voices
But at times I remember
A few words,
An anecdote,
A reminder
From within,
That they remain.

And they seek a way
To tell their stories,
To show their faces,
To have their voices heard.

Does this work at all?

May 26, 2018

There were three key places I visited today that made impressions on me. First, I visited the Cinematheque to see The Prince and the Dybbuk"crowded with much of the intelligensia of Tel Aviv. Second I 'ran out' to the local pharmacy that is always open on Shabbat and it had closed down two weeks ago. Nothing except a sign that they would be closing on May 15. Even the area around the shop was littered as if it had been deserted for years. So (third) I had to go to the shopping center in Herzlia for my pharmaceutical needs. There too there were crowds - every shop filled with shouting families or groups of teenagers.

I wonder to which crowd I belong.

May 27, 2018

What does it mean to annex territories? Eitan Cabel seems to think it only means making civil law the rule instead of military law. If only it were true. but it also means giving the vote to all the inhabitants who would automatically become citizens, and there are a lot of people who wouldn't be interested in belonging to a Jewish state. And, I would like to remind you all, all the people there would not vote for the people we might think should be leaders.

As I have frequently noted in these pages I hate food shopping and am at my best on the internet. but i overbuy. i can't bear the thought of an empty larder. tonight Ezi took over the task and probably saved us hundreds. and yet my heart was breaking - how can you buy four apples? i was born into rationing to parents who went through periods of hunger. so i overbuy. Ezi, however, was brought up on rationing, and has a tendency to the opposite. Here is a photograph of his mother doing some promo for canned goods sometime in the '50's:

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