Tel Aviv Diary - May 23-27, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 28, 2014

I think it was the heat today. Almost everyone I met was behaving strangely. Including me. It got so bad I turned on the air conditioner - the humidity seemed unbearable. Summer hasn't begun yet. We absolutely must get to the beach. I feel like I'm repeating myself over and over and maybe even gossiping. My friends stopped me tonight when I started gossiping about someone who told me some juicy stories about our politicians - thank goodness. I seem to fall into that pattern whenever I'm overheated...

I asked to be dropped off on the other side of my house - it was late, and my friends worried that I would have to walk alone in the dark. We have these stairs going up from the main street that I always call "the path of death" because it is so dark and steep, but I never thought of being afraid before my friends seemed so frightened. Anyway their remarks gave me a reality check, just like my other friends did before. What really is the situation on the streets of Tel Aviv at night? I've never found them to be more scary at night then in the day.

May 29, 2014

Tomorrow is going to be hot. 35 degrees. Today was a perfect day as far as weather is concerned. And the news that Peres will be praying with the pope in the Vatican on Shvuot. I don't need more.

Some very sweet guests who just arrived in Tel Aviv were introduced to me and for some reason I responded to the question of what they should see in the city with "nothing." Later I grabbed the wife to apologize and explain that the city itself is the living breathing site. I think of the way everything is easily lined up along the sea and is accessible and open to the eye. Is it because I've recently been wandering around Berlin and Rome and find the real wonders of both cities only occasionally open to the world outside. Oh sure the tourist attractions are there, and they are amazing, but the life is not.

May 30, 2014

Hana Maron died tonight. Have I written about her before in these pages? I don't remember. I haven't spoken with her in a few years, and don't know if she received the film we sent her of her Hanoch Levin poetry recital in Sde Boker a few years ago. She was an amazing actress and a deep deep person.

Looking for a way out we found ourselves wandering through the tunnels of Ichilov hospital this evening. Here it's taken me years to find my way around the hospital and now that I understand where things are I discover a whole floor I never knew about. An underground maze, ready for disaster.

May 31, 2014

Disaster. it seems we keep just avoiding it - a suicide bomber yesterday, a stabbing, a riot - like we're dancing on the lid to keep it down instead of turning off the stove. but there's no chef.

A group of women walking down the street in old Jaffa, all totally veiled. I turn to Ezi and say, "Nit fun unzere." (Yiddish for 'not one of our people).

What I thinking was that women in Jaffa may wear Hijabs, but I've never seen a local woman with her face covered. Is it that I have not been around enough? In any case the men we saw ,plater seemed to be Indonesian or Indian and certainly not local.

June 1, 2014

My friend Liz constantly reminds me that I don't know enough Palestinians personally - but today when I thought of it I realized I don't know many people personally right now. My knee and back pain have overwhelmed me. This statement on this page will force me to become more active in combating the problem in the future months. I promise to check back on this subject as soon as I have visited all the relevant doctors.

Or at least some of the relevant doctors.

But staying home and watching television can also be enlightening. Within the Eye of the Storm was just shown on Israel TV and it was enlightening. Not only because it talks about the feelings of a Jewish and a Palestinian father on the death of their daughters, but also because it is so critical of the occupation and is screened on national tv. Watch it - you'll see why.

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