Tel Aviv Diary November 1-5, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 1-5, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 1, 2017

We didn't go to Jerusalem this evening. We wanted to. We were all dressed to go, but the traffic of Tel Aviv and the uncertainty of the meeting we had expected somehow kept us from starting out. It seems as if no one is moving anywhere = everyone sitting in their cars and honking.

We were in Tel Aviv for the grandchildren - both of them turned out to have fallen sick during school and were coughing along with the honking of the cars. Now it will be our turn.

November 2, 2017

Cough. cough.

Not really. I'm the only one not coughing. everyone else is sick.

And I'm fine. Strangely able to cover the city today. I started off in Herzlia with an examination in the Apos therapy clinic, continued to lunch with a friend, to the university to look for the lost Gerron book,then to the paradontist who helped me recreate my dental history which i had remembered all wrong. my last stop was at the table of Gavriel Moked at a cafe in Tel Aviv, to pick up my lost copy of the Jerusalem Review. Because of the traffic I decided to take a taxi, but discovered that I couldn't order a taxi by app because i had to update my phone - this was taking so long i couldn't bear it so i took Ezi's phone and ordered a cab. Once in the cab I discovered that Ezi's phone was almost over so I turned it off so i could order a cab home. But when i had to go home, there were no cabs available so i walked a mile to a bus. then at the stop before mine everyone got off and i didn't feel comfortable in an empty bus so i got off too and walked home. this may not be much for a normal person but it was a day with too much in it for me.

The new Jerusalem Review is probably the last. i got a copy in the mail listing me as the deputy editor but i never saw most of the contents. the only pages i saw were the ones i translated but had no idea they would be in the issue and am not credited for it. I understand why he isn't interested in distributing it. it's a shame because there are no literary journals coming out of Israel in English even though there are so many literary events, so many good writers.

November 3, 2017

Two minutes before a guest walks in for dinner and i realize I screwed up my last draft of the yiddish poems and erased the recycle bins of both my computers and my dropbox files. The guest shows up - we have dinner - conversation - fun - the guest leaves and I go back to find the files. Maybe the Frieda Kahlo story about Diego Riviera having lost her first pictures and her second draft being a masterpiece really is right. But it has cost me a year of my life for sure.

November 4, 2017

Lebanon has been in trouble for a while. Like the enormous cockroach i saw in my bathroon last night from whom I quickly shut the door, the strengthening of Iran through Hizballah in Lebanon has been so scary we've been trying to ignore it. Time to wake up. If I were the prime minister of Lebanon, I, like Said Hariri, would get out of there fast. Quit, shut the door, hide under the covers. But unlike me and my cockroach, he's really going to get killed if he doesn't run fast and far. Lebanon is going to be torn apart again soon.

Friend calls up to ask if I'm going to the Rabin memorial tonight. I've got a Bar Mitzvah to attend I answer. Anyway, I think there's going to be trouble there tonight because the right has decided to reclaim its position as the only zionists in the country. We'll see.

She decided not to go.

Now I'm sorry I said that. there were 85 thousand people there and apparently it was a dignified affair.

At the same time we were rejoicing in a nearby celebration hall, for a boy who was born 9 years after the assassination.

I'M CONSIDERING READING THIS LONG LONG DIARY only because it's time i backed it up and maybe considered publishing parts but the thought of it makes me feel that i'll be totally dried up. i don't know how i can do it.

Any volunteers?

November 5, 2017

Many many years ago I inherited a room in a building in a rather dingy area of Tel Aviv. There are many many other partners with rooms in this building and the building is falling apart. There is a lein on the building, there are pieces falling off it, and we continue to argue about what to do. Most of the people are afraid of one owner who is clearly a thug, and at our meeting this evening came almost an hour late, and began talking on his cell. The rest of us wait patiently, on our best and most meek behavior, but within two minutes he changes the subject of the meeting and begins accusing one of the tenants of negligence. The repairs were not done properly, he shouts, and will have to be done again. There was no way to mollify him, and soon he is accusing the chair of the meeting of disrespecting him and screaming that he will not allow the changes proposed. He is clearly covering up for some crimes he's committed in the building, but complaints to the municipality have had no results. So after he has mumbled a prayer for finishing his coke (yes, he's religious with a black kippa that doesn't dare to move from his head), and makes sure he has paid for his coke he storms off, taking with him one of the others, and leaving us with three wasted hours and a terror of injuries and a lawsuit.

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