Tel Aviv Diary November 1-5, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary November 1-5, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 1, 2018

"Kaatastroph!" said the pedicurist yesterday when she removed the nail polish on my toenails and discovered that at least three of them were black with dried blood. Then it revealed they were infected and although i wasn't really in too much pain, I know it began when my mail-order shoes betrayed me on the stones and boulders of The Amud river 10 days ago. Today I spoke with the doctor who arranged for me to see a podiatrist immediately who removed big pieces of my nails.

It was a tough day.

he positive aspect of it (there always is a positive side, right?) that the clinic of the specialist was in south Tel Aviv, and we had to pass one of the water towers that Ezi's grandfather built. "He also built that building," Ezi mentioned in passing, the building that housed the generators, and i got to read on the sign the history of these buildings. This is probably something I knew, or I should have known, and it was good to see. this city has so many interesting, accessible and intimate details that are always a pleasure to learn.

Oh dear, I forgot to mention that "my doctor" is not the doctor of the health clinic. We subscribed to a private service that our old doctor who left the health service opened. it is costly but an effective supplement to the health clinic. My doctor at Maccabi had no appointments free until monday, and i hope i caught the infection at the last minute before it became systemic. November 2, 2018

so i've been trying to cut down on activities and get serious about writing, especially this month. but there are so many temptations i'm not doing very well. Please help me refuse those invitations that don't contribute anything to anyone.

A quiet lunch at Dubnov 8. Surrounded by would be politicians and has beens we discussed Trump, and the second person to tell me that Trump is wonderful in 24 hours told me how good we have it. His wife ignored him and went on grieving about the increase in anti-semitism in the world. The thought occurred to me that Ezi's grandfather left Hungary in 1921 because of antisemitism.

November 3, 2018

There was an article in the Times about 'journaling"that seemed to prove to me that although I thought when I began writing this journal that the point of it was to inform people of the life of an individual in this strange country, I'm the one who benefits most.

the thing is, it is rare that i do not have something to say about Tel Aviv, but usually i do not have the time to say it. Today, for example, I have stuck close to home because i'm fearful that someone will step on my nail-less toes. But i am reminded that there is another reason not to appear in public heavily bandaged: in Tel Aviv people will stop you to give you advice. This, I was told long ago, is why people don't have sex in public here.

And now I definitely can't go out to the memorial for Itzhak Rabin tonight. Yesterday I was with a friend who goes to all the demonstrations and can quote many of the speeches. It was the first time I've ever had a blow-by-blow description of what each speaker said. Usually the echo from the microphones make it impossible for me to even hear what is being said, and we are satisfied with the atmosphere of protest. This information made me really want to try to go and understand.

November 4, 2018

Insomnia made it possible for me to read theweekend papers and there was an article I will never forget about Dareen Tatour. When she first got arrested for incitement and i tried to get some of my friends to protest, I was told that the case was clear. Here it is, Now I see what drew me to her, why I think of her so much and wonder how i can meet her. she was raped from the age of 7-12. - I must have felt that identification with her. i must have understood that. Now the only excuse i can have for not finding her is fear.

Did she incite to violence? perhaps. and is it dangerous? yes. but does she deserve to be completely destroyed as punishment? i can't be sure - i have to meet her.

i know i'm expected to write something about the government of Israel's stupid reactions to the tragedy in Pittsburgh. But it has nothing to do with me. The terrible pain of the synagogue in Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has everything to do with me.

to diary

write me