Tel Aviv Diary November 16-20, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary November 16-20, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 16, 2018

RBG - how did it take me this long to see this film? Even though I thought I knew the history of women's rights in the period through which i lived, i didn't feel the strength and the hope that Ruth Bader Ginsberg could give. Just the fact the a single person can change the lives of people of an entire country. .couldn't it happen here?

November 17, 2018

i KNOW I wrote a whole megilla yesterday. it was about a house-swap my friend did in order to be able to live here and write for a few months in the north. Instead of writing she has to spend her time taking care of the house, the dog, the electricity, the busted car, etc. it was about Israelis alienating guests to the country. we have many experiences we can talk about but some of them are too close to home. it's not intentional - we all have too much on our plate and don't know how to say no, or are too excited by the next step to take care of the present.

November 18, 2018

I passed a shop where I used to buy lots of clothes when i was teaching regularly and needed to be dressed in an official manner. there was a 'fire sale' going on and the prices - compared to what they usually charge - were amazing. so i bought jeans and a sweater and left to have coffee across the way. i could see the shop from my table, and that's when i realized there were very few people going in and out of the shop. and then it occurred to me that maybe this company, like so many other local clothing chains, was fighting for its life. i know that all over the world shopping malls are in trouble because people buy online, but here it seems almost personal. i've known the saleslady for at least 20 years. Honigman has already closed down, and there are other chains that are in trouble, but all of the other ones i know have interchangeable workers, people who don't identify with their merchandise. And in this case it seems unpatriotic somehow. in the meantime i still order tempting stuff from China. But i don't like it.

November 19, 2018

For the first time in a long time I was impressed with Bibi today. His ability to herd the rebellious members of his coalition was quite amazing. The threat of war was played to the point that anyone refusing to play along could be seen as a traitor. since the others are pretty abrasive and revolting, it was a pleasure to see him beat them down for a moment. what tomorrow will bring is a different story.

November 20, 2018

A very close friend had a stroke a month ago, and she doesn't seem to be coming out of it for the time being. her husband and daughter come in the evening but in the daytime we have arranged a watch among friends. Because you can't be in a hospital here alone. She sleeps most of the time, but if there is no one to answer her needs when she is awake, what can happen to her? the iv was empty the whole time i was there, and when i asked her who i should talk to, she waved her hand in disgust. there is never anyone to change the bag in time. there are not enough nurses, not enough aides. There is no way to treat all the deadly germs in the hospital if there is not enough staff to clean properly. And today another cut in the health budget was announced. There was an immediate outcry among the medical staff. People will die, they warn.

what about my friend?

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