Tel Aviv Diary November 23-27, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 23-7, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 23, 2008

In response to the great demand for information, Oren is now walking with a cane - and will be recovering slowly. We even checked out Pappa's yesterday, and the new chef did not disappoint our great expectations. Hot cider with a little rum, provided by barman Ilya, warmed us while we sat on the balcony - just as the little chill of post-rain was in the air.

This morning - beautifully sunny and warm - I had a meeting in Ramat Aviv Gimmel at the shopping center. We sat there for 2 hours, and in all that time, not a single person bought a thing in the dress shops opposite us. Of course there were people in the cafe, but that's because it is a place where people meet for business, not to waste money.

We've been having a big discussion about 'peace' and a contest for poetry on peace. Some people say the concept itself will lead to bad mawkish poetry, others say there is no such thing as peace. The whole idea, though, set me to dreaming about how peace is a factor of education, and that it can be taught, but not when there is a knife at your throat.

This site has pictures of Jewish life before the war: Tachna. I spent half the evening looking at it.

November 24, 2008

Definitely an economic depression. While I was at the gastro-doctor, the secretary offered us a free dental examination by the dentist who shares the office on alternate days. A Russian lady asked if he was just interested in digging out her gold teeth.

November 25, 2008

It always comes in threes. Yesterday Orit was hospitalized and I'm off to see her. I've cancelled my participation in the writers' conference today at Baka Al Gharbia - wouldn't be able to concentrate.

"Thank you for choosing Ichilov." She says, commenting on the frequency of my visits to the local hospital. It is a racial characteristic to make jokes in hard times. It does get one through. But it is also an escape. A lovely one.

At the mall today at Ichilov I discovered again that the economic crisis does not have any effect on 'spoiling' shopping. If you're a patient or a caregiver you feel you are allowed to spend your last dime on another pair of shoes or a box of chocolate or some perfume. This is a country full of people that love to spoil themselves.

Okay. Ourselves.

November 26, 2008

I'd love to be bored in Tel Aviv for a while. The Prime Minister is being charged, and the phone keeps ringing with candidates who want support.

Many of my friends who are single keep telling me that Tel Aviv is full of crazy people - half of them are on medication, they say, and the other half are on drugs. I want to add that another half are feeding cats. Every day I meet someone who really doesn't want to feed cats, but their situation breaks their hearts. The fact that they feed cats doesn't mean they are crazy, but the fact that they are in this double bind situation could MAKE them crazy. I mean it is impossible to maintain the same measure of sympathy in such a cruel environment without going a little schizo. Furthermore none of them would say that cats are their highest priority, and that people don't deserve their attention. But they would say they can't handle everything.

November 27, 2008

Panic Ensemble is up for Independent Music Awards■ with the song "Spring in your heart■," in the category of folk/singer songwriter. To vote: click here and for the Hebrew piece on this on Walla, click here. I didn't write the text here - just maybe fixed up Yael Kraus's words.

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