Tel Aviv Diary November 8-12, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 8-12, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Let Live

Two days before the elections

November 8, 2008

The municipal elections of Tel Aviv are heating up. I've been trying to speak neutrally as far as the mayorlty candidacy is concerned but it is hard. Because I really can envision a different city, of which my animal welfare party can be a part. I can see the possibility of a city of which the residents are proud.

And then I get scared. What if we finally get an ideal leader and someone shoots her/him? In my generation alone we've seen so many hopes dashed by single shooters. Tonight fifty thousand people gathered in Rabin Square, at the anniversary of Rabin's assassination, and I am sure the fear of the future mixed with the grief of the past.

November 9, 2008

The interview with Rabin's son, Yuval, that aired on Friday night, does not leave my mind. His struggle with the incitement of politicians like Bibi before the assassination, mirrors things I've been trying to forget.

November 10, 2008

So I stopped by to say hello to Rabin's memorial this afternoon. If there were others who stopped by, I didn't see them. They were probably at the ceremony at Har Herzl.

This was definitely a different day. We strted off in the hospital, and I found myself discussing hygiene with an Englishwoman, who praised the comparative cleanliness of Ichilov, and when I complained of bedside manners, retorted with a few scary stories that shut me up.

Here's a headline: Karen takes a bus..
I think it has been thirty years at least since I've been on public transportation in Israel. I sit down at the bus stop in Rabin Square and ask the lady next to me how much it costs. "Less than a taxi for sure," she says. I just haven't been on a bus in a long while, I tell her. "Well it's good to come down and rub elbows with the 'people' once in a while," she says.

The ride itself was quite pleasant.

November 11, 2008

Election Day is almost over. If you haven't voted, run out and do it. At 8 in the evening only 30% of the population have voted. I did the handshake thing for a few hours in front of the polls, my back is killing me, and most of the people I handed out flyers to were pretty much decided in advance. Shusha kept me company, and voted in her own special way next to a tree.

The only arguments against animal welfare I heard were concerned with their comparative irrelevance. There are so many issues in this city, and so many different kinds of people who need representation. But I remain sure there is a place for animals as well.

November 12, 2008

"The Bolsheviks are creating the revolution!" he said, after he voted for the communist candidate, but we knew it would never happen. If only Hanin hadn't been defined as an antizionist, he would have won the election. As it is, I forcasted the animal welfare party's success accurately. We have one representative in the municipality, and maybe two.

Quite truthfully, I am not sure I voted in the last election. I should look it up on this diary. It may not have been understood to be all that important to me. But for the past few years I've been understanding how little logic there is to the laws of Tel Aviv, how a monstrous building can appear in a retro neighborhood because obviously someone paid someone off, how one day they decide to encourage neighborhoods to cater to nightlife, and then next day close them all down. And I figure - I couldn't do worse, so why not get involved.

You will pardon me but I've had a long day. After a wonderful morning with some really great ladies out in the suburbs, I had a meeting about a concert-evening I'm doing with Panic on March 26 (SAVE THAT DATE). And the usual gym class with Smadar. And at every step of the way people stopped me to tell me they voted for us. Pretty cool. Here I am, sitting in my car and talking on the phone to my son, and my orthopedist drives by, stops, and asks me to roll down the window. "I was on your side!" He says, and drives off.

Anyway, after a day like that all I could do was watch whatever was on television, and there was a film called "upsherin" about a couple who take their 3 year old to get his first haircut on Mount Meron. It will never make it out of the country - the film - but it was a beautiful little movie.

As for the economic situation, I heard a quote just now that sums it up quite clearly. "We're standing on the edge of the abyss and we're about to take a giant step forward."

Stop asking me how the food is at Pappa's, Read the Reviews.

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