Tel Aviv Diary October 11-16, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary October 11-16, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

we have been home 2 hours. Ezi fell into bed, having eaten nothing much On the flight, and is hppily snoring. i of course am too thrilled to be home to fall asleep. i've listen to the news, news i haven;t heard for a month, and have watch some stupid sit com that i love called 'girls.;' i coudl stay up all night breathing in the clean air and listened to the dog bark and the cata in heat. As for the news - it's all over the place - the world interests us - it's not cnn with the same people blabbing about the same news/ .

at the advice of Erica JongI are reading the hustory of the jews. lots of breaking of jewlish myths, with no alernative stories.

October 12, 2018

Jet Lag. Murder. i spent the day doing laundry and the rest entertaining kids. now i will collapse. in the morning i watched Oren Hazzan complain about the Arab news reporter Lucy Aris marrying a Jewish actor. racism is so direct here. i hate hazzan but he never least that.

coming back to israel can lead you down. th food on the el al is lousy, the screens are usually tiny, but if everyone goes to sleep right it will be it will be okay

but coming out of the airport and into that special air , everything works out . i may be totally out of joint time wise but i am so happy to be in israel, i'll bear it.

. And i am slowly slowly becoming a human being again. i will watch news today, read the newspapers tomorrow, and begin to understand where i am and what is going on. At first everything seemed chaotic. Even at the airport I wondered whether I too would be asked leading questions and whether it would mean something. Only now i realize to what extent I was influenced by people who thought Israel a fascist state.

it really influenced everything i saw and did. Why does the Jewish Museum not sell anything from Israel (my impression)? Why did the marriage ceremony remove Jerusalem from its basic ritualistic position? Why did so many of my friends avoid the usual subject of politics and focus only on Kavanaugh's childish denial of his past? Why was every Israeli attacked for bigotism, even Wonder Woman? I have to get myself straightened out in order to make sense of all this..

October 13, 2018

Suddenly every day is full of events, tragedies, crimes, accusations, visitors. Suddenly I'm back in Israel where there is not a minute of silence. not only the news on the radio. we are barely awake when we discover our prescriptions will run out tomorrow and we have to find a pharmacy today. that means we have to fire up the car after a month of rest, and get gas. quickly. Of course there is always a pharmacy open on shabbat, but which one? we pass two with closed shutters in the city and decide to try Herzlia, where even the malls are open. And of course the pharmacies are all manned by non-Jews on Saturday. Not only the pharmacists, but all the staff. And the music playing at the counter is in Arabic as well. who says apartheid?

October 14, 2018

opening concert of the year. the sign on the stage of the philharmonic was "Welcome Home Maestro" for Zubin Mehta and the atmosphere was celebratory. Outside the hall in Habima Square they put up a giant screen so that the concert would be open to the public. We watched a German choir and soloists sing Mozart's Coronation Mass with incredible glee and inside the concert hall and without there was a great joy and appreciation.

Me, I was thinking about the German soldiers on crystal meth during the war and how their enthusiasm came from addiction. I just can't seem to stay in the here and now.

October 15, 2018

Jet lag seems to be wearing off and i suddenly realized what a schedule i have made for myself for next week. I was sitting in the waiting room while Ezi had an MRI and checked my calendar and realized i have double-booked at least two events. it will be possible but i will be running from place to place changing my clothes as i run. and, as you all know, i run like a crippled kangaroo.

Although our minister of education has been rampant in his attacks on the nation's universities, Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University still made the Reuters' list of 100 most innovative schools. But for how long can it go on? Budget cuts have seriously affected the student population, who choose to go to inferior schools that offer more, and research has been drastically reduced - we find our money elsewhere to do what has to be done, but we're struggling. In many ways the colleges are wonderful, but they just aren't on the level of universities, no matter how many rules the ministry of education break to give them accreditation. there is only one file i have approved for rank out of many i have received, and i'm not that tough a marker. why am i kvetching here? because i have always been proud that this is an educated country, that strangers on the bus could quote Thomas Gray to me, that people seem hungry for knowledge. i am so proud of the doctorates I have supervised in the past few years - every one of them internationally stellar - even though i know that most of those former students will have to look elsewhere for jobs. and too many are already abroad.

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