Tel Aviv Diary October 19-23, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - October 19-23, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 19, 2008

When I woke up this morning I was in the middle of a dream about the shuk. It was about the old days when I used to take a bus (24) from Ramat Hasharon to the shuk, and knew everyone there but trusted very few. The sanitary conditions were much worse, and there were places that really operated on wholesale cheating - the dead chickens were put out in the sun so that they could be brought out as 'still warm' from the slaughter. The thumb on the scales was pretty common but I was a master of judging weight, and figuring prices. I find this much less true now. But then I don't have the back to do real shopping in the shuk.

I wasn't far from the shuk today. Chi Kong in Maier Park brought us to a meeting with our British friend, Judy, and we found a strange place to have coffee on King George. Judy remarked that there are very few sukkot in Tel Aviv, a fact that had escaped my notice until that moment, since we have a sukkah ourselves downstairs. Why do you think this is true, I asked a Tel Aviv friend afterward. "Are you kidding," she said. "We're scared to death of temporary housing!"

October 20, 2008

Tired of cooking for the holidays, I finish my flu shot in Ramat Aviv Gimmel and go to get some food. The vegetables I buy from Ahmed, of course, who recommends the gorgeous eggplant in the oven with tehina. "Perfect for the holiday meal!" he says. Then I go to the place where there is all this Jewish food by the kilo. Chopped liver, little pancakes, etc. "Want some "gefeelte feesh?" the owner asks me, as in the background I hear Ohm Khaltoum. I'm not into that, and don't buy liver this late in the day, but I get some string beans in tomato sauce, and broccoli pancakes. "What would my mother say?" My friend says as she carries home a few kilo of gefilte fish. "Not only am I not making my own, but I'm buying it from an Arab!" And then we simultaneously break into a chorus of "Tradition, tradition."

I must admit there is a great difference between the grocer and the ready-made food guy. I buy from the green grocer often and know him, but have never bought from the other fellow before, don't even know his name, and haven't tasted the food yet. If you want recommendations, remind me tomorrow.

October 21, 2008

Last day of the holidays - a good day for travel but we're 'recovering' from last night's dinner, from yesterday's flu shot, from tonight's friends, etc. I even enjoyed watching a program about belly dancers, and didn't get up to dance with them.

October 22, 2008

Must have been a reaction to the flu shot. This is the day after the holidays and every one is in high gear. My phone started ringing at 7:30 this morning and didn't stop until afternoon. Everything connected to 'arrangements' that had been put off until 'after the holidays.' There will be long months before another holiday, and there is lots to do - factories to close, people to fire, etc.

October 23, 2008

"Amazing how controlled the investors have been." The stockbroker said today. "Adult." Her assistant added. Apparently the Israeli investor didn't sell hysterically, and we have been behaving ourselves. I think we're used to crises, expect them all the time, assume our money is going to disappear, that indeed our roof is going to disappear at any moment. Otherwise how can you explain that the past three terrorists in Jerusalem were all killed by citizens, not police or soldiers. Of course the terrorists managed to kill people before they were stopped. Today it was an 86 year old man.

I have been amiss. I was supposed to collect names of people interested in animal welfare and I have to hand in the list tomorrow and I forgot totally. Email me if you're interested in supporting the party in some way: You can just send a little message with your name and number with the subject "Chai," which is what is on the ballot. δι

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