Tel Aviv Diary - October 22-26, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 22, 2011

Today was the last day of the Christian Marclay exhibit, The Clock so at 10 we planned to meet friends at the entrance, but since I was still groggy from last night's dinner party, I stumbled out late, and our friends went in at 10:02 while we got into the exhibit only at 10:12. We couldn't see them in the dark and it was crowded so by 10:13 we sat down on the floor to the left of the screen and began to watch. At 11:05 I had a headache and went out to look for a cup of coffee but it was the sabbath and the only place was too far to walk in the Jerusalem sun. So I went back it at 11:14. After high noon - 12:05 - to be exact, Ezi and I left - found another place for coffee - and tried to make contact with our friends. But they were still watching, and/or looking for each other, so we only connected about a half an hour later. We were late for lunch at the cafe paradiso, and now have no time to nap before going out for dinner. I did, however, have time to look up what Samuel Johnson said about his imaginary friend, Sober. "
... his daily amusement is chymistry. He has a small furnace, which he employs in distillation, and which has long been the solace of his life. He draws oils and waters, and essences and spirits, which he knows to be of no use; sits and counts the drops, as they come from his retort, and forgets that, whilst a drop is falling, a moment flies away."

Our Jerusalem friend says it is so much better to spend Saturday in Jerusalem. She says you don't have to make the reservations days in advance for lunch, and there's parking. "Have you ridden on a local bus lately?" I said archly, broadly hinting at the super kosher Jerusalem busses where the women sit in the back (as if I rode the busses of Tel Aviv) "Or walked the streets?" the woman walking with us added.

October 24, 2011

The biopsy results have arrived at last. Now to discuss it with the doctor. But what I can understand they say - hmm - we need more tests. In the mean time we continue our lives.

Turkey didn't accept the help of the world, but I'm sure the people will need aid. Global Giving is taking donations. There are still people alive under the rubble who will need help. I wonder where the newly homeless sleep in the cold. May there be new homes for them soon.

I see how thin Gilad Shalit is, and I get very very hungry. What did he eat for so many years in some dark lonely room? All week I've been eating pasta. Tonight I'm going to pig out at Pappa's.

October 25, 2011

Of course I am upset with Turkey - the Israeli rescue dogs alone might have saved tens of lives.

"By why are you always feeling sympathy for Turkey?" my Greek friends write. Because my I feel EMPATHY for Greece.

Why do we always have such a good time at Pappas? I was in need of comfort food so I ordered Lasagna and covered it with cheese. Last time I was in need of losing an extra stomach so I ordered the fish. I always find the food I'm in need of....

"Remember when you only went to a restaurant because you hadn't managed to do the shopping before Shabbat?" Efraim reminded me. Food in restaurants was awful in those days.

October 26, 2011

Two medical announcements: 1) Ezi needs more tests - but not now. PET scan only near the end of November. Until then we can party. 2)Although I was going to demand that our grandchildren get flu shots, after a few hours of pushing a baby carriage around Tel Aviv I realized that if the kid can survive these streets, nothing can hurt him. The germs are all over - a little bilge escaping here, an old lady puffing smoke into the faces of the children in the playground there, a heroin graduate leaning into the carriage to praise the baby, and the usual street garbage.

October 27, 2011

Ah, the days fly by when you're having fun. A rocket here, a strike there, and we're off again on the slippery slope of defence. We revisited our shelter the other day and everything looks in order, the chemical toilet, the filter for gas, the water supply. The only problem is the ladders we won't be able to climb to get out of there. We're almost all over 60.

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