Tel Aviv Diary - October 29-nov 2,2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 29, 2015

We were invited to a new restaurant last night. i couldn't even find it on the internet, but it was very visible from the street - Mendele 5. It's a hotel and a bar and a pretty cool restaurant named Mashia, which means, they tell me, nutmeg in Hebrew. None of us knew that word. But the food was fabulous, smallish portions of delicate food that work together to create a real symphony. The lamb i ordered turned out to be a lamb pizza covered with arugula. it may not sound like much but it was wonderfully delicious. the lemon tart was a deconstructed polka dot plate with lemon sauce, green tea ice cream, scattered spots of meringue and berries. there was a little powdered crust underneath. anyway i loved it and the way it was served.

All this while flooding was going on in places we were last night. We went to an exhibit of Heira Shemesh's works in Kfar Saba. Unlike the usual crowds in this artspace, there were eight people and this gave us a chance to examine the works much closely than in a public event. The next day we saw the street on tv - waisthigh in mud.

October 30, 2015

totally vegged out. Fell upon a program on the main channel called 'the scriptwriter' and discovered it was bio-drama on Sayyed Kashua and his frustrations as an Arab writer. He's broke and accepts a job writng a tv series about the charadi community.

then, as by chance i turned to the VOD and actually found the series! Mostly in Yiddish, it portrays a extreme religious family in detail and with honesty - exactly the opposite of what you'd expect from an Arab scriptwriter. i love it.

The usual Friday night argument with some arguing for conciliation and others firmly believing we will always be in a state of conflict because the others are not interested in discussion. Ezi and I never enter into discussions like this. Afterward I asked Ezi what he thinks - and heard my own opinion back - that what we have to learn is to behave like human beings and not reduce our level to that of our worst enemies, that the most dangerous part of our conflict is the loss of identity.

October 31, 2015

I would have gone to the memorial for Rabin tonight but in the early afternoon Orit broke her foot and we spent the afternoon at the health clinic getting it set. My next 2 weeks will be on call for her. Anyway, for some reason I don't have all that much energy to spend, so after an afternoon of this craziness I went straight to bed. Now I am busy cancelling all my activities for the week.

The demonstration for Rabin remains incredibly important - despite our despair or perhaps because of it.

And so I watched every minute and listened to every word of the speeches in Rabin Square. And I cried. Because Bill Clinton was the most believable of the speakers.

November 2, 2015

We returned from a long day last night and fell asleep. It began with a simple blood test that i have to take every few weeks to see if my post op situation is returning to normal. I got there before seven, did the test quickly and took care of the urine sample. Then I began walking to the car. Half way there i noticed I was leaving a trail of blood. I went back, pressing on the tiny wound and holding my arm in the air, and a nurse rebandaged it, blankly. nobody noticed as i retraced my blood trail.

I really needed a little rest when i got home and broke my fast. but there were other things to do.

By the time we drove into town to pick up the kids i was wiped out. The first kindergarten we went to is designed to leave a long walk between the guard at the door and the actual classes, and I was barely up to that, or the long stairs. But once i got there the kids were dancing freely to some kid rap - some of them put their hands in the air when the music instructed them, some of them just danced, some hugged the others, some instructed their friends to share a movement. i couldn't get my grandson to leave the group, and some of the girls invited me to join them, so there i was, an old lady dressed in black for a poetry reading, whirling with the girls.

There was another child to pick up in another part of town, so we rushed out. We got there just as all the parents were departing and whisked the princess away.

By the time we got to the reading i was seriously unable to speak. Fortunately or not, there were few people there. Larry Freifeld's first book in Hebrew excited a small number of guest but they were extremely enthusiastic and verbal so they made up for my blank exhaustion.

I hope today will be as quiet but less tiring. Our new neighbors are tearing apart the apartment above us and I know I will get no sleep during the day.

Later that evening. Two terrorist incidents this afternoon in Rishon le Zion and Netanya - senseless but very effective. I was walking the streets of Tel Aviv with little babies, looking only at them, not even thinking of getting stabbed in the back.

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