Tel Aviv Diary October 30, 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - October 30, 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 30, 2005

The wind blew across the campus on the first day of university studeis this semester as if it were mid winter, and it even rained on the little colored booths set up by the banks to lure the new victims... There were also rows of jeans and sweaters for sale, and i was happy to note that orange is back in fashion.

As for politics, it's beginning to feel like the old joke that suddenly came to me today in email form:

Two old men were sitting on a park bench passing the time. One asked the other, "How's your wife?" The other replied, "I think she may be dead." The first asked, "What do you mean you THINK she's dead?" The second explained, "Well... the sex is the same but the dishes are starting to pile up." What does this have to do with politics? We're getting screwed as usual, but the results are really beginning to show.

October 31, 2005

I turn on the computer and the TV at the same time, to watch the opening of the parliament and to check my mail. Sharon gives a rousing speech on tv and a video comes on the computer of the same man getting out of a swimming pool while his trunks are falling down. It is interesting that he continues to get out of the water even though the bathing suit is not cooperating, and only when he has climbed the ladder, pulls them up, smiles, and then walks away. This is the same thing he does in his speech.

Why don't I put this historical video on line? I (gulp) have some strange respect for him.

November 1, 2005

Enough politics. I was hoping something positive would happen today but no luck. It's cold, and everywhere I went women were shivering in their sweaters. But it was Ramat Aviv G so all the women are anorexic so it doesn't count.

My friend says she's going to the Sinai - she doesn't believe all the stories about how all the drug smugglers and white-slavers have now turned to weapons and been joined by Hizbullah, El Kaida, and the gang. So we're living next door to a hornets' nest. How is the world going to get out of this mess?

Great TV program 10 o'clock every night - On the Couch - the shrink, played by Assi Dayan, is visited every day by his patients - each day of the week is dedicated to a different patient. We're really good at analysis. In the days of the father, Moshe Dayan, we were people of action. Now we're good at analysis.

November 2, 2005

Eid el-Fitr Mubarak!

There are facts your head can not wrap itself around. The 90,000 and counting dead in Pakistan, for example. Take someone you love deeply, and multiply him/her by 9 and it seems too much to conceive. Then you try multiplying by 90,000.

On the other hand, the unanimous acceptance at the UN of the Israeli resolution to make a universal Holocaust Day on the day of the liberation of Auschwitz is pretty remarkable. I wonder what went on under the breath of some of the voting members, though.

November 3, 2005

And now we're beginning the memorial week for Rabin. I remember it most clearly when I read the poem I wrote about it.


On the night Rabin died I dreamt I wandered the streets
homeless and lonely in a crowd of confusion, ricocheting
off relatives and friends barely regarded, while dogs of peace
ran with panthers and tigers all loose and all free.

No one was working – everyone
out on the streets or in groups
sleeping in different houses, using
interchangeably each others’ phones –
connecting with wrong numbers
saying a few impotent words,
disconnecting indifferently

Unseasonable cold penetrated my clothes,
and uncoated I sought shelter
in cloaks of the dead,
but found myself in other byways
before I could wrap myself in them

The river was solid and the earth
liquid under our feet – the worst
walked on water while the best
fell in the treacherous sands.

Nothing held the dream together
and everything could fall apart
at any random moment

His loss is felt anew every day to me, and the thole country could have been different.

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