Tel Aviv Diary - September 17-21, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 17, 2011

Friday afternoon is a good time for taking a vacation from the news. But we really overdid it this time. This is a time of such change that every minute alters the world. What happens in the U.N. this week will certainly affect the lives of all the people in this area. But all I did was make the mistake of going to McDonalds today. The last time we went there - before they closed for renovations - I think someone got sick. This time it was just boring. And hot. We would have enjoyed it much more if we'd gone inside where the AC was working.

Meanwhile I'm beginning to plan the holidays - the new year holiday is four days long and that means shopping is very complicated. Especially with the price wars and boycotts that we're finally getting around to. How can I plan dinners in advance if the prices keep changing? In the past it was always upward. That is you buy in advance before the prices go up for the holidays. Now they may go down. What should I do?

September 18, 2011

Another day at the doctors' waiting for hours trying to pretend it doesn't matter and all is well. Tomorrow will be the same, with different doctors, and will involve travelling to Jerusalem. How can I be expected to know something about Tel Aviv if all I see are waiting rooms? And they always put the tv on silent while the news footage plays endlessly.

September 19, 2011

We went abroad this afternoon - that is to Jerusalem. Well not really Jerusalem, just Hadassah hospital. I haven't been to the hospital since 1965 and it has grown just as Jerusalem has grown - wildly, irrationally, unreasonably, and very impressively. Up the elevator, down the stairs, into the shopping center, up the escalator, through the shops, then at the end of the corridor down the stairs, out the door, through... I've lost track, but that's the way it is there. But they have electronic information screens with a pretty virtual girl who gives directions in whatever language you want. And EVERYONE seems to speak English or Arabic. Maybe it's just that I'm provincial or that I know Ichilov better, but Ichilov seems to echo Tel Aviv itself, with its Russians and westernized Arabs. I found myself evaluating the dresses of the elder Arab ladies and saying to myself "I have one of those in the back of my closet...I didn't know that women still WORE them!" It's the kind of snide remark only a pretentious Tel Avivian can make.

September 21, 2011

While I was watching the live U.N. action I wrote a long stream-of-consciousness-episode online. Then instead of saving it to the site, I logged off. Brilliant. Characteristic of the Israeli reaction, I think.

The first day of Autumn was the first day we went to the beach. It's actually the best time of the year - the sea like a mirror, the sun still hot, the beach empty of people except the hard line Mediterranean lovers. It's also a great place to escape reality.

And who's winning the Labor primaries? Why oh why didn't I rejoin?

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