Tel Aviv Diary September 26-October 1, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - September 26-October 1 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 26, 2016

What a day! At a meeting in the morning my jaw ached and I knew that my urgent request to the dentist for an emergency appointment that afternoon was totally justified. So all I could think about was my teeth and whether I will get to see her in time to prevent a dangerous general infection.

In the afternoon my suspicions were confirmed and I got root canal. Fortunately I love nitrous oxide and my dentist has decided to give up and let me have as much as i want. By tomorrow my agony should be over for the time being.

We go to the pharmacy to pick up some antibiotics and nobody speaks Hebrew. It's all Arabic. The customers, the pharmacist, everyone is speaking Arabic. And we ask the pharmacist - a beautiful woman in a hijab who looks like she could use a night's sleep - which cough medicine to get, which probiotics to choose, when we should take what and when. It is not even surprising to us that we trust our health to Arabs. This kind of connection is not uncommon here. We seem to spend a lot of time in each others' company without acknowledging it.

September 27, 2016

Another day another dentist. The periodontist tried to do a CT but something went wrong with the machine. so I came back two hours later and the machine was broken. But that's only a small contretemps considering the latest engineering plan for my mouth. In between the wasted appointments I was running errands and came home totally wasted. after all the presidential debate kept me alert all night.

And now I'm going to watch them again.

My heart is with Shimon Peres and his family. It is a bit of a comfort to know that he will not be tortured with medical means of extending his life. He will not have to suffer too much.

September 28, 2016

could do little but mope all day.

When they said he only had a few hours left,
I fought off sleep
even though it was late at night
and then I dozed and woke
and the message came
that he had passed away.
Of course that was the right way to go
with just a few days warning
and then slipping slowly
with no fanfare or show
into the void

September 30, 2016

I may have gone through the motions, but my days have been locked into the memory of Shimon Peres. I wanted to walk past his coffin, to be present at his funeral, to kiss Tsiki and Rafi and the rest of the family, and have them give me the strength to follow his path. They are like that, you know - all influenced by his powerful dreams of preserving the Jewish people as well as the Jewish tradition of humanity, chosen and chosen naivete and simplicity, and stubborn determination to persevere in his path despite criticism and ridicule. I didn't want to hear the speeches all day yesterday on television of public figures, praising and criticizing and ensuring the fact of their fame by their association with him. But we were watching the funeral all morning, forgetting the preparations for Shabbat and the new year, ignoring the sofa bed that was delivered at 7 a.m. for my study, to enable guests to stay here.

Shana Tova - Happy New Year

October 1, 2016

Sorry. I can't write about Peres. I've interviewed him when he was out of the government in his offices in Tel Aviv, I've spoken with him at length when he was Prime Minister, and visited in his house when he was President, I have tried not to watch all the people on tv who talk about how they knew him, and I have letters from him. And I can't write.

So I escape.

The Design Museum in Holon fascinated us all today. We were sure it was closed. It looked that way from the outside. But there was a guard sitting in the door, and a woman opened the door to welcome us. And we spent two wonderful hours there.

More later - I'm going to see "Sand Storm."

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