Tel Aviv Diary - September 7-11, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 7, 2011

I don't know how tourists do it. Yesterday, as we walked around the shuk, examining each t-shirt, I thought I'd faint with concentration. Sayaka looked around focusing on the Hebrew slogans. She was searching for something in Hebrew only that looked good. In the end she chose some really cool ones like "I don't need sex, the government screws me all the time," "I'm always right," "Blessed be God who created me a woman," and some others I admired. But I wasn't there - I was fanning myself at Pappa's waiting for her. The pressure and the heat was too much for me. First, I watched Miri Aloni singing on the street - she looks good compared to the past few years, but I almost wept when I thought of how many years I admired and even loved her and now she's used to singing on the street corner. The last time I saw her performing publicly was of course with Yitzchak Rabin, just before he was murdered. But the last time I saw her was at the funeral of Dahlia Ravikovich, where we sat together stunned before the coffin. Then after I tore myself away from her I turned to the Chabad people and the way they accepted Sayaka - I gossiped with them a bit, explaining that her mother is Jewish, and she became suddenly a potential convert to orthodoxy to them. I talk too much.

September 8, 2011

What a mess - Ezi's biopsy was over 3 weeks ago and we still don't have an answer. Can't even reach the pathologist. Corinna says it's time to email the head of the hospital and see whether he can't find out what kind of cancer Ezi has. This, by the way, is not socialized medicine but a private clinic. Assuta. Maybe there's a good reason for this silence, but somehow I doubt it.

What is this with Turkey? I thought we were friends. My nephew is Turkish, for goodness sake. Some of my other relatives are Turkish. If I followed the argument right from beginning to end, he's ready to go to war because we won't apologize properly for defending our blockade.

September 9, 2011

I was going to write about the Design Museum in Holon. We visited it today - for me it was the first time - and I was pretty bowled over. Ron Arad designed a building that makes you see the world differently, and the exhibit of furniture was also a re-vision. But just as I was getting settled in for the evening, Ronen Shapira came by with his new album, "Hammers," and after he left we sat into the night and listened to it in one sitting. "Ronen Shapira Hits The Classics," it is called, and he certainly hits them. But as always with Ronen one and one is not two or eleven or any logical computation. Corruptions of Bach and Beethoven and Chopin and Ravel and Satie and Abdel Wahab and Brubeck become one single composition on the history of civilization that leads to the chaos of war and the single simple voice of hope that concludes this concert. Find him on Facebook and demand to buy a disk.

September 10, 2011

It's such a vulnerable thing, this idea of civilization we have, such a delicate and fragile concept. At any moment anything, everything, could blow up. Anyone who has ever been in a terrorist attack knows that.

September 11, 2011

The Egyptian Embassy here on Basil Street is peaceful. There is the usual guard outside, but nothing else.

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