May 14, 2006

DAY ONE

Landed in Tel Aviv 14 hours ago. We ride around in a Sprinter and a man talks to us through the little busses PA; Facts (census bits) and opinions (if all the immigrants left Tel Aviv, no Israelis would be unemployed). Tel Aviv is lovely, a little shabby--like it hasn't been repainted since Judas Iscariot lived up the block. It feels like a cross between Rome and the Jersey Shore. We were feted with a four course meal, ate with journalists, Etgar Keret, some financiers and the ambassador for Ministry of Culture and our tour guide, Eton Schwartz, who is a celebrity--he won a reality show here that is like The Apprentice called, I think, The Ambassador. He knows everything about everything--gossip about Kelly Clarkson's Israeli tour getting cancelled, achaelogical digs in Haffa, nudity on Israeli cable--you can tell why he won the show. He is a dead ringer for Al Burian's brother. I interviewed the ambassador-ambassador after dinner, used the radio equipment for the first time; I don't think I did very well, but it's all practice--it felt magical a little in spite of my ineptitude; plus, the dude is on CNN all the time and was a non-stop soundbite.

I fell asleep watching the Turkish evening news, where they showed several minutes of footage from a violent car accident, including a man pulled from behind the wheel with a jaws of life, they did a blur box over his most gaping wounds; it appeared he was impaled or squished--his organs and blood exiting out his ass. Then, they went to coverage of the judging of a baking contest; gelatin suspensions, whipped stuff covered in crackers, cakes stuck with the turkish flag. An old man with a feathered cap tasted them enthusuastically while the nana's rattled the ingredients. America would be a better place if the nightly news dealt with mortality--that when cars crash, people scream, heads crack on windshields and you will shoot blood like a geyser all over the the stretcher; the casualness of--the encounter of death, I guess--is perhaps natural to countries who war on their own soil. That's our American luxury--wrapping ourselves in life-myth; concerning ourselves with shopping because we feel entitled and immortal--our wars are far away.

I am awake five hours too early.
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And can't get back to sleep.
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Posted by Jessica at May 14, 2006 11:11 PM | TrackBack