Saturday, January 07, 2006

While during the first 24 hours after Mr Sharon (re)entered the hospital we had the television on for most of the day, most Israelis have returned to their daily routines. When I go online to check my mail or the news, the headlines still deal mostly with our PM's medical condition and with its political consequences, of course, but there is no continuous television coverage anymore, simply because there is not very much news to be broadcast about the subject. It is widely thought that as soon as the doctors stop the artificial respiration and the anaesthesia Ariel Sharon will die within hours if not minutes, and that he is only kept alive in order to allow the authorities and his family to prepare for his death and for his funeral. Yesterday evening, when I could not fall asleep, I went out of bed and watched the German movie Alles auf Zucker, a DVD that I bought in a German bookschoop in Paris. I bought the DVD only after I made sure it has subtitles ( German, for the heard of hearing ), because while I can read German very well I do not always understand what people say, especially because many Germans speak some sort of dialect. Interestingly enough Jacky Zucker, the protagonist of the movie, often uses words or phrases that sound very Dutch. The movie is funny, sometimes even very funny, but I really wonder why it won many more German movie awards than Der Untergang, which was maybe a more controversial but in my opinion also a much better ( though uncomparably different ) movie. While watching the movie I had some fresh strawberries - my favorite fruit - with sugar. Right now I am working on my laptop, listening to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Schubert's Die Schoene Muellerin. The other four CDs in my stereo are the two remaining CDs of the Deutsche Grammofon DFD-box that I have, containing Winterreise, Schwanengesang and 7 songs, all by Schubert and all sung by Fischer-Dieskau, with Gerald Moore on the piano, plus two CDs with Verdi's Otello ( a Double Decca bargain that I bought years ago ), with Carlo Cossutta and Margaret Price as Otello and Desdemona, and Sir Georg Solti conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker. My wife took the children to a birthday party at a playground in a kibbutz nearby. As you can see, all is back to normal, at least on the surface.

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