Thursday, June 30, 2005

leavin the pest

im on the shittiest keyboard in hungary right now. off to vienna to see the picasso exhibit and paz exorbitant amounts of euros for a hostel full of drunk australians. and i already miss prague. somehow ive manaed to skip services every friday night since ive been here. whatevs. at least i got to see 3 jewish quarters!!! i lost my replacement ipod heaphones and dont have enough fts to buy a new pair. guess ill have to actually talk to someone on the train while reading counterlife by philip roth. i have one more pair of undies for 3 days. the question is not : is it gross since the answer is quite clear. i guess the question is : CAN HE MAKE IT? if anybody has any recs for vienna, now is the time to comment or email me. the time is now. the choice, is yours!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

HUNGARY- Rude Israelis, Anti-Semitic Kosher Eateries, Chicks

It just keeps getting better.

After a quick (5 hr) train from Bratislava-->Budapest, we were accosted by a fellow in an orange hate. I'm traveling with 2 girls from mexico city who may or may not think I'm gay because I stared at a male mannequin too long, and we're staying at the mellow mood hostel. We have a 65 year old roomate who snores.

Just like Praha, Budapest is like a pre-made burrito. It gets better the longer you keep at it in the oven. bad analogies aside, the city is great, bustling, and full of history and communist statues which are literally everywhere. go check out some pictures and you'll see what I mean. (I never meant for this to be a descriptive travelogue-just funny instances of what's going on during my trip)

my family is hungarian, specifically on the ukranian border under the carpathian moountains in a town called uzgherod. THIS WILL SOUND WIERD, but for the first time in my life I feel truly at home, at least appearance wise. so many ppl here look like my dad, or my late grandpa, or my grandmother. Wavy hair, blue eyes, and moustaches!!! I think that look passed through the family genes-I get stopped all time from lost tourists, and nobody here will hesitate to speak to me in magyar. I can't understand a word. People are surprised I can't speak it. I don't know. I get the same thing in Italy (its the hair!), so maybe I'm jsut international, like a jewish james bond. My dream scene:

"Brei. Matzoh Brei. And remember, no chometz."

I started my day in the buda castle, which was cool but most of the museums were closed. no worries there. The cathedral is way cool. Kind of oriental inside-the magyarswere actually central asians, deriving from one the many -stans under russia.

next i hit up the synagogue. It was designed by a goy (who else?) and looks like a church with hebrew inscriptions. I got in free and skipped paying the ticket (to a synagogue) by walking in with a group of israelis. they were absolutely hysterical and embarassing at the same time. they all rushed the aron kodesh and started opening up the ark to see the 28 Torah Scrolls. Security came by and yelled "Slichah!!! LO!!!" but they just stayed put ad took pictures. it felt like being in encino.

Next I went to Carmel Cellar, which offers Hungarian-Jewish food. The waiter was a schmuck from the start. I am pretty convinced he's an anti-semite and that the entire staff is out to get me. I find it odd he put ME in the only booth with a picture-a vintage picture of the Western Wall. The chef put mini-vegetables near my goulash, for decoration probably, but I think his ulterior motive was to see if I'd eat them.

I ate them all, you bastard. And the pickles, and the goulash, and the dumplings...Hungarian food is good...But the women are even better. Better looking that is.

OH! One more funny scene in the restaurant: 3 old men and one woman were sitting alongside me. One of them sitting at the end in a blue polo shirt, elbows on the table, his hands in his face, I think said Auschwitz while eating his food. Moments later his son's phone rang. His ringtone? The theme from Schindler's List. There's a Curb your Enthusiasm scene there somewhere.

The plan tonight: Opera/ballet or Turkish Baths. I remain undecided-but leaning towards the Opera. It'll be my second. And in Hungarian! Who could pass that one up?

Pace, Amore, Baci, Besos a Tutti!
From Budapest, this is Aaron ibn Aryeh, signing off...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bodacious Bratislava

First of all, I'm in Slovakia now. The capital is called Bratislava. I don't think I can say that without letting a snicker go by. Or a chuckle. Say it. BRA. TEES. LAAAAAVAHHHHH. It kinda reminds me of Zangief, a character from Street Fighter II. Now on that, let's name the others: ken ryu guile blanka chun li balrog, the bad guys: vega, sagat from thailand (who could forget him) and m bison. a baddy so bad his first name is just an initial. Start calling me A.Small

Funny scenario which leads me to believe there is an active God protecting me: The snoring roommate from mexico woke me up again at 5:30 this time. I'm on 4 hours of sleep and I don't mind. Anyways, steve came back from partying the nite bevffore at 5.30 too. after an hour of elliot smith on iPod i decided it was time to go, so i hopped on a tram. In the metro I met another Czecho who kept professing his catholic religion to me, tapping his mini bible with his wrinkled hands and telling me hes gonna study economics in the church. whatta character. anyways, because of him i missed my metro.

luckily i arrived at narazdi stop, and while walking to the international train ticket booth these 5 guys in wooden swords said "bratislava?" i said hell yes and together we shaved 50% off of our ticket to Slovakia. there were in a middle ages role playing game with 330 other czechs and slovaks, fighting war, eating rabbit, and sleeping in tents. we got to talking about americas involvement in world politics, the downward spiral the Eastern Bloc countries are taking because of the EU's mandatory economic and governmental reforms, and communism.

slovakia is a sad place. ppl are still breaking away from communism, but across the river, its a horrible sight: dozens of communist styled buildings line the shoreline, one after another, citizens cramed into prison like tenement buildings that are starting to decompose. theyre hideous looking remnants of Stalin's legacy. in the 1970s the building bulldozed the synagogue to make room for "progress." its such crap-the shul is far away from the shore and the new bridge...its sad that this happened just 30 years ago. so it goes.

in the city square a celtic band is playing. the ppl here dont really know what to clap? many left during their set, despite their lack of energy. it seems to have dwindled down to close to zero/as if theyve forgetten what to be happy for. at least you ahve a funny sounding city name!!!!

today, communist devastation. tommorow, boat ride on the danube, the communist river!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Mloovetyeh Language of Love

Alright, alright!!! I know it has been a while, but I am finally here, typing on a defective keyboard in Prague, where the Ys are Zy and the lack of apostrophes has led me to a new found appreciation for anti-conjuctions. oH, and 7 Cyechsters are playing CounterStrike, yelling in the background.

I was thinking about telling you guys about my flight, the treif food I was forced to eat-chicken marsala-so here goes-it was a good idea to break up the flight, houston is full of fat people, and london gatwick airport sucks because the english dont believe in air-conditioning. that was the first urban kvetch of the post.

the boathouse hostel is 20minutes outside staremesto, old town of praha, and didnt lie in the advertisement that they are a backpackers heaven, a nice refuge from the heavilz trafficked areas of town. you walk anywhere in the city and youre liable to hear italian, hebrew, slovak, russian, and english everywhere. and dont get me started on the english. its custom for guy and gals to throw bachelor-ette parties in prague, so they move in groups of 20, harassing women, asking everyone for directions all in a drunken haze. truly lovely!

the old jewish quarter is really something special. i ran into a sicilian couple who after our 3 hour excursion together, where we walked through all 6 synagogues, invited me to their place when i go to italy. i said --va bene, but no funny business when i arrive..and by funny i mean mafia, and by business i mean contract killings--alberto and paola were super nice, really intelligent people-we discussed the fate and current state of modern jewry, israel and zionism, anti-semitism, and the fast of yom kippur...SHIT! shoulda told them about the blog!!! we walked thru the old jewish cemetary, where 12,000 tombstones are jumbled up together, some 500 years old. after putting a rock on the maharals tomb --the golem rabbi--they both did the same. such nachas.

the transit system is easy to use-its fairly recommended to get lost for a few hours and youll figure it all out. im starting to feel like a natural chesky after only a day and a half.

the women here are stunning, in case any of you are wondering. i know my brothers are. as are some other members of mÿ family. some dont speak english that well, and its hard to communicate. otherwise, those that do have first hand knowledge of american guyz and their sexual agenda, so i think they tend to stay away. in all, the czecks arent completely there yet- perhaps theyre still decompressing after communism and pissed about joining the EU since its destroying their economy, but there not as happy as other peoples ive seen. inquisitive, but not yet there. one girl, strangely, couldnt explain what she felt about americans.

im not going to poland. its too out of the way- a big schlep to see the camps. ironic, huh? because it sure as hell wasnt for the germans. one of my roommates arrived, and poland is just the opposite direction from where we want to end up-BUDAPEST- we dont have that much time here, and i dont want to spend 2 or 3 dazs of traveling to see a killing centre for 3 hours. im kinda close by not really, and want to spend more time there. wouldnt you rather party in an underground cave in hungary?? really?? cool. nice to know you agree.

our agenda is bratislava, budapest, eger, then back to italy for a lil fun in the adriatic sun. i cant wait for the food. its literally gonna be just an orgy of tastes- i look forward to eating out in italian ristoranti like my grandparents wanted to come to america.

what else? beer gardens, mirror houses, pastry shops where no one speaks a world of english-gesticulation comes in handy-chilling on the danube and blending in-praha reallz is a magical place. people say its not, but trust me. They are LIARS and they must be shot. the tourists dont bother me. i see them as my bodyguards to the rampant pickpocketers who plunge the lost souls.

4 hours of sleep and a litre of beer and im still standing-well, right now im sitting, but thats not my point- my point is, my friends, is that this little superjew has to go back to his happy hostel. hes tired, his thighs are badly chafed-its burns! it burns!-he smells worse than an israeli from the golan with garlic breath-were talking bad here, people, and he badly needs a shower.

till next time, in budapest. but until then, alway remember that if a half russian-half czech guy named Nicotev takes you to his bar and then to a nightclub, think about it, walk away, and do not look back.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

You've made it, I'm bouncing

My plane leaves in 8 hours, and I'm still up. My brother Gil and I got into a serious discussion over how many pairs of shorts to take, what type, whether A & F shorts are too thick for Euro.

Some things to note: I've never been to Eastern Europe. I've never seen a concentration camp, I love wine and cheese, I am a light sleeper, I plan on visiting the Chabad of Prague and Budapest, there is a shul in Prague that according to superstition (not just plan stition) houses the remains of the Golem.

Wander about, comment if you wish, know that I am in your thoughts.

Yes. You are thinking about me. Right now.
pretty cool? huh? k im tired.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Don't Cry 4 Me Yeshiva

I'ev never done this before, but I'm involved in this blogging/post/commenting crap on The Rising Cost of Jewish Education at jewlicious. The poster, mentions how parents can't afford a private jewish education anymore because of the bucks. My high school was $15,000, my middle school = $9,000 year. WIth 3 boys, that's almost 50 grand when we're all in high school...then there's uni.

One of the reasons I want to be a rich screenwriter (yeah f*ck off you'll see) is to put my kids in private jewish day school. But it's so goddamn expensive!!! Plus, after thinking about, yeah, it'd be great for my kids to be comfortable learning the Toyrah and remain knowledgable about their culture, but shizzah, for that much? And when the secular education is usually crap? When drugs are being dealt on campus? When juniors h00k up on rooftops? the stories i have, none of you guys wouldn't believe...Some of them are my own too. Being sheltered in such an insular, insulated environment takes top prize as to why private school is falling from rung to lower rung. It took me two years to get fully adjusted. A year in italy also helped. Even now, I don't fully get the public school kids. We're just from different backgrounds. And that's okay, but it sucked feelin' different and sort of out of the main, alcoholic social circle. Thank god I graduated. With honors! suckers!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Heading Out #1

About to head out. Actually, we're doing some pre-game action here at my place, with the guys before we go out bar hopping down sunset...College slump is starting to set in. I realize now what I miss most is the interaction with everyone, friends, professors, ppl my age or near 22 who are all part of an educational ecosystem. I miss my roommates too. Not all of them, but some of them. It's hard to get ripped away from 5 guys you've known for an entire year. We've danced together, made Jewish and Philipino jokes together, gotten into belt fights (I got the pictures!)

Life is changing drastically for me, for all of us. I'm not getting into politics or religion here, though I could if I wanted to, don't forget that. Been thinking about the paths we choose, whether they choose us or we choose them. Some people I know are living a life without checking and making certain that that life coincides with they really want. I'm done with school, finished the "what I like to call" first 22 years of my life. And now I get to choose where I want to take it. I'm hoping that the path you take is the one you want to, or a step on the way to that which you want. Don't look back on life, 22 years down the road, and think "My life isn't what I wanted it to be." Just remember to keep asking yourself: "Is this what I want?"

Sorry if this is muddled. But in all honesty, it's pouring out. I went to the beach today with the mishpachah (that's family. word), for the first time in only Hashem knows how long. Years. Maybe longer. Longer than years? Possibly a decade. Yeah. The last time we went to the beach as a family could've been when I was twelve. My dad hates sand. My brother hated us. (The whole teenage angst thing which lasted a bit longer than we'd thought)

the sun makes me tired. it feels nice. i wanna try napping from midnight to 3 am just to see what happens. Don't forget to call your pops tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Goodbye, dear Friends.

So after much debate and delays, I bought tickets to Prague two days ago. Never been to Eastern Europe even when I was in Italy, and need to make the trip before it's too late. Or before I die, whichever is first.

The Plan: Home-London0Prague-Krakow-Budapest-

Problem, or the great thing, is that I leave in 6 days.

SIX DAYS, I repeat. OVER.

I've been out running errands, buying hand sanitizers, deodorant (I'm sick of that aluminum zirconium hydroperoxide crap - whatevers in anti-perspirants. I will sweat, sweat, sweat away until it's no longer cool to do so.), Gold Bond (for my boys, feet, and neck), neutrogena shaving gel (weird how neutrogena and neutron bomb have the same prefix) PUMA shoes (blue and green and kick your ass), Lucky Jeans for 30 bucks!, IPod Battery Charger, and 2 pairs of GAP boxers. I think that's all I'm gonna take. Extra pair of jeans, underwear, and my Ipod. Oh. And my Let's Go Eastern Europe guide book. Where the hell would I be without her.

Anybody got plans this summer? If you're hot (and Jewish) come meet my mom and if she says it's kosher I'll stuff in my suitcase and give you an apple for the plane ride so you don't get hungry oh! and a UCSB sweatshirt cuz it can get really cold in cargo.

Monday, June 13, 2005

What's the Plural Form of Alumnus

Graduation is like old Costco Baguette. It's excessively long, the speeches are stale and dry, and you finish it more or less uninspired. Joyce didn't write Ulysses after a piece of bread. My entire family got sunburned, I'm tired I have an actual headache, I still have to unpack-and I'm slightly sad it's all over.

"It's" refers to UCSB, my undergraduate "career," if it's deserving of that title. College flew by, and besides for a couple of weeks and exam-packed days, it was easy as shit. And we all know how easy shit is. I was cataloging my last 4 years.

Freshman Year is a Waste. I was like a lost sperm trying to find the egg and fertilize something. I didn't know what I was doing, what I was studying, what non-Jewish girls kiss like (now I know enough). I joined AePi for a week because my friends did, then dropped out Pledge Night. And so began Hillel....

Second Year was an improved version of my First Year. I knew where campus was, where the Humanities Building was, and what time to go to gym to avoid body and fraternity traffic. Oh, and I learned why it's not sagacious to live with an obese drug addict who knocks up lesbians, a passive aggressive Korean, and two girls who hate each other like my dad hates Germans yet still have lived together for the past 3 years.

Junior Year-ITALY. Just perfect.

Senior Year-What it all comes down to. I found 5 guys from So Cal, lived with a tortured artist type, a sweet soul with a sweet eye for DVDs, a fashionista, and others I don't care to mention because we're still semi-friends, and like semi-chocolate, the structure is weaking but some shards of friendship still exist, barely. The security deposit holds everything together.

I'm tired. These past 2 months of saying goodbye, finishing school, packing, trying to do everything Santa Barbara has to offer me--minus the pork-- graduating, and making sense of it all. Some people use the line, "Thanks for the ride." Cheesy and obnoxious, it sounds like you're a constant traveler, and that this experience, 4 YEARS, is just a ride. But maybe it is, 'cause I feel so seasick, lifesick, I'm outta Dramamine and I just want to go to bed.

But now life starts. B'hatzlacha. Good luck to you all, and bye to those I didn't see before I left. If we're meant to, I'll see you. I changed my cell phone message. It's funny. So Tovah, Sarah, I'm seding your sorry asses to Voice Mail next time you call. Everyone else, you're playin' too.
And to all the fine Jewlicious people: Stay kosher.

Mazal Tovs for everybody. Especially fellow Alumni.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

some kosher and not so kosher news

For all those who might be wondering, and for those you just happened upon this site:

I think I ate pork last night.

And it was damn good.

=the pictures are from the ostrich farm in solvang. we went wine tasting a few months ago. they look like paintings, not photographs. A few minutes before we bought habanero olives. We each had one and instantly starting sweating, i mean dripping off our foreheads, eyes, eyeballs, pupils. It was getting hard to see and my hearing was starting to fade. something to do with the spicyness clogging up your ear drum. I don't know---apparently everything is connected somehow. anyways, the reason we stopped off at the ostrich farm was because they were selling strawberries. and they had free bathrooms. but the strawberries reeled us in. we bought an entire pack for 10 dollars. When your mouth is that much on fire, money means NOTHING.

Gotta study for finals. Anti-semitism is going to tear me up. You'd think I'd find it easy, right? A class on jew-hatred. not because because I hate Jews, but because I hate those who hate Jews. Make sense?

Off to the library. Oh, and god bless shiksas yet again. It's been a good weekend.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

1: I think this guy has got some feed.
2: Just keep your eyes shut man. Posted by Hello

Solvang Ostriches-Rockin the Suburbs Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005



Thursday, June 02, 2005

Flirting - My Disaster

I'm on campus all day, sleepwalking from final to final, and I decide TODAY is the day to get Gaucho Deli. Fine sanwiches, great soups, even better salads. Grab a Barcelona Wrap (the rice was bland, not very Barcelona-ish), and Senor Suavemente that I am, find an empty seat next to a pretty blonde girl, who's got "shiksa-no-way-in-hell-we-could-ever-have-kids" written all over her tanned forehead, with a face full of pigment I'd kill for. Can't ya spare any for the SuperJew, m' lady?

She's studying from a gigantic reader. Human Reproduction. Here's the dialogue.

For finals?
Oh, um, what year are you? You a fourth year?
I'm a third. (Goes back to reading. I'm reading notes for Anti-Semitism class, by the by.)
Anything interesting in there?
Well, mostly about malnutrition and Indonesia. Grand. My favorite.
Teen moms getting pregnant, having babies one after the other-
Like in Monty Python?
What's Monty Python?
Nevermind. Go on.
They can't produce enough milk so they babies go hungry, they got potbellies. Like here. Look.

Human Reproduction? Can we perform a demonstration? It'd help you for the final. That's what I'm thinking. Baby.

You girls need to grab life by the beitzim. Use both hands. You girls need to say SOMETHING, ANYTHING, that shows us that you're interested. Tell us you hate the food, you hate your life, you hate me, just initiate some form of conversation besides "malnourished babies in the East Indies." Because if not, shit, I'm gonna pass you by. Then you get reduced to nice hair and a pair of tits, a brain-dead that doesn't even compete with my five year old cousin. You can ask him anything. He'll even tell you about cells and blood and the function of the liver.

Girl from Gaucho Deli-You should be a comm major.