Friday, August 22, 2008

Cool Jew

I was brought up in mild non-religious traditional Jewish manner. The way I experienced my Jewishness evolved over the years. I would describe myself now as a conscious anti-theist. But when I saw my oldest son speaking to an Israeli girl it felt good. It seems that my intellect is built on a sticky layer of emotional inheritance of generations.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kids catch 22

"I know I promised you that, but I also told you not always to believe me. You didn’t believe that, did you?"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Believe it or not

A recent American study has evinced that children sucking their thumb are more likely to become religious then the non-suckers.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Believers... (02)

Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Holiday happiness day 14

One of the waiters here wanted to flirt with my oldest daughter.
He asked my youngest son how to say in our language "I like you very much".
My son taught him "I have a garlic breath".

Click here for the first day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Holiday happiness day 13

The MTV wannabe dynasty.

A new family has arrived here in the hotel; father, mother and two children.

In his early thirties, smoking like a chimney, skinny type with some impressive meant tribal tattoos on his hardly impressive upper-arms, flashy ear stud, flashy plastic sunglasses, over sized Rolex-Daytona-type watch on his wrist, several rings on his fingers, short dark hair with a broad peroxide dyed yellowish/blond band dividing his head in three equal parts making his head look like part of a crosswalk.

Also in her early thirties, smoking as the same chimney, her long blond hair needs a new color-treatment as the old one has visibly been an approximate 4 centimeters ago, flashy fake Dior sunglasses, a fleshy impersonation of the Astarte fertility sculpture. I did not check on tattoos but would not be surprised if she has some.

Around 14 or 15, smoking like a little chimney but only since recently judging by the way she holds a cigarette in her fingers in what she apparently presumes to be mature. Skinny teenybopper, parading with her just budding breasts in what is supposed to be a sexy outfit, long brown hair, wearing big loop shaped earrings, nose stud, too much eye-liner and make-up.

Around 10 years old, not started smoking in public yet, a clone of his father in all, hair cut and colors, ear stud, sunglasses, posture etc. except I think his tattoo is a stick-on. Cool wide legged walking around in this tropical heat in his over sized skater clothes with screaming prints of some big brands and an over sized baseball hat diagonally on his head.

It made me think that this is what it looks like when kids are having kids.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Holiday happiness day 12

How to be a tour-guide for dummies
A five-minute course on how to become a professional tour-guide.

Part one
Smile, say good morning to the dummies, brag about your magnificent country and mention the tip box.

Part two
$mile, offer the dummies some overpriced drinks, brag some more about your illuminated country and mention the tip box.

Part three
Smi£e, show the dummies a pile of old rocks and stones, make up a story about it, keep bragging about your dazzling country and mention the tip box.

Part four
Smil€, bring the dummies to the local jeweler, leather house, carpet factory or any other merchant you can make a good commission deal with, do not stop bragging about your unbelievable fantastic country and mention the tip box.

Part five
$mi£€, bring the dummies back to their hotel while bragging about the modest mentality of the people of your country and mention the tip box.

Did we mention the importance of the tip box yet?

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Holiday happiness day 11

One of the joys of being the father of an 18 year old attractive girl is that I finally can have my revenge on all the good-looking boys that, in contrary to me when I was that age, where always popular and lucky with the girls.

A boy, the type that I just described, a bit older then my daughter was hitting on her while I was sitting nearby. I did not even have to look good to see the abundant level of testosterone shining, almost dripping, through his eyes when he was smooth-talking and name-dropping to impress her. Now I know my daughter is a clever girl who can see through such a charade, but when he asked her what they were going to do that night I couldn't resist interfering by saying "I know what you two are not going to do tonight".

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Holiday happiness day 10

Bargaining tips from the empiric expert - part two

The holiday bargaining confusion strategy.

The seller wants 50. Offer 25.
The seller will be very indignant and it is only because you are his friend and that he knows people from your city that are very nice too that you can have it for 40. Thank him in the most polite way and then offer 20 with a serious face. This will confuse him and with some luck he will say that you just offered 25. Thank him in an exuberant way, take out your wallet and count out 25. While the seller looks at you, trying to find out if you are sane or not, keep smiling at him in an evangelic kind of way. If this all does not work, go for the "me not speak English good" strategy.

Whatever you do, keep smiling and remember that it is only a game and no matter what you do, you will loose. Only how much is up to you.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Holiday happiness day 9

"Oh daddy, daddy, that girl's father has a candy store. That is soooo cool." my youngest daughter told me.
"You know what is really cool? An ice cream store." I replied.
"What is so cool about an ice cream store?" my wife asked.

Click here for the next day.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Holiday happiness day 8

Bargaining tips from the empiric expert - part one

One of the most important tips on bargaining while on holiday is to never ever start bargaining with a seller if you have your wife and/or kids with you, especially if it is something they want. If you cannot prevent this from happening then prepare yourself for spending way too much money.

Another important tip is to never ever have your family stop and look at merchandise from sellers that are old, very old, extremely old, crippled or pitiable in any way. This, with no doubt, will bring above the worst altruistic and deepest philanthropic emotions in your family members, only to be soothed, in their opinion, by the use of your wallet.

Click here for the next day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Holiday happiness day 7

Ok, despite all my good intentions we stepped in our first tourist trap this holiday. What was sold to us by the friendly tour-operator was a visit to a waterfall, an all inclusive lunch and a visit and sight-seeing to a major town nearby.

We were picked up in time by the bus and I soon noticed that the friendly bus-driver interpreted the red stopping signs as non-committal suggestions.

First stop was "on the house" the friendly guide told us. Although not planned or mentioned in the brochure he wanted to show us the "lucky bridge". A recent interpretation of a Roman bridge on a place where there always has been a crossing. And, he told us, according to the local tradition, people had to cross that bridge walking to live long and happy. This stop took about 10 minutes in total.

Our second stop was at a big jewelery store where we had to look at a commercial for 15 minutes. The friendly guide then told us we had to spend an hour with the friendly jeweler. The friendly jeweler's assistant gave us numbered batches to stick on our clothes so the friendly jeweler would know who brought us to his place in case one of us would buy from him so he would know which ones of the friendly guides he had to pay commission to.

After this stop we were brought directly to a leather jacket warehouse where a friendly lady told us to clap on the rhythm of very loud music while some friendly female anorexia models and one friendly male macho model were showing leather jackets made in a fashion my grandparents cannot even remember. Then the friendly guide was so nice to offer us half an hour extra to look at the other jackets the friendly warehouse-keeper had in stock.

We were then brought to the waterfall but not before the friendly guide had told us that because of the worldwide climate change there wouldn't be much water coming down anymore.

From there we were brought to a place in the middle of nowhere to have our all-inclusive lunch which was surprisingly good. Another surprise was that, although mentioned otherwise by the friendly tour-operator, we had to pay the friendly waitress for our beverages. The price we had to pay would make an average barkeeper at the Champs Elysee blush.

From there we were driven to the big town without any further sight-seeing or background information and we were given three hours by the friendly guide to stroll around.

We bought us some things in the bazaar that I just cannot imagine to have ever lived without and were back in time for the friendly bus driver to pick us up, ignore some more red traffic lights and deliver us back in the hotel.

Actually it was not a bad day. We had some nice contacts with fellow passengers in the bus but now I wonder how many of my fellow male victims from this trip, who also crossed the lucky bridge, will get lucky tonight. I know I won't.

Click here for the next day.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Holiday happiness day 6

The psychology behind, and the technique of, claiming desk chairs at the pool. An in-depth study of a particular season-related human behavior for which your undercover correspondent went great lengths.

Before I start my disquisition, and perhaps unnecessary to mention but everybody knows there is only one good place to sit at any swimming pool. And once picked, one gets emotionally attached to this one spot. So the choice of desk chairs and their "pool place" shouldn't be taken too lightly.

Phase one - "the task"
finding the right place

Important parameters are the answers to the following questions:
What time is the sun there?
Will there be any shadow and if so, where and when?
How far is the distance to the water?
Any chance on a refreshing breeze during the day, or too windy?
How are the chances to get splashed on or even to get seriously wet?
What is the distance to the nearest bar?
Are there any big loudspeakers near the pool and if so where?
What type of people sit in that area?

Take the pro's and contra's and decide.

Phase two - "the study"
Observe the people occupying the desk chairs of your desire, these will be your contestants. what time do they claim the place and are they bigger then you?

If the answer to the second question is yes then reconsider the outcome of phase one or go directly to phase seven.

Phase three - "the hit"

Set the alarm half an hour before you expect your opponents to claim your seats, go to the desk chairs and drape your towels there. Take a seat in them, make yourself comfortable till they come and stay seated until they claim another place. During this phase do not look too triumphantly but play the murdered innocence.

Phase four - "the fight"
keeping your place

Sometimes just staying in your chair will not do and you might have to defend it. This can be done in several ways. One of the simplest manners is playing dumb and stick to your mother-tongue. If you are lucky they go away, if you are unlucky and they speak your language then just stick out your tongue and play "first come, first serve". Another option might be to urinate on every corner of your territory while your competitors are watching. Even if they do not understand the significant meaning of this gesture, it might just turn them off just for hygienic reasons.

Phase five - "the bigger fight"
reclaiming your place

Expect the unexpected in the sense that your place can be reconquered by your enemies during your breakfast. Do not openly start the fight but set the alarm for the next day half an hour earlier and never go out again for breakfast, lunch or diner without leaving your territory unattended by at least your spouse and half of your offspring.

Phase six - "the bribe"
become friendly with the life-guard

It is a good precaution, already during phase one, to get acquainted with the life-guard. Drinks or other minor presents, even smiles can help. It is easier then to leave your place unattended, knowing you have the pool-police at your side.

Phase seven - "the justified right"
In case all previous advices failed buy the book: "The settler's handbook for a greater Judea" for more practical tips.

Click here for the next day.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Holiday happiness day 5

Read Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander yesterday and liked it. Back to Dostoyevsky's Idiot now, boring but I want to finish it.

At breakfast I looked around in the hotel's restaurant and it seemed I only heard children and women. Most of the men were eating silently. Chewing distantly and nodding absently their heads now and then and letting the babbling go by.

Oh how I can relate

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Holiday happiness day 4

Woke up this morning around 5.30 AM by strange noises outside. When looking down from my balcony we saw a coming an going of mostly German men, claiming their "lebensraum" in the form of placing their towels on the deck chairs next to the pool. There was even a couple that stayed in the area to protect their claimed places.

My youngest daughter, 11 yrs old, was really upset yesterday because we didn't have a place to sit next to the pool. So when she was looking with us to these people claiming their seats, she decided to go down and claim us 4 seats too. We then went back to bed, to be woken up half an hour later by my oldest son with the message that he also had claimed three seats at the pool.

Click here for the next day.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Holiday happiness day 3

I didn't sleep too bad. The choice was either too cold because of the airco or too hot without. I decided for the latter.

Had another good breakfast and then went to the spa. I wasn't too happy with it because there was not much to complain about.

Last night before sunset the sun suddenly darkened by a big brownish cloud. There seems to be a big forestfire nearby. We saw the fire fighting airplanes flying over and by the end of the day it started to rain ashes. The dark cloud stayed there for most of today.

I took my two boys, 20 and 13 yrs old, to the local barber for a shave. Although not really necessary for the youngest, he already shaved himself one month ago, but it makes him feel grown-up. He only didn't like the part too much where he got after-shave sprinkled over his just-shaved face.

Click here for the next day.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Holiday happiness day 2

First we had ourselves a good breakfast and then we went to the reception to ask for some other "joining rooms". The rather big clerk told me that the manager would come in 3 minutes. More then half an hour later in which the clerk assured me several times it really would be 3 minutes and that I perhaps should have another breakfast, plus being witness of the guy's vain attempts to hit on a fresh incoming female tourist, the manager came.

Of course it was very difficult almost impossible to have joining rooms, and he wanted to know who promised us what, where, when and why. We had to come back around noon and he would see what he could do for us. When we showed up at 11 he had found us our real joining rooms.

Late in the afternoon I went to the local hairdresser for a haircut and to be shaved. I have to be honest and commit that the result is not too bad.... considering the €6 I had to pay.

Click here for the next day.