Category Archives: Israel

A Judgmental Jew’s Jerusalem Journey

Our trip to the holy land started out with a bit of theatrics. For starters, I was hungover.  To add insult to injury, we were running super late.  We had planned on an hour drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but due to some random traffic and a driver slower than dirt, we ended up on a two-hour pilgrimage and missed the pickup for our Jerusalem day tour. Apparently, no one has ever been late for a tour in the history of the holy city, because the tour company screamed at Drew over the phone when we called to ask where we could meet up with the group.  This will obviously be reflected in their tripadvisor review.  We missed the stop at the Mount of Olives (bummer) and met up with the tour outside of the old city.  And here is where it gets basic.

We somehow ended up on a bizarre joint German and English tour.  Since we missed the beginning, we still aren’t sure if we just randomly got paired with a large group of Germans, or if we unknowingly booked a tour with a Company specializing in German.  The other two Americans were just as confused as us, which makes me think its the former.  We walked painfully slow through the Old Town, stopping every few feet for a spiel from our guide in both German and English.  Double the fun.  I honestly couldn’t even tell which language the guy was speaking half the time, since he went from one to the other and back again so quickly.  By the time my mind registered that we were back in English and I started to tune back in, he would start speaking in German and my eyes would glaze over.  Repeat.

So, what did we see?  Lots of Jesus stuff.  The site of the Last Supper, Via Dolorosa – the path on which he carried the cross to his crucifixion, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where he was crucified and buried and then resurrected.  It felt like a Jesus drive-by in a German car.  I wasn’t sure if this was a tour or Sunday school, but I was hot and there were just so many damn tourists.  I prefer to get my sight-seeing done at 6am before the crowds wake up, but due to our tight timeline on this trip, we didn’t have a morning in Jerusalem to spare.

The highlight of the day for me was obviously the Jewish sites of the Old City and the Western Wall.  I was not aware that the prayer note situation was BYO pen, but I managed to appropriate one from a little girl, write my prayer and jam in into one of the cracks.  People all around were crying and praying.  I felt like a total ass hole when I took a selfie.  Also, I’d like to note that the men’s side of the wall is bigger and way nicer than the woman’s side.  Wasn’t crazy about that.  All in all, neither Drew or I felt that overwhelminfg spiritualism that everyone talks about when visiting Jerusalem.  Maybe it was the German soundtrack, or the hordes of the tourists, or the streets packed with vendors that gave it a “holy Disneyland” vibe.  In summation, I’m still a half-assed Jew, perfectly content in my mediocrity and apathetically accepting of whatever direction my soul takes in the afterlife, should that be an option.

After lunch we ditched out on the tour early and went back to our hotel to nap.  The only thing left on the itinerary was the Holocaust museum.  I just didn’t have it in me to cry my way through that thing in a German tour group.  Yeah, I said it.  Our hotel is a restored YMCA, and it is awesomely beautiful and historic, but the rooms look like a cabin for the naughty kids at sleep away camp.

Later that night we went out to a fabulous dinner (the first truly decent meal of the trip).  The waitress told me I looked like Shailene Woodley, which kind of pissed me off because she’s a brunette, but she’s also skinny so fine, I’ll take it.   On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a market to get some supplies for the Jordan portion of our trip (read: booze).  It’s Ramadan so I can’t take the chances of having to be sober for five days on vacation.  Oh, the horror.   Start making bets on how Israeli wine tastes now and tune into the next blog to find out.  Next, we popped in to the swanky King David hotel for a nightcap, which turned into three or four, and soon we were drunk in a fancy ass hotel in Jerusalem.  Of to bed fairly early.

Shutting down the hotel bar

Tomorrow we cross the border into Jerusalem and head to Petra.  Prepare yourself for a truly narcissistic display of photography.

Shabbat Shalom Shit Faced

The bitch is back, with a brand spanking new 52-page passport to boot.  I had to trade the old gal in a few years early because she had gotten around rather quickly at a young age and the journeys had left their marks.  I’m going to reuse that same sentence when I blog about my (first) face lift in 20 years.  I can’t think of a better way to break in my new travel docs than with my maiden trip to the motherland.  This shiksa-looking Jew is headed to Israel!  Shortly followed by Jordan.  And you kids are in for one hell of a blog, because Andrew Boston is FINALLY making his debut.  So, in summary, Jew girl going to the motherland with her black brother from another mother, who is not a Jew, and then said Jew girl and black boy cross the boarder into Jordan for a desert and dead sea adventure.  In a week.  You should see our joint trip excel spreadsheet.  The Bostons aren’t fucking around.

Thursday, May 23, – Friday, May 24, 2019

My boogie ass brother decided to use his points to fly first class and leave me to traverse the world solo in coach, like a peasant.  After strategizing for days about what to pack, and organizing luggage cubes in my bag like a tetris mastermind, the French cunt at the Air France gate stomped around her podium, manhandled my little roller suitcase and informed me that the combined weight of my carryon and personal item are above the 12kg weight limit.   Well no shit. What international airlines actual stick to the carry-on weight limit?  Ryan Air and Spirit Airlines.  Great company to be in, Air France.  I naturally demanded to have the items weighed by an actual scale, which she did not have, and a bitch face-off ensued.  I haven’t even stepped on an airplane yet and I’m already getting into a fight.  The incredible hulk informed me that I would just have to trust her instinctual knowledge of what constitutes twenty-six pounds, lest I want to exit back through security to the ticket counter to use the scale at check-in.  It took every fiber of my being to let this one go.  I’ve been escorted out of an airport once before and trust me when I tell you it is not an experience worth repeating.  Air France: 1, Rory: 0.  The flight was freezing, I asked for two extra blankets and annoyed the crew right off the bat, I sat next to a guy who wore jeans on a ten-hour flight – so most likely a serial killer, I drank too much wine and got a headache, chased the headache with a sleeping pill concoction, begrudgingly watch the serial killer sleep like a baby for eight hours straight, and shifted uncomfortably in my seat all the way to Paris for my layover.  Just your typical transatlantic journey.

I typically detest all interactions with the CDG airport, but I found a couch to nap on and ate a giant pan au chocolate, so I’m going to let this airport off with a nothing but a warning to get their fucking bathroom game together.  I’d rather take a piss in the Paris catacombs, which probably have far less human DNA than the bathrooms at that wretched airport.  There were more cunty Air France employees checking bags on the second flight, which made me feel better about getting screwed back at LAX.  Although they apparently allow people who do not speak any common language with the flight crew to sit in the emergency exit row despite not being able to understand a word of instruction on how to operate the door in the event of an emergency.  I don’t particularly give a shit about the emergency exit language rule, but if you are going to ding me on the 12kg weight limit bullshit, you sure as hell should be consistent in your enforcement of arbitrary flight restrictions.

Let’s get the party started.  I land at 11:30pm on a Friday night.  The plan is to booze on the plane, drop off my bags at the hotel as quickly as possible, and get my ass out to a bar faster than you can say “Shabbat Shalom”.  Issue #1 is that I now I have to wait for my checked luggage.  Issue #2, they have no vodka on the plane.  Not one single, solitary mini.  The flight attendant actually offered me gin instead.  This is a plane to Tel Aviv, lady, not a fucking episode of mad men.  But yes, I will obviously take the gin.

Immigration was a breeze, my bag arrived promptly, and I was ripping shots from titos mini in the back of a taxi on my way to the hotel within about thirty minutes of touching down.  Did I mention I brought my own mini vodkas from home for this exact purpose? Planning ahead for the win, once again.  I arrived to find the hotel bar already closed, so I threw on a dress and Drew and I immediately hit the town. After a useless cab driver dropped us off nowhere near our requested destination, we finally found Boy Bar – a bizarrely awesome prohibition-era themed establishment with overpriced fancy drink and staff in costumes.

The girl at the door turned us away because the bar was “closing soon”.  I explained that I just flew twenty hours in coach to get here and mama was desperate for a drink.  She rewarded my relentless badgering by leading us to the bar and introducing us to a bartender that would quickly become by vodka sugar daddy.  Andrew ordered a drink called “holy water” which was served on a platter with a smoking pine cone that served no purpose other than justification for the absurd price. I ordered a shot of chilled vodka.  Hold the pine cone, please.  For some reason the bartender took a likely to us and continued to give me free shots of vodka.  At one point he just gave me an entire shaker half-filled with vodka so I could refill my own shot glass.  We were doing shots together, shots with other patrons, shots with the manager. We closed the place down, payed basically nothing, tipped like rock stars and headed out to find a new bar.  It’s only about 2:30am at this point, which is essentially party intermission in Tel Aviv.

Fun random friends

We heeded our bartender’s advice and went to a club.  Awful choice.  This place was dark and dingy and full of horny children surrounded by plumes of smoke.  I ordered us vodka sodas and the bartender gave us vodka red bulls.  In plastic cups.  Is this a bar or an Israeli frat party in 2004?  It was clearly time to move on…once we’re done chugging our cups of sugar vodka, of course.  No fallen soldiers.

No idea what time it is at this point, maybe 3am?  We quickly found an outdoor bar with good looking age-appropriate people and shimmied into a table with some good-looking men.  We helped them plan one of their bachelor parties.  These poor souls were about to fly to Las Vegas for a week.  A WEEK! Within ten minutes Andrew and I had detailed out a Miami to Vegas itinerary for them on their iphone, complete with hotel, restaurant and club suggestions.  My affinity for drunken trip planning translates quite well over here.

This is where the night gets fuzzy.  The bar closed around 4am, yet we found ourselves after partying inside with the staff and all their friends.  There was a ginger waiter who everyone literally called “Ginge”, and not ironically.  There was a hot waitress who let me squeeze her boobs.  An Israeli guy kept trying to make out with me.  Ya know, typical Friday night shenanigans.  Except it was 5am Saturday morning.  We were invited to yet another after party at someone’s house, but I could tell by the glazed over look in his eyes that Andrew’s drunken and crazy alter ego, Andre, was about to take over.  I quickly threw us in a cab before my momentary lapse into good judgment wore off.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

We had a 9am bike tour of Tel Aviv scheduled.  We obviously missed it and slept until 3 pm.  The weather was beautiful and the beach was packed.  We went to a beach club where we immediately decided we were too sober and instead had a mediocre lunch with some vodka for desert.  Back to the beach club we went, where we found some lounge chairs that came with a smoking hot waiter, named Tomer.  And then I got into a legit beach brawl.  With a giant Middle Eastern man.  When I say fight, I don’t mean my usual brand of fighting where I just scream the loudest and injured someone’s ego with scathing insults and a multitude of profanities.  I mean, I did all that too.  But I actually put my hands on this ass hole and had to be held back.  You guys, it was so fun.  Long story short, he was harassing some girls and the “security” wasn’t doing shit about it, so I took it upon myself to step in and tell this guy to leave them the hell alone.  He came up to me and swatted the brim of my hat.  I. LOST. MY. FUCKING. MIND.  It escalated quickly from there.  I jumped up and pushed him back, he threw his drink in my face, I lunged at him and pushed him again, some guys grabbed me and pulled me off, screaming at me that I can’t fight a man because I am a woman. So naturally I started screaming at them as well.  Security finally moved their lazy asses and it de-escalated just as quickly as it started.  Drew was mortified. I was grinning from ear to ear, because nothing gets me more amped up than a good fight.  Not my best quality, I know.  At this point Tomer decided that I was a bad ass bitch and took Drew and I over to some new chairs to party with a rich American guy who would pay for our drinks.  The rich American guy was drunk off his ass and kind of annoying, but we were drinking on his tab so we laughed at his jokes.  Also, he is a private pilot for the fucking Kardashians.  I shit you not.  He had photographic proof.  I died.

We headed back to the hotel as the sun was setting and kept the party going with more (free) drinks from the Sheraton club level.  We snuck out soda water in my backpack and walked out with water cups full of vodka.  We are such garbage and I love it.  Have I mentioned that I still haven’t showered since I left home?  I have priorities, and those priorities are vodka.  Drew had made us dinner reservations at a hip restaurant called Emesh that turns into a club, so before I knew it we were having another hot waiter pop a bottle of champagne for us.  The food was disappointing but the vibe more than made up for it.  We made friends with a large birthday party group.  They brought a cake with sparklers, so it was obvious we had fallen into the right crew.  Our goal was to be home by midnight because we have a big day in Jerusalem tomorrow.  I honestly have no idea when we got home, but I did wake up next to Chinese food boxes, so your guess is as good as mine.