Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tel Aviv

As time approached for my trip to Israel, I was struck with the unease that I felt absolutely no excitement whatsoever, dunno why, maybe it was because I'd have traded my trip to Israel for a day in Kenya, you wouldn't understand so I'll keep the story for another day. Twas a 10hour flight, peaceful and smooth. On arrival @ Tel Aviv, I could feel little bubbles of excitement building up within, my eardrums were ringing in resonance to an unknown chord, after effects of auditory imbalance I guess ( an ailment that plagued me through out my soujourn in the Holy land). I'll cue you in on a few items that surprised me in Tel Aviv.
1. Mercedes Benz was the taxi of choice. Yes sir!!! The cab drivers were rolling in Benzes!!! Leather seat pimping. Yours sincerely was very much amazed, a huge upgrade from the cabs that I have to put up with in NY/NJ!
2. Israel may be painted as a religious country but there is absolutely nothing religious about Tel Aviv! Simply put, Tel Aviv is the New York or Paris of the Mediterranean or Middle East. It is a coastal town and my hotel was right smack on the beach. Now, there are beaches all over the world, but I am yet to find the words to describe the beauty of the Tel Aviv sand and the piercing blue gaze of the sea. Truly beautiful!
3. Israelis love food! And I mean it. The food is 100% natural, not all the processed and steroid infused abnormalities we see in the US. They have a huge craving for this dish called "Humus". It is a type of paste that I really wasn't in to but I gotta give the Israelis alot of credit, they are pretty good with food.
4. There are alot of young people in Israel, ALOT! Got me thinking, but I figured that since the jewish population lost a whole generation during World War 2, they werent taking any chances.
5. There is basically no discrimination between men and women in Israel, both sexes are fierce and independent, equal opportunities every where (I may be wrong, but that's my perspective). There are many female engineers here, the women arent afraid to mix it up with the men and they are really good!
6. Security is key! If ever you plan a trip to Israel, get ready to be searched, and I mean it. It doesnt matter if you are American or Palestine, you can be selected at random and searched at the airport, well if you are Palestine then you are most likely to be searched anyway, lol.

There are a few other things that have escaped my mind. I enjoyed walking along the beach, feeling the sand between my toes and the cool feel of the mediterranean breeze. I watched the sun set, gazed at the stars in the Meditteranean sky and daydreamed about my Coco...

Well, I'm back in Brick City...time to restrategize, focus and make things happen...

Friday, May 13, 2011


Work had me on the road again...this time, the destination was Calgary, Canada. The flight was a blur, the first thing I recall however was my surprise when I discovered in Calgary that the CAD had more value than the USD. Pardon my french, but in my mind I was like ..."WTF! U've gotta be kidding me". Well, the sad truth was that the USD had lost its glamour. I changed a few notes and resolved to stick to my Visa card. I love travelling but I hate going on trips alone. So as much as the business trips give me an all-expense paid mini vacation, I don't really enjoy it that much. I had a jacuzzi in my hotel room, well for the money I was paying, it had to be there! Unfortunately I wasnt thrilled by the luxury of the jacuzzi, I used the shower instead. I'll only get in to a jacuzzi with my girlfriend! I'm a simple fella (lol), my hedonistic tendencies are ephemeral.

Calgary is a beautiful city, expensive but beautiful! The cuisine was excellent. Sampled a few restaurants just to get a feel of the town. First stop was @ "Clay Oven", a little Indian restaurant, the food was wonderful. Spicy with loads of zest, in sharp contrast to the soothing music, the effect was almost zen-like yet fiery! On my second day, I tried out a mediterranean spot, "The Mirage". To be sincere, the reason why I went there was cos my guide swore that their shisha was good. Considering that I'm not a smoker, I happen to fancy the aroma of shisha, quite different from the roughness of hashish. The kebab was excellent, the aroma of the shisha made me feel like Aladdin, dunno if Aladdin smoked a hookah though (lol). I kept picturing myself floating on a Persian rug with Coco, arabian night style.

Day 3 featured a rendezvous @ a swanky cafe, can't recall if the name was Red Lotus or Red Cafe but it did have this oriental feel to it, though the waitresses looked like models and were all wearing minis! Excellent salmon sandwich, now I understand why people love the good life! I try not to recall the size of the bill for each outing. Day 4 was a trip to Joey Tomato's. I highly recommend that you check out Joey's if you are ever in Calgary, simply sublime food!

Oh well, I've been writing only about food (lol). But apart from work, thatz about the only thing I do on my travels, sample the food. The trip back to Jersey was definitely interesting, was picked out for a random search TWICE! I don't want to call it profiling or anything but for some reason people don't seem to believe I am an engineer (and a darn good one!). I may dress casual and look a lil rough, but do not be deceived, I'm very good at what I do (sampling food!). Anyway, I opted for a body pat-down instead of having some random dude snickering at my vitals in x-ray mode.

I've always wondered about moving to Canada. My only hesitation stems from their atrocious weather, in summer it feels heavenly, but in winter...think of Alaska, bitter cold. I don't think my wife would fancy the cold that much. Well, I'm back in Brick City, at least for a week, then I'll jet off to Tel Aviv on another trip. Will def give you details on how that turns out.

I keep dreaming about winning the lottery (lol)...say a prayer for me will ya?