04 April, 2007

Pesach in a foreign land

Passover started monday night. I celebrated with the Gross family, a nice French-Ashkenazi family living on the border of Switzerland. They however did not provide the seder, but brought me to their friends house. Their friends were Moroccan-Sephardic and I attended the Chabad-Lubavitch service before the 9 PM seder started. Herve Gross (the patriarch of the family I was with) had never been to this Chabad, and knew only his friend whose house we would be dining in. Odd, then, that when we walked in, I knew 2 people in this Chabad. 1 was Stephen, a Canadian student who I was unaware was Jewish and in living in the John Knox Centre where I live. The 2nd was a Cornell student studying through BU whom I met in Gryon during a ski trip. Small world.

Anyways, the seder was hilarious. Most of it was in French or Hebrew, but the funny part would be when mabe 4 of the guests would be readng from different parts all arguing about where they were in the Haggadah. Eventually, one of them would yell the loudest, and instead of doing it over, they would be finished and we would dip the greens in salt water, or whatever part we finished. It was a traditional Moroccan feast as I am told and we had fish balls, lamb, and a gamut of other amazing foods that I grew full over. Long story short, I got home at 2:15 because they eat and drink too much here. Chag Sameach

02 April, 2007

Posts and Posts and Posts and...

It appears that I am several weekends behind on the posting. I still need to update ye on Venice, Padova, and Portugal. But, I want to talk about Slovenia as quickly as possible so I will give the shortened versions of Italy and Portugal (besides, I already gave you all my pictures anyway).

Padua, IT with Amy and Kevin
60,ooo Student University of Padova, Romeo was exiled there, crazy night life, Spritzers are the drink of choice, Kevin's friend Bart led us around, the city is divided between ugly and beautiful. I had fun.

Venice, IT with Amy and Kevin
Canals, canals, glass, masks, Murano, boats, canals, walking, canals. There really isn't much to Venice, we only made it a day trip, I've been there before and its a tourist trap. Just a lot of nice walking.

Lisbon, PT with Ashley and Kevin
Amazing. Like a Portuguese version of San Fransisco. Hilly, tram cars, golden gate bridge, nice people, best seafood I've ever had, good public transportation system, fun night life (drank something called the Hemmingway Special), Fado is a spanish guitar-opera thing with a beautiful sound that is in almost ever bar in Lisbon.

Sintra, PT with Ashley and Kevin
Lord Byron called Sintra an "Eden". So true. Unbelievable architecture over gardens. One garden was sprawled on a hill including caves, over lakes, lookout towers, grottos, rivers: all to mimic Dante's Inferno. Crazy awesome. Good Porto in Portugal, surprising?

PS. I shaved my beard.
Here is the album.