Soaked in Salt and Nearly Blind

dead sea from our hotel balconey

The Dead Sea from Our Hotel Balcony

On the way to the Dead Sea, Zohar warned us that the water was greasy because of  the natural salts concentrated therein (magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc.). We should shower immediately after our dunk. Zohar, who seems a bit of a worry wart anyway, but has 39 grownups to herd, also advised that we not dive in, or swim, not to splash, to watch for the rocks underwater, and to never, never let the water into your eyes.  Something dreadful would ensue. We were no longer sure that a dip was a good idea. We were nearly ready to pull the senior citizen card. 

Continue reading


Uziel Remembered


On a wall at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem is a bas relief portrait of Uziel Spiegel (pictured above), who died at age 2 in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. He is chubby, smiling, adorable.

Continue reading

Accepted and Embraced

Site of the crucifixion

Site of the crucifixion, now within Holy Sepulcher church.

This entry in the Expat Almanac features a slightly different cast of characters: I am traveling in Israel with one of my college roommates, Judy Jewell, and 37 motley folks. We are on a tour in a bright purple bus that we can see from anywhere. We are in Israel, and on our way to Jordan.

Continue reading

Ennis, Letterfrack, and Hodson


, , ,


hotel lobby

The Rosleague Hotel lobby in Letterfrack, Ireland.

Ennis, Letterfrack, and Hodson. Sounds like a legal firm you might hire to defend your son on a charge of animal abuse with a laser pointer. (“Really, Your Honor: Whiskers had a healthy relationship with that red dot for years. I can only assume it was his old age that led him to confuse it with the barbecue.”)

Continue reading

Grand Larceny

grand larceny

We’ve been contemplating Grand Larceny lately.

How’s this: We could take an out-of-state debit card into a California Safeway, buy $400 worth of whiskey (and maybe get $100 cash back), then sell the whiskey out on the streets. After that, hit another Safeway. Then another. Maybe a Walmart too. And a Walgreen’s. (In California, all these stores sell liquor.)

Continue reading