18 May, 2007

Going to Manchester

Filed under: Europe by Joel @ 4:02 pm, 18 May 2007.

I don’t like writing about when I do stupid things, but sometimes I feel disloyal to what readers I have if I don’t. I have a couple of English friends who volunteered with me and the Hineni group in Karmiel in 2002. But both are now up in Manchester, rather than in London. So I have been trying to decide for many weeks whether it would be worthwhile going up to Manchester to see them and spend shabbat with them. They certainly couldn’t come down; it is exam time, and Heather has a three-month old baby (and a husband to take care of). But I hadn’t seen them in years, and when you’ve already come this far around the world, there’s no small amound of money that should stop you going a little further to spend time with people you love. (more…)

14 May, 2007

A horrible day and chateaux

Filed under: Europe,Weather by Joel @ 7:22 pm, 14 May 2007.

Today was a horrible day, as far as being a tourist goes. I had set aside the day to actually leave Paris and head to Versailles, seeing as until yesterday I was getting by on a weekly pass for the Paris metro and bus system. But the day started late, and the weather was looking poor (but it had done the same the past few days without a big problem). IMG_6583outIMG_6577out When I got off the RER train and walked to the famous Chateau, it was undergoing restoration works, so large portions of the building itself were covered in scaffolding. Then I found out that the building was closed on Mondays (well how was I supposed to know?), and although there was plenty to do just wandering around the enormous gardens as well as Marie Antoinette’s dominions, I was a little annoyed with myself. And before long my camera decided to break, so some of the stunning scenes I did eventually see (although it was pouring by then), might have to be found on Google Images instead of At least, while the day was horrible, it only cost 5.40 Euros! (more…)

13 May, 2007

Kosher in Paris

Filed under: Europe,Food by Joel @ 5:24 pm, 13 May 2007.

It may surprise some to know that Paris has more than twice as many kosher restaurants than Manhattan (or Brooklyn or Long Island for that matter; according to, at least), despite having many less Jews in the neighbourhood. The French are known for their good food and their appetites for good food, so it’s not entirely surprising. But it also comes at French prices, so I haven’t had the opportunity to sample too much French kosher cuisine (the 4-Euro falafel wasn’t bad, though). Of course, many make the same mistake as with kosher restaurants around the world and are afflicted by not offering the quality of food and service expected from non-kosher equivalents. (more…)

12 May, 2007

A new European flavour

Filed under: Europe by Joel @ 8:53 pm, 12 May 2007.

IMG_5287outIMG_5239outDespite not really being ready to pack up and go, I’ve found myself in Europe for the last nearly two weeks: for one night in London, then a few days in the Netherlands, and now (by the time this blog gets posted), Paris. It’s an entirely different world to North America in some ways, and on the other hand it’s just strange to have my life in bags and be travelling again (minus the 20kg possibly on a ship by now to Sydney, and the random objects that didn’t make the cut and stayed in Montreal). Each time before I venture to a new city, I have a strange fear that I’m not going to enjoy it, or I won’t make the effort to do so, or it’s not going to work out, and all I want to go is get to somewhere I know. Once I get going though, it’s great fun. (more…)

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