The journey begins in Tel Aviv. On a cold and rainy Friday in February.

C. Jere

C. Jere

TEL AVIV – Falafel Joint

We experience the city like most out-of-towners day tripping in the White City.

Looking for parking.

Oh the fucking agony. And the cursing. And swearing. And bargaining with the devil.

Nobody fucking moves their car in Tel Aviv. Not on a rainy Friday morning.

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The CD player in the beat up family sedan skips. The new windshield wipers squeak so loudly it’s like a cat being stuffed into a food processor. But if I turn them off I can’t see shit. And he’s kicking the back of my seat while whining about something or other.

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Falafel. Of course. I stuff so many balls in my mouth I feel like a gay porn star.

Vegan Country – The Bathroom

The Mohican (that’s what I call my four and a half year old savage) has to pee. So he pulls down his pants in the middle of the street. Not in the middle. But on the sidewalk of Yehuda Halevi Street. And starts peeing into traffic.

Right outside that vegan place that my friend owns.

I call him my friend but he’s more of an acquaintance.

Not really an acquaintance. Some guy I habitually avoid. And haven’t been to his restaurant. Not since he bought it a year ago.

(I’ve been meaning to.)

I drag the Mohican in kicking and screaming. A trail of pee marking our way in and through the restaurant. A trail of pee marking our way into the bathroom.

And he’s there behind the counter. Surprised and disgusted in equal measure. I wave. And tell him what a fine restaurant it is. Fine restaurant indeed.

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Vietnam – Kanu

I’ve never had Vietnamese street food before. Never been to Vietnam. Don’t dare call it Nam’ because I’ve never been there.

“Mommy has tits. Big tits. Daddy has small tits. And dad has a wiener. The biggest wiener in the world.”

God bless that child.

He wears the oversized hat while we devour the Vietnamese street food. Momo and Veggie rolls. Desert is some kind of tapioca with mango and pineapple. Fucking delicious.

And he snatches every single chopstick set and snaps them apart. Some fall on the floor. Some don’t.

And he has to pee seventeen times.

The owner hands us a shot of choya. In honor of my wife’s birthday or as condolences for our suffering.

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Kingdom of Arendelle – (Ramat Gan) Roasted Salmon with steamed broccoli.

Oh let it fucking go already. Seriously. If I have to watch that movie one more time I’m going to ask to be cryogenically frozen and demand to be woken up with Mr. Walt Disney himself so I can kick him in the nuts.

***

Iraq – Sabich

Deep fried eggplant slices. Hard boiled egg. Hummus. In a pita. For breakfast.

And its so god damn greasy I can actually feel my arteries begin to clog.

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Who knew back in the early 90’s that it would be heart failure and not scuds from Iraq that would eventually do me in?

New Orleans – Gingerbread cookies and Snickerdoodles

Valentines Day. Mardi Gras. My wife wants the whole N’awlins experience. Jambalaya. Gumbo soup. Women flashing us on Dizengoff Street for beads. Well, not the last part.

Nola. Cool décor on the walls. The wafting aroma of fresh baked goods from their bakery. Hipster assholes everywhere.

But there’s a thirty minute wait for a table. And the Mohican is restless. And tempers flare. And it’s cold outside.

Fuck Katrina. She ain’t got nothing on me when I’m hungry and denied food.

I get take away. A gingerbread man with a heart, a cup of tea and a snickerdoodle cookie.

And I give those fuckers behind the counter the stink eye as I grab a packet of sweetener for my tea.

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Mexico – Frozen Margaritas and burritos.

People say I look like Jack Black. Which my wife thinks is an abomination.

She says I look nothing like him.

Me?

Me?

Jack

Jack

Nacho Libre. Two frozen Margaritas. Let it go. LET IT GO.

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Fuck it. Drinking tequila in the middle of the day. Why, yes, I do want to build a snowman.

Or Yehuda (My own special place in Hell – Pea Soup)

And we heat up the leftover soup my mother in law made the day before.

Pea soup. Goat cheese and beets in a pita.

Frozen. Again. And it’s quite a lovely movie. And which one am I? Am I Anna? Or Elsa?

(My mother in law catches me singing “Do You Want to Build a snowman)

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And the chocolate. Oh the chocolate. Bon Bons. Heart shaped chocolates. Lots of chocolate. Now that’s a funny story.

Chocolate Chalet – Switzerland (Two days earlier)

I buy my wife a coffee mug, one of those “World’s Best Mom” mugs the day before her birthday. Fill it with chocolate. Good stuff. Swiss. Tell the Mohican that it’s a surprise for her birthday from him. Hide it in the closet.

We agreed – no gifts this year. But this is a gift from him. Loophole.

And I confide in him. Give it to her on her birthday. First thing in the morning as she wakes up. It’ll make her happy. Not before then.

And he nods. We shake on it.

And she comes home from work. He rushes into the closet and grabs the present. Starts to unwrap it.

NOOOOO!

I should have known he couldn’t be trusted with such a delicate task.

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THERAPY in GIVATAYIM (via Italia)

I have one or two friends left who still call on me despite my raging misanthropy. One even invited us over for pizza.

Half an hour discussion on the toppings. And maybe it’s the beer or the weed but if I squint he kind of looks like my therapist.

My former therapist that is.

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Who lives down the street from him.

And come to think of it I’ve never seen them in the same room together. Ever.

Just saying.

Argentina – Alfajores Cookies

She hides them in her bag. Wants to surprise me on my birthday.

While she’s in the shower he tells me where to look.

And I don’t care about the surprise. She knows me.

(Calls me her cookie monster)

Home is wherever I’m with her.

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***

The journey ends here.

On the shitter.

Water and paint chips drizzling from the leaky ceiling like snow.

A precarious water boiler directly above me on the roof.

And an absurdly tragic notion crosses my mind

after all is said and done

all I’ve written,

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all I’ve filmed

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all my journeys

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I’ll be that guy who died while pooping.

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