Daniel J. Roth

The Degenerates Guide to Tel Aviv

Drugs, Sex, Violence, and all matters centered on indulging one’s most base desires in the Holy Land is the subject of this blog. Over time, we will explore the clandestine culture of Tel Aviv, relaying everything from the ridiculous misadventures associated with procuring and ingesting narcotics; touring underground sex clubs with transvestite day-laborers; finding secret gambling dens ran by Russian teenagers; and encountering dangerous and violent scenarios that colors in the hushed periphery of our lovely little city. Most of these stories are based on true events from a wide arrange of characters, all told through a first person perspective. This blog does not advocate the use of drugs, violence, illegal gambling or prostitution- it merely serves as a testament that conveys the universality of human self-destruction against the back-drop of the Holy Land. Please feel free to comment, contribute, or  express your disgust….Thank you.



 “If you want Pharmaceuticals, find an American- chances are they’re high on some kind of medication that was prescribed to them back in the states.” -Anonymous

Life in Tel Aviv is stuck in a state of constant motion. Between work, school, socializing, and family there is not much time for ones self.  The point is, for us degenerate Ex-Pats from the US and other parts of the world, the perfect opportunity to chemically imbibe are those that come unencumbered. However, anyone that lives in Tel Aviv  knows that this isn’t always an easy task- hell, one cant even get Advil  unless its at the pharmacy ( If I can buy liquor and cigarettes at a kids candy store, I should be able to buy Advil at the kiosk next to my house,!)

That’s why exploring this realm of Tel Aviv life is so interesting. It provides countless tales of adventure and danger- the foundation for any good story. This is mine….

All names have been changed

The Forgotten Central Bus Station

We we’re outside X___ , on Rothschild St. where we both worked for the last two months. I had just moved to Tel Aviv from Haifa after I wrapped up my ulpan semester and I was ready to begin my new journey in this beautiful city. Mikey, an oleh from Miami, and I had quickly become friends- yet this had only been our third shift together. We were having a cigarette when I noticed the serene glaze splashed across my companion’s face with a content found only on the countenance of the pill poppers I knew back in L.A. So, never one to be shy, I asked if there was any way he could help.

I had been craving pharmaceuticals since I had moved to Tel Aviv, finding no luck. I was starting school in two weeks and knew it would be a while before I found a free moment. I seized the opportunity as it presented itself. Evidently, the habit flew across the world with me.

He shot me a glance that conveyed a sort of innocent mischief, and after a brief flurry of denials he reluctantly agreed to help me. He informed me that he was uncomfortable being a middle man, citing to many complications he encountered in the past, but would tell me where I could buy it myself. He only asked that under no circumstances were I to drop his name. After I agreed he told me of a little kiosk near the Old Central Bus Station that sold  pharmaceuticals  on the down-low. If I had the temerity to try then I would probably have some luck.

“Otherwise, you might find yourself in some trouble,” he felt the need to add.

The next day I set upon my mission. I knew what I was doing was stupid and dangerous, but the lizard-brained part of my being was propelling me forward. And I admit, a piece of me found it thrilling.

I arrived at my destination- a tiny rundown kiosk located street adjacent to the Old Central Bus Station just like Mikey said. I had done my fair share of stupid things back home, so I relied on my experience to guide me through. Yet this was a different country, different language, different everything, so many unknown variables were at play here.

Walking to this terrible place the procession of human tragedy that danced across my eyes was giving me second thoughts. Junkies and African refugees, each possessing a look of hopeless desperation, trolled through alleyways and avenues near the once prestigious hub of Israeli transit. A woman, bent down on her knees rocking back and forth, pleading for something from passerbys, sat across the street. A Shoeless beggar, with hacked and bloody limbs, wondered aimlessly through the open streets, holding his yarmulke tight on top of his head, muttering prayers beneath his breath. These were the derelicts of the Forgotten Central Bus Station.

So Against my better judgment I walked in…


About the Author
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Daniel currently resides in the heart of Tel Aviv. After being in tattoo industry most of his adult life, he made the decision to come on Aliyah, complete his education, and seek a deeper understanding of the world around him.
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