Locham Yisrael - לוחם ישראל
Random thoughts about current events with an emphasis on the Middle East.


      Name:     Michael L. S.   [E-Mail]
      Location:  Earth
      Website:  Middle East Resource Center

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Yasher Koakh!

Posted on: Monday, October 09, 2006

Shalom rav lkulam ulshanah tovah! Well, as promised, if a bit later than originally expected, here I am to report on my ongoings and goings on. So, sit back and enjoy the ride I'm taking you for. hehe j/k

I spent the past five or so months in an Arab country in the Middle East--of course, for security purposes I am not at liberty to disclose which one. Rather than delve into exposes and explications, I'll start by concluding: deciding to leave Europe is turning out to be the single best decision of my life. The place is, in a word, fantastic: the weather is glorious, the sea is readily available for one to refresh oneself in day and night (though a notch too warm for my liking, the people are incredibly friendly, warm, open and generous, the cost of living is lower than eastern Europe (I nearly had a heart attack when I walked into a store in Munich a few weeks back: a beach towel cost exactly THIRTY (30) times more in Germany than "there"), the salary OTOH is literally five times what I was earning in Czechia (and even that was way above the average Czech salary) and I work four hours a day! The country is very clean, safe, prosperous and "confident." The lifestyle, too, is wondrous: there are no rat-races or a daily chase of money, and the prevailing atmosphere is one of R&R. How do you fault this place? You simply can't.

Scratch beneath the surface and it stays as glittering as it appeared to be prima facie. It is a Muslim country although much of the population--particularly younger people living in the cities --is nominally religious (not secular, however). I have to say though that people--men AND women--are grossly undersexed: I've had male students get hard-ons at CARICATURES of female legs (well, I can't vouch for the actual hard-ons but there was definitely an air of "excitement" in the room lol!!). At the same time there were female students (late teens and early twenties) who made little secret of what they wanted to do with (or "TO" lol) me, even in the presence of other girls. (They were usually on their best behavior if another male was present.) To illustrate: a beautiful married woman aged 22 put my hand right on her breast as she was attempting quite animatedly to emphasize a nonrelated point. Well, what can I say... - I wasn't offended. *grin*

Speaking of local ladies, they wear abayot and hijabim (if you don't know what they are: here and here) though no niqabim. I always found the hijab very sexy (particularly after my London experience with a behijabed girl on a bus lol!) and one's inability to survey the women's curves and shapes in absolutely no way detracts from one's ability to appreciate their pulchritude. B'emet, the majority of local women are stunningly beautiful: dark skin, gorgeous deep dark eyes, perfect faces, lush silk hair...bliss, :-) And yes, I have found myself a "little princess"--a real princess at that!--but more on that in my next installment.

For the moment though I am back in Prague for yamim hanoraim. It is great to see old friends again. There is only one thing that I missed in my Arab home: a Jewish community. And that one seemingly small lacuna cast quite a prodigious shadow on the otherwise entirely positive experience. Hopefully, one day Jews will be able to organize and assemble ourselves freely in that corner of the world, too. But anyway, we had wonderful tfilot here for rosh hashanah. As last year, they were organized together with the liberal schmiberal community. I wasn't overly ecstatic about that--which feeling did not diminish when I realized they had shlepped in this reconstructionist woman "rabi" to co-lead the RH tfilot (if, owing to the reconstructionist ideology, for the first day only)--but hey, that's the Prague Jewish community politics for you: if you don't get into bed with someone, you get kicked out of the house altogether. We got to use the Pinkhas shul as last year, which added to the occasion, especially for the solemnity of yom kipur. Yours truly was tasked with organizing the sifrei Torah and managing the ar"k, plus I blew the teqi'a gdola to mark the end of yom kipur. Then came shavu'ot and I was--by nes gadol--able to procure a lulav and etrog just in time for the holiday; a very limited number was shipped in from haaretz. I went to the Hochschul (Vysoka synagoga, part of the Zidovska Obec v Praze / Jewish Community Center) this morning for the shakhrit and--nes afilu yoter gadol!--was given an aliya. Next weekend is simkhat Torah and I am reading the first aliya, whereupon I return to the Middle East.

Here endeth the synopsis of my recent goings-on. *grin* More substance and depth later on, as soon as I've finished the mid-term essay, which I have to write as part of an MA program I am reading.


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