6 Faces of Guadalajara – Discovering The Heart of Mexico Overlooked By Tourists

We came to Guadalajara by chance. Without knowing anything about Mexico, we were attracted by its manageable size (compared to that of Mexico City), a reputation of safety and cheap plane tickets. A composite of 3 cities – Guadalajara proper, Zapopan and Tlaquepaque, it is a 4 million people urbanity, the second largest in Mexico. We spent here two and a half months, exploring the metropolitan without rushing. Our first encounter with Mexico, in Guadalajara I tried my first Taco de pastor, our 3-year-old beat his first piñata. And we made our first Mexican friends. Open, courteous and humble, mexicans don’t need a lot of time to win you over. Continue reading “6 Faces of Guadalajara – Discovering The Heart of Mexico Overlooked By Tourists”

Puerto Vallarte, Where We Find Ourselves in Tropical Mexico

Speeding on the toll highway from Guadalajara westward to the coast of the Pacific, amidst fields of agave cactuses and withered corn, I couldn’t escape the strangeness of it all. How did we get here? A year ago, our routine life in Israel didn’t hint to any of this. Normal office job, a child, parents and friends were our world. Amidst some vague ideas about living and working abroad, nothing hinted that we’ll be studying spanish, and planning to live in Mexico for half a year. This conception just didn’t exist in our minds. Continue reading “Puerto Vallarte, Where We Find Ourselves in Tropical Mexico”

Captain Fantastic (2016)

My score: 4.5 (out of 5)   Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

“Captain Fantastic” is about a father and his six children living on their patch of land somewhere in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Their life seems to be simple, pure and almost Eden-like. Devoid of the soul-numbing effect of consumerism and the distractions of online existence, they hunt, race, climb mountains, read books to fire light, play music and have thoughtful discussions. Ben’s ability to organize his 6 children of different ages into such a well-functioning and cooperative group is nothing less of fantastic. Continue reading “Captain Fantastic (2016)”

45 Years (2015)

My score: 4 (out of 5)   Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Kate and Geoff are an older married couple who are about to celebrate their 45th anniversary in a week. Then Geoff receives a letter, notifying him that his old girlfriend, who died in an accident in the Alps back in the 60s was found, her body frozen and preserved. Kate knew about the tragic death of her husband previous girlfriend – there are no secrets here to be revealed, no skeletons to be found – at least not in the usual sense. And yet, what starts as an innocent walk down the memory lane, gradually becomes an uncomfortable examination that gets both of them to question their life together. Continue reading “45 Years (2015)”

Beginner’s Guide to Biking in Vancouver (including Routes, Maps and Photos)

Vancouver is probably one the most bike-friendly cities in the world, with hundred of kilometers of trails, greenways and designated streets, all optimized for cyclists. Add to this the fact that buses and the SkyTrain allow you to carry on your bike, and what you get is a cycling paradise. So hop on, we are going on a ride. Continue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Biking in Vancouver (including Routes, Maps and Photos)”

Juan de Fuca and the Drama of the Pacific on the West Coast of Vancouver Island

The biggest island in the Pacific ocean, east of New Zealand, Vancouver island is a world of abundant nature. After spending two days with friends in Victoria, the urban center of the island and provincial capital of British Columbia, we wanted to discover it firsthand. So we rented a car and headed north-west. Continue reading “Juan de Fuca and the Drama of the Pacific on the West Coast of Vancouver Island”

Vancouver, A City That Shows How Multiculturalism Is Done

I am in a barber-shop to get a shave. Speaking with the owner, I find out he is originally from Fiji. I am at a playground, with Ayan, who plays with a girl his age. I start speaking with her father, who tells me that he came from Morocco about 10 years ago. My wife is at a drop-in center for parents and children, where she befriends a woman, who is there with her son. Her slavic accent discloses her – she is from Serbia. One of the assistants working in that center is from Argentina. The other one from Poland. This isn’t a promotional UN campaign. These are typical scenes from a daily life, here in Vancouver. Continue reading “Vancouver, A City That Shows How Multiculturalism Is Done”

How Leaving Home Awakened Me To What I Missed All These Years

Last Saturday, as usual for Saturdays, I took my son to my parents home. We had lunch consisting of mashed potatoes and meat cutlets – the staple dishes in my parents’ Russian cuisine. My dad read a couple of children books to Ayan. My mom reminded me of my commitments the next week and worried that I don’t exercise enough. All as usual. The same familial ritual that occurred hundreds of time before. But something was different. I wasn’t in a hurry. As a matter of fact, I wanted to stay longer. Continue reading “How Leaving Home Awakened Me To What I Missed All These Years”

Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012)

My score: 4.5 (out of 5)   Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Pervert’s Guide to Ideology is a feast for anyone who loves cinema and philosophy. The presenter, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, explains his ideas about the way ideology works through excerpts from well-known movies. His presence is vulgar and his language is explicit, but that’s a good thing. His favorite words are “as it were” and “obscene”. He uses expressions like “metaphysical niceties” and “excremental dimension”. Continue reading “Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012)”