The main street of the city of Niagara Falls, the one on the Canadian side of the famous falls, may seem as a scaled-down version of Las Vegas. A sparkling hub of neon signs, flashing lights, 3D, 4D and even 6D (!) entertainment complexes, diners and franchise restaurants that offer combo meals with supersizing options. Basically, everything that American entertainment industry is good at, condensed into one street. Affordable and accessible, no-nonsense, mass entertainment, packaged and sold to anyone who needs to lose his troubles away for a couple of hours. Continue reading “What An American Diner Has Taught Me About Authenticity”
My last post, in which I call for a new agenda for Israel (one that focuses more on being a great country for its citizens and less on being a Jewish state) has gathered a lot of comments on Facebook, and so I thought I should reply to one of the most popular arguments that have been voiced. Continue reading “If You Want To Live In a Great Country, Move to Australia”
One could say that I live in a country-free bubble. I don’t really care about Jewish holidays, I don’t observe Jewish traditions, I don’t listen to Israeli music, I don’t watch Israeli TV (or any TV at all for that matter). I have my family, my friends, my job, my volunteering. I watch Game of Thrones, read non-fiction in English and prose in Russian, get most of my news from Facebook, listen to electronic music on the Internet. Almost none of it is connected specifically to Israel. Continue reading “I Want To Love My Country Because It’s Great, Not Because It’s Mine”
My wife and I have lived most of our lives 6,000 kilometers away from each other. Our meeting, unlikely as it was, has led to a close friendship which turned into a marriage. We are what you may call an interracial couple – I’m Ashkenazi Jewish and Oxanna is Buryat-Mongolian. But while many interracial couples have to cope with cultural differences, for us it isn’t the case. Continue reading “Why Marrying a Non-Jewish Woman Is The Best Thing That Happened To Me”
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama famously proclaimed “the end of history”, that is the eventual victory of Western-type democracy over all other types of political systems. Since then China, Russia, and radical Islam have all tried to prove him wrong. Continue reading “A Muslim, a Russian, and a Chinese Walk Into a Bar”
This may have been the longest year in my adult life but also probably the most memorable one. As our son just turned one recently, I thought it’s time to share some of the things I have learned and discovered about parenting during this year. Continue reading “One-Year-Old Parent – Notes from the Field”
“Hi, I don’t want to live anymore”.
Sometimes these are the first words people say to me when they connect to the online psychological crisis line where I volunteer for the last 3 years. Continue reading “5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to People in Distress”
Our acquaintance with Macao started in Coloane – what used to be a small island inhabited by pirates until 1910 south of Macao is now a serene village with narrow streets. Since we arrived to Coloane after a ten hour flight, after a delicious dinner in a local Macanese restaurant, we went home to sleep. Continue reading “Coloane – Macao’s last village”
We travel to Hong Kong tomorrow. Since it has become a habit of ours to watch movies of a place we are about to travel to, here is how we have been preparing for Hong Kong: Continue reading “5 Movies to Experience Hong Kong”
In 32 years of my life I haven’t created anything of lasting value. Nothing that would last even during my lifetime, insignificant as it it. Have you? Continue reading “I Was Creatively Bankrupt… Until I Did The Most Unimaginative Thing of All”
After 1 month of having a newborn in my life, I want to share my first thoughts about parenting. In a shell, it’s much harder than I imagined, but also surprisingly more satisfying.
Here are 10 things I now know: Continue reading “10 Things I Learned from Having a Newborn in My Life”
“Isn’t being a decent human being enough?” a friend asked me, in one of those summer evenings when the day’s heat has given away to a nice chill. We were talking about a woman who went through a serious postnatal depression, and eventually turned her life around, starting performing an autobiographical play to raise awareness among women. I was arguing that her life is now filled with a sense of meaning and purpose that most of us never achieve. Continue reading “Choose Your Anxiety”
I come home from work, but I can’t quite let go – my thoughts are still preoccupied with the day’s conversations and thoughts playing in a loop. In the shower I barely notice the rush of cold water over my body – I’m too busy configuring what I should have said in some situation. Sitting to eat, I barely notice the taste of food. Talking with my wife, my mind is elsewhere, and I’m emotionally unavailable for her. Continue reading “Getting Friendly with Stress”
On my 18th birthday I felt pretty bad. Even though everyone was telling me that it was a special date, and that I am supposed to be excited about it, I was confused, anxious and depressed.
I felt old. Continue reading “Being Young but Feeling Old”
When we woke up the next day the sky was clear and sun was shining fiercely. On the last day of May the summer was coming to Caucasus mountains. Continue reading “Exploring the Dariali Gorge”