Orthodox Jews Delayed Flight! Oy Vey!

Please say it ain’t so!

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A photo of the ordeal, taken by one passenger.

 

According to GothaMist: They delayed the flight because the seating wasn’t segregated! An El Al flight from JFK to Tel-Aviv was delayed on the eve of Rosh Hashanah after ultra-Orthodox passengers refused to sit next to women. One passenger described the whole experience as “an 11 hour ordeal,” and another tells ynetnews.com that the plane was prevented from taking off because “people stood in the aisles and refused to go forward.”

“Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman,” another passenger explains. “It was obvious that the plane won’t take off as long as they keep standing in the aisles.”

After the pilot pleaded with everyone to take their seats if only for takeoff, the plane finally departed Wednesday morning. But as soon as it was in the air, many of the passengers quickly stood in the aisle, in order to preserve several feet of sin-space between them and the opposite sex. One female passenger on the flight tells ynetnews.com, “I ended up sitting next to a haredi man who jumped out of his seat the moment we had finished taking off and proceeded to stand in the aisle.”

The aisle was reportedly crowded with men praying throughout the duration of the flight, making it extremely difficult for other passengers to access the restrooms and preventing flight attendants from distributing refreshments. “I went to the bathroom and it was a mission impossible, the noise was endless,” another shellshocked passenger recalls.

El Al issued this statement in the wake of the incident: “El Al does everything it can to give its passengers the best possible service year-round. These days bring with them a peak in air traffic to Israel, and our crews on the ground and in the air are doing the best they can to address the needs and requests of all our travelers while trying not to fall behind schedule.

“The company will examine the complaints and if some passengers are found to have acted out of line the company will examine its future steps.”

What’s really frustrating is that all of this could have been avoided if the airline had just distributed large plastic bags!

L’Shana Tovah!

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With Love From Oktoberfest In Munich!

10712559_10152764434439602_8825273695124074312_oAfter a pit stop in London, the City of York in the UK & Berlin, I headed to Munich to check out the highly anticipated Oktoberfest at the heart of it all. The event cited 6 million visitors in attendance! Not one to be left out, I was decked out in my own take on modern Dirndle, the traditional Bavarian attire, one of which is a vintage set from the 1960s. I do intend to wear them again in New York City where taking fashion into your own hands is nothing but creativity and being different. Heck! I once wore my vintage Japanese Kimono acquired during my visit to Kyoto down Madison Ave! I have no shame at all. 🙂 At the event, I also spotted African print dirndls! #Africagoingglobal20140922_101429_1_wm

Naturally, you can’t be around the Oktoberfest festivities and not taste the beer. This visit would mark my very first time drinking beer! I was fortunate to have witnessed the Bavarian costume parade and the beer tent parade a day before, but sadly I have lost a lot of those pictures to my external drive refusing to open. I hope the very few from my mobile phone would suffice for now.

I can honestly check off attending Oktoberfest off my bucket list.

Schoene wiesn fuer alle!!!

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Adult Disney World: The Burning Man

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I survived my very first Burning Man in the middle of nowhere far into the dusty Nevada desert! Sigh…what an experience! I was told to go there with an open mind and armed with endless dose of sense of humor. It turned out to be the most required prerequisite for survival in the rave/disco music and open bar drenched community of love, happiness and sharing! Yes, you read right, sharing! You see, the festival of life, uninhibited and radical inclusion also depends on participants’ unconditional desire to share all things from liquor, food, wisdom, art, erotic pleasures, knowledge, just to name a few. The number only mode of “official” mode of transportation are bicycles but of course yours truly had to pimp out a pink tricycle to make a feminine statement complete with an official Shoeholics plate license.

The 28 year old festival where the unusual is normal, is definitely not for the faint hearted for many reasons.  Acquiring tickets to attend the affair is mind blogging. You basically have an hour window in February to buy the always sold out 70,000+ tickets online! Thinking about buying them at the gate is a suicidal mission. Some participants (which always includes founders of Facebook, Google, celebrities like Will Smith, Michelle Rodriquez, P Diddy, et. al and no one takes notice of them at the Burn) save up during the entire year to acquire RVs, tents, a week supply of food and booze, while some of the aforementioned celebrities simply whisk their way in on private jets paying landing fees to the tune of $25,000 to arrive just mere minutes next to the location. Others have to endure the 6-12 hours drive from all works of life. Gotta to say the social network of people, free boozing and hard partying ahead at the Burn makes it all worth the effort. Once there, no money must change hands and one must leave no trace of existence once it’s all over. You take out all that you bring in.

10649717_10152769421616654_2157132301037595593_nGenerous burners offered free classes ranging from yoga, free body scrub, belly dancing, spanking, psychic to erotic massages. One of the days included a 50k marathon race around the playa for a cause. Like any big city where accidents can happen, a young lady (perhaps drunk) made a fatal attempt to climb into a moving mutant car and swiftly met her death. Participants are warned ahead of time (on the back of their tickets) that they basically attend the event at their own risk. So you can imagine there won’t be any lawsuit coming up about that fatal accident. So sad. RIP. 🙁

It is not uncommon to spot nudity and erotic arts at the Burning Man. To be frank, after a few hours of dealing with dusty wind and sand in all manner of places where the sun don’t shine on your body, the last thing on your mind would be to gawk at nudist at the Burn. You sort of become immune to the shock value. Mind you, this is also a family friendly affair. I not only spotted pregnant women but also kids as young as a baby. I spoke to one of the parents about their decision to bring their kids to such an event. They said it was a fast track to learning about the “birds and the bees” story and have grown used to seeing so much in their short lives that it means absolutely nothing to them anymore. Dare I say that they had a point! A naked woman walked by an 8 year old boy on a bike and he didn’t even do a double take in her direction!

I was however slightly shocked at how “vanilla” the event was. Not only was the music heavy on the rave and disco set but also the attendees lacked in diversity. Each person of color I ran into was also surprised to see me and vice versa. We were all counting each other! I spotted no more than 50 people of color, most of whom were gay men who came with their caucasian partners, and mainly from San Francisco. It felt as if the entire population of San Francisco emptied into the event with just a few international hard burners to pepper the census. As a result, my afro hair got more attention than the wearer –me! I stood out everywhere I went! No, I’m not complaining. 🙂

The height of the event was the burning of the 80 feet wooden man on the 7th day with fire performers and mutant cars blasting music giving the atmosphere the kind of energy you can never get from being high or drunk. This is the D-Day.  I was told that the “man” normally takes 20-30 min to burn and fall. As a virgin burner, you can imagine my disappointment when the unburnable man took more than 3 hours to take his fall. By the time I gave up and got up from my sandy seat, my legs were numb. I was falling as I walked back to my RV location. The next day was a more sombre affair at the burning of the temple. You see, this is were burners come to pay their respects to past loved ones or simply to meditate. It’s a more spiritual affair with complete silence while the temple burns, a huge contrast to the high charging partying energy when the man burns. I found this particular day to be the most important highlight for me because it was a soul searching moment, a time to reflect.

10518688_10152769413696654_6868874869976767509_nUnlike the blue chip CEO’s who had the luxury of flying back within seconds after the event, my team and I had to endure what would have been a smooth 9 hours ride back to Las Vegas to return the rented RV. Instead, the journey took 2 days and 3 tow trucks thanks to dead batteries, flat tire and a defective spare tire! The full detail about that ordeal will be posted at a later date. Thank goodness we all alive and well.

Overall, will I ever go back to experience the Burning Man again? Hell to the yeah! Where else would you legally see an event full of naked people, free booze/food, 24 hours partying, unique art and open heart of giving unconditionally in America!

To all of my fellow burners out there, thanks for such a lovely first year experience. See you all soon.

Please peruse the following sample of images. Hope they are to your liking. Full gallery of pictures are available on my Facebook page. Also join me on Instagram!

Next stop, OKTOBERFEST in Germany! Stay tuned for that coverage! 🙂

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