Shit I’ll Do for “Free Wifi” – Swiss Alps


I’m in a quaint sleepy village in the Swiss Alps during peak tourist season. I find the only coffee shop in town which offers free wifi along with a food purchase. The only item of intrigue is a $7 bottle of water. I don’t like paying $1.50 at home for a bottle of water, so imagine how I feel staring at a midget sized bottle of “I’m a sucker tourist” water.

Next to the beverage prices was a list of mountain and river adventure activities; I love water sports. I also didn’t want to exchange Euros for Swiss Francs knowing I was leaving the country in the morning. And just like that, I knew how I would spend my time in Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, white water rafting! Without having to purchase Swiss Francs, I swiped my Visa card and let the adventures begin. The cafe wound up not charging me for the bottle of tourist water, and so for the low low price of $115, I purchased “free” wifi and a white water rafting trip down the Black Lutschine!

The crew consisted of Australians, Koreans, American Ex-pats and a Swiss tour guide. He was the first Swiss I had seen in Switzerland. Otherwise, the town is full of seasonal Australians. The expression “mate” is starting to grow on me. Do you think we can bring that expression to the States? Probably not, bro.

Olympics Game Day: USA v. Canada


During an 8 hour bus ride from Paris to Switzerland, the tour guide asked each person on our “adult teen tour”, to speak into the microphone and introduce himself to the group. There were specific ice-breaker questions to answer such as what’s your ideal job or what would you would do with access to unlimited money?

A girl named Megan wearing a t-shirt that said “Canada” in big red letters explained she was wearing the Canada t-shirt so no one would mistake her as an American. It was a slight dig at the USA, but since most people on the bus were from Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico the comment went over their heads. It didn’t go over my head.

I took my opportunity with the microphone to tell Megan that no one would ever mistake her as an American. I said it with such Andy Kauffman-like deadpan seriousness, that the Mexicans thought I was really angry, but didn’t know why, even Canadian Megan shifted in her seat a bit. I continued, declaring I chose this trip to avoid hanging out with Americans, and under my breathe added, and Canadians.There was a soft chuckle among the handful of Arizona college students, but it was too late. I was the American Psycho of the group sitting on my throne of hamburgers adorned in Abercrombie and Fitch reeking from the stench of dirty american capitalism. Whose the asshole now?

I later found out it was Megan’s birthday. Asshole x 2. Apparently, Megan brought the shirt to support Canada at the Olympic Track and Field games. She was thinking ahead, whereas, the only patriotic colors I remembered to bring were my blue jeans and t-shirt for the Friars, an old boys club where elderly jews meet to talk about their prostate problems and impotence–the true essence of American culture I’d like to represent while at the Olympics in Europe.

Note # 1 to self, know your audience; Note # 2 I am no Sasha Baron Cohen. Thankfully, I opted to use my answer to the “what would I do with unlimited money” question, “to win back Megan’s heart”. I got a few pity “awws” from the bus and returned to my seat as a patriotic putz.

Come to France for our Starbucks Coffee!


Yes, I hit up the sites: le Eiffel, Notre Dame, Arc De Triumph, but in between all these stops were not so romantique realities such as needing le toilette, AC, and wifi. One local brassiere had internet that was password protected. I asked the waiter for the password and he had the nerve to tell me to use the free wifi at Starbucks across the street, even though I was a patron of his restaurant. I wanted to walk out immediately, but I had already ordered my crepe, and let’s be honest I didn’t shlep to Paris for their Starbucks Frappucinos. So I did something that would make my father proud. I expressed my opinion even though no one gave a shit. I asked the waiter to tell the owner that it’s outrageous to charge tourist prices, $15 for a crepe, and not allow customers to use their wifi. I proclaimed I work for Frommers Travel Guide, the premier travel guide of the USA! I’m not sure the waiter knew Frommers from fromage, but my point was made (politely). I still gave the waiter a fair tip, it wasn’t his fault and I can handle 5-10% of the bill.

With that, I am including a totally unrelated photo. I wanted to put Le Eiffle Tower in between a baguette. My new friend from Colombia, Laura Gutierrez, took many shots in an attempt to make it happen. It worked, err kinda, not really. Please excuse my coffee stain and overall homeless-like appearance; I was very jet lagged and hardly a human during most of the day.

Parisian Perspective

I made a Parisian friend– yes he was Jewish. Look, you can take the Jewish girl out of New York, but you can’t take the Jewish out of the girl! He was telling me about a romance with a girl from Seattle. According to him, it was “love at first sight, two people meeting from opposite ends of the world.” C’est Romantique!


Whereas I was like, dude, you met at the Birthright Mega-Event. It’s le biggest meat market for the Jewish people in Israel. Sex subsidized by Steinhardt.


Paris Day 1

I didn’t sleep a wink on the plane, but I did see the Hunger Games- that movie is off the hook. The book must have been even better. I have a lot of thoughts about it, but I’m running on very little steam. I did manage to snap one picture. Why schlepp to the south of France when you can import sand directly to Paris! Pretty baller I must say!


Classy Spirit Airlines

If you are going to up sell me fine, but can you be subtle about it? Check out the title of the browser page by Spirit Airlines. Good thing I don’t equate Spirit Air with class. If you can’t see the photo it says “car up-sell”. I will find a clearer picture when I arrive in Paris, if requested.


How to Make the Camelbak Cool?

More often than not, I choose comfort over fashion. When I rushed for sororities in Michigan’s cold fall/winter, I wore sweatpants over my black mini dress. Did I mention I didn’t join a sorority? Err, that being said, I am following Slonim suit of not caring (too much) about societal standards of coolness. I bought a Camelbak and I intend to use it. It’s totally not sexy, but then again who thought three breasts would be sexy? camelbak

Michelle Takes Europe or Europe Takes Michelle…. To Be Determined

What is it so hard for me to get myself to pack? Am I excited about this trip? Yes! Am I bringing a lot? No. WTF People. Well, at least I opened the luggage, that’s a start. Where am I going? Paris for one night then a 14 day adult teen tour that ends in London. I did a lot of research to find a tour company where the average is neither 21 or 61 years old. I found a UK based company where the average age is 27  and I will be one of the few gringos, yes! I bought tix to the Olympics to see basketball 8/9 for $96. I’m kinda pumped about that price point, err I mean about seeing the game.

Gone to Europe

Gone to Europe… check out my blog to see Europe through the eyes of a single Jewish New Yorker. Please note, my luggage is 2x the size of the luggage in the photo and I don’t own a suit, let alone a pink one. Otherwise, that picture totally represents me!