Passover in Short

Passover is another excuse for Jews to clean the crap out of their houses, gather, drink many bottles of red wine,  and eat copious amounts of food. We sit around the table with family, friends, and occasionally strangers to remember the hard history the Jewish people have gone through.

Our people were enslaved by Egyptians and Moses came and said some stuff and crazy stuff happened and we got away. However, in our escape we didn’t have time for our bread to bake properly so we carried the bread upon our backs and they never leavened. Hence Matzah/Matzo. Let me save you the hassle of trying this… stuff. You know saltine crackers? Take away the salt. Now imagine not having water to wash it down…but your mouth is already dry…you know that mushy feeling where it gets soft and impossible to swallow? Yeah.. that’s matzah. For 8 days (ish). Le sigh. Did I mention all of the other dietary restrictions for that week?

Anyway, some kids ask questions and we drink a lot of wine and we listen to the answers go on for a while. Then we sing in Hebrew and drink more wine. At some point we recall the 10 Plagues (extra wine if you remember them all in order!). We discuss the plate of food and all that is symbolizes. . . mostly the bitter herb…because we’re a bitter people. In case you hadn’t noticed, Jews have been getting the short end of the stick for thousands of years. (It’s worth it because we’re the Chosen People).

You think your Catholic mother can give a guilt trip? You haven’t met my grandmother. Seriously, the Jews are more stubborn than any group of people I have ever encountered. I got a tattoo of an Egyptian hieroglyph and when I showed my grandmother, her response was literally, “They Egyptians enslaved our People and you go and get a tattoo symbolizing Egypt??” ((First, Jews aren’t supposed to embellish their bodies in any way. Second, that was, like, thousands of years ago!))… I guess that’s why I’m always the ‘Wicked Child’. DAMNIT. (((((((for reference, the four children asking questions are Wise, Wicked, Simple, and the kid who doesn’t yet know how to ask questions)))))).

Anyway, wine is consumed, we recline to the left, we sing, we remember… as my family likes to put it: “We Fought, We Won, Let’s Eat!”

 ***Please don’t hate me for writing this, my uber-Jew friends!***

In the uber-religious seders, this is a very very long process. Literally, it doesn’t start until sundown and then it’s hours before you get to eat and then more hours of praying.

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The Arrival

My plane landed at a tiny airport. There may have been 2 gates. I’m not unused to that. Suratthani was practically a dirt runway. But who cares?! I’m in Korea, Bitches!!

Quick history: Ben and I have known each other since Kindergarten. We have had countless classes together from Kindie through high school. We live minutes away from each other (on bicycles). I made sure to keep in touch with him through the years.

Naturally, my excitement was building. I sipped on the only 5 hour energy drink I brought with me. I knew this was going to be a long night because 1. in order to avoid jet lag, one should stay awake late to adjust 2. it was ben’s last weekend with everyone

I got my luggage and as I was about to sit down outside waiting for my familiar friend, I saw a skinny white guy walking

into the airport. I called out and he turned. We half heartedly ran to each other (neither of us like to run) and embraced as old friends do. He brought his Scottish friend Tom with him. And both were drinking a beer. And I’m pretty sure that was not the first. Or second of the night. They helped me with the luggage and we laughed and drank to Mugeodong. They helped me get to my ‘Sheraton.’ The motel sheraton. The “love” motel as many would call it. I took a quick rinse and freshened up my makeup. Ben took me to his apartment where about 15 people were eating and drinking. They were quite far ahead of me. I met a few south africans (!!!!), some scots, some canadiens, some americans. It was a lovely mix of people. Of course, starving, I grabbed a quick bite from the potluck sitting in front of me and then was shuffled out. We were on our way to my first noribong experience. ((noribong – music room – karaoke sort of))

We stopped by a bar called Purple Haze and drank. We took pictures and chatted. I met new friends.

Old Friends(Ben and I at Purple haze).. we got ‘photo-BOB-bed’ until we realized that it was jimmy hendrix behind us. not bob marley. but

there is a bit of bob marley behind me.

After some festivities there, we moved on to a place that I hav

e no idea what its called. We got a private room and started singing.

Singing

We started around midnight. We sang our brains out.

Ben and Tasha

We sang til our throats were sore. I watched these ridiculous Korean music videos that had nothing to do with the song that was being sung.

Terrible video

We drank beers bigger than a microphone. I was introduced to Soju.

Max beerWe sang. We danced. We laughed. I got tired for a minute. Natasha took me to get a quick bite. I grabbed a couple of bottles vitamin waters. We sang more. And then we finally wore down. I watched as Ben and his friends embraced and felt the heaviness of his departure. I felt a little sad because that was nothing like the departure I had from Thailand. I dont know if I even got a hug from anyone. But that is past. And now I hope to build new friendships with people here.

Anyway, we finally left. It was past 5am. We walked back to the apartments and motels. I said my goodbyes. I saw pictures of Korean girls on the floor near the elevators. A ‘love’ motel indeed. I went upstairs and wrote an email. I went to sleep at 6am.

Now that’s the way to start a journey over seas.

 

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