Showing posts from August, 2008

Survival School (Part I)

I like nature, but I'm not fully in touch with it. I'd like to be, but to be honest, I'm not really sure what that even means. Perhaps in touch with ourselves? Able to live right now, in this moment, with no worry of the future or past - enabling us to fully connect with our surroundings, whatever they may be? After spending 14 days with no toilet, shower, electricity, matches, outside human contact or cologne (ha), I still don't fully understand it, but I can honestly say that I have a much deeper appreciation for it than I did prior. I can't tell you why, but I can describe parts of my experience. Seth Cohen (my friend and former Blackstone colleague who introduced me to the idea) and I arrived at camp on a Sunday afternoon, and realized that this experience would be unlike any other when approximately the following conversation occurred between another student and one of our leaders, Mojo: Student: "So where did the name Mojo come from? Is it self given?&quo

Adventures in Krakow

Krakow, Poland is a major tourist destination filled with university students, beautiful historical structures and commerce. Despite the thriving tourism industry and general economy, remnants of Nazi-rule still exist in the city, which, during WWII, saw its Jewish population disappear from 60,000 to virtually 0 (nearly all its Jewish citizens, after being consolidated into a ghetto, were sent to Auschwitz). Funny thing is, Jews were originally invited to Krakow to escape persecution in Spain and Portugal by the Polish King Casimir III around 1360. First off, let me just say something about organized city tours (in general). In the past, I wouldn't have been caught DEAD on one of these picture-snapping excursions that I've frequently witnessed from outside my apartment in Manhattan. If I have to watch one more German (sorry Timm) take a picture of a squirrel at Madison Square Park...truth is, after taking a few of my own (I highly recommend walking or biking tours with a live c

Me and the "Bird" vs. the Airline Industry

My long-awaited journey to London on Wednesday, August 13th, occurred with no frills whatsoever - oh, except the loss of my baggage. As I sat alone staring into a rainstorm from the Burger King at Waterloo station, I couldn't help but burst out in laughter. I then spoke out loud to myself: "I lost my baggage and don't give a SHIT!". I hadn't cared the least bit, even upon realizing the situation, which definitely puzzled the Virgin Airlines customer service agent at Heathrow. Thus my adventure began. As I sat there with my double-cheeseburger, my sense of satisfaction that I have absolutely no place to be and nothing to do (for the rest of my life) immediately turned my grin into a look of terror - perhaps the face I made before being pounded in the face with the deer in November 2006. I then had a panic attack. "Jesus...I have no place to be and nothing to do." After spending the night with a good friend from high school, Dave Moehrman, and his wife, I