Stalin Museum

I picked khachapuri (bread filled with cheese) for Georgia not because it is the country’s national dish with its own national day, not because there is some variation of it in every region, and not because its popularity runs beyond borders into the former Soviet Union – though all of these played some part – … Continue reading Stalin Museum

Keret House

The abrupt shift to WFH in March turned my office gym into a lockdown casualty. I have since rescheduled my daily exercise during the hourlong void that was once my morning work commute. Some days in the week I go to the nearby cemetery for a run, cutting patterns along its neatly laid perpendicular roads. … Continue reading Keret House

Underground wine city

Austrians call their language German, not Austrian. Non-Flemish Belgians call their language French, not Belgian. So why do you call yours Moldovan instead of Romanian when they are both identical, a leading Romanian cultural institution asked the Moldovan President. He had declared his support for a Moldovan national language, fanning the flames of a long … Continue reading Underground wine city

Foreign types with the hookah pipes say whey oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh

If you think Covid is bad, consider what biblical Egypt had to endure. First the rivers turned to blood. Then frogs emerged from the waters and invaded the land. Then the land’s dust turned into lice and set upon the people. Then swarms of flies filled their homes. Then their livestock dropped dead from pestilence. … Continue reading Foreign types with the hookah pipes say whey oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh