Travel Letters

Bris and Bar Mitzvah in Bangkok



March 22, 2018


The Chasids know how to party!

This month I was invited to two celebrations.

Rabbi Moshe Hadad and his wife Elisheva invited me to the Bris of their son Yaakov Yehuda.

The ceremony took place in our* temporary shul.  A new one is under construction across the street.

The Bris itself was part solemn and part joyful.  But the luncheon served later was 100% joyful.

On Sunday March 18, I was invited to attend the Bar Mitzvah of Yaakov Hadad, the son of Rabbi David and Mrs. Nechama Hadad, the brother and sister-in-law of Rabbi Moshe.

The Bar Mitzvah meal was creative and delicious and bountiful.  But the dancing!  Oye, the dancing!  Joyful does not begin to describe this celebration.

Mardi Gras


St. James District

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago (pop 1.4 million)

West Indies

February 13, 2018

Tuesday - Mardi Gras


My guest house called Heart of Carnival is a taxi ride to most of the important Carnival events.  (Unless you count hanging out with the party-goers at the local restaurants and pubs.)

Today, Heart of Carnival is the appropriate name.  Hundreds of marchers and the fleet of trucks with their cargo of enormous sound equipment pass just up the street in this otherwise quiet residential neighborhood.

Barrel-chested men and bikini-clad, feather-festooned, half naked women strut their stuff as they keep pace with the beat of the ever-present piercing music.  

Carnival: Queen's Park Savannah

Queen’s Park Savannah

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago


February 12, 2018


The Children’s Carnival parades lasted two days.  

Now it’s the time for the Big Kids to show their stuff.

Large groups of masqueraders dance and prance across the stage of the Savannah stadium.  

Individuals strut about in outrageous and gigantic costumes.

To take a break from the festivities I wandered around town to visit the Magnificent Seven and other lovely homes and mansions.

"The morning after the night before" I shared a beer with a few of the very smashed celebrants at the local pub..

Carnival: Teens and Toddlers

Queens Park Savanna

260 acres (110 ha) of level land.  The distance around the perimeter is 2.2 mi (3.5 km).

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago

February 10, 2018


Day 2 of the Junior Carnival:

Teenagers and Toddlers wait patiently in the tropical sun.

Group leaders adjust costumes and makeup.

Kids march and dance.

Big kids in Big costumes.

Little kids in Little costumes.

Tiny tots in diapers.

Carnival: Kids on Stilts

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago


February 9, 2018

Good Day,

When I decided to attend the annual Carnival Celebration in Trinidad, I expected to mix in with the local population as they enjoyed their adult beverages and other local substances while they paraded and danced through the streets of this capital city.

The Children’s Parades were totally unexpected.

Neptune, Orion, HaShem





Rodney Bay

Saint Lucia

January 8. 2018


My Dear Friend,

A Rainbow! 

HaShem sent a rainbow yesterday as we departed Mayreau on our return to Bequia.

The sail was smooth and colorful.  Many lovely yachts about.  Best of all, HaShem sent a rainbow to inspire our final voyage.

Today our course is North. 

From Bequia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to Rodney Bay in Saint Lucia, the course is North.

10:00 On the morning of our planned departure from Bequia, the wind comes from the North.  The route will be upwind, or directly against the wind, and not the most pleasant situation for a 45’ sailboat. 

“We’ll wait until the afternoon,” Captain Bill decides, “because if the wind shifts from the North to the Northeast, the sailing will be a little more favorable.  Regardless, it will be a lively sail.”