Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tel Aviv Marathon Man: I Run the 10 Kilometer Race

When I started exercising in earnest four years ago, I never imagined that one day I would be running the 10 Kilometer race in the Tel Aviv Marathon. In fact, back then I could barely walk 5 kilometers on a treadmill. A ten-kilometer race? It was unimaginable at the time and I can’t believe it now.

Last week I shocked my family and friends, and more importantly myself, when I finished the race’s course in a very respectable 62 minutes. I placed 99th in my age category (out of 252 runners) and in 6,346th place out of 14,227 runners of all ages in total. I have run faster 10-kilometers on a treadmill but this was the first time I had ever participated in a race of any kind.

Monday, February 18, 2019

My Modern World: Podcasts

Reflections on the 21st century, and how it took me so long to get here.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Podcasts have been around since 2003 but I only discovered them last year. Podcasts, if you’re not familiar with them, are primarily an episodic series of audio shows that can be downloaded for listening. Until last year I didn’t realize that I had a lot of spare time for listening. Now I listen to podcasts every morning as I drive to the train station and every evening as I drive home.

Yesterday, for example, I listened to podcasts about coral reefs, noise pollution, and how diseases could be detected at a very early stage with breath analysis. In recent weeks I have listened to podcasts explaining gravity, suggesting theories where the moon came from, and exposing the dangers of artificial intelligence. In other words, I have expanded my scientific knowledge.

But I also listen to podcasts purely for amusement. Like this morning’s podcast questioning whether the Loch Ness Monster is real. Or a podcast on the history of Ping Pong. And one asking the very important question - who invented lemonade?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ten Years After Bulgaria Began

It was on a surprisingly warm January day in 2009 when my flight landed at Sofia International Airport. It was on a freezing, snowy day just three weeks later that Jodie joined me in the Bulgarian capital. We were at the start of my job’s two-year relocation from Tel Aviv to Sofia. Our Bulgarian adventure had begun.

During those two years we traveled extensively around the country. We learned about Bulgaria's history and culture, we visited its villages, enjoyed its cuisine, and climbed its mountains. We studied the Bulgarian language (although we never learned to speak it), and made many friends.

Living in Bulgaria was for us a life-changing experience. As a couple, we had never previously lived outside Israel. We had never lived, for that matter, in a city. It wasn’t all that easy, living away from our family. But, those two years did open our eyes to so many things. We look back fondly at that period knowing that we took full advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we had to live in such a fascinating place.