Aug 1, 2012

Plate Project in Israel

The Plate Project’s dishes have finally arrived to Israel! 
After a very long wait, it’s actually a crazy story that I almost didn’t get the package in time, although it’s been on the mail for a long time; there was some kind of fight between the administration of the building where I live and the post office, so the mail wasn’t delivered for about three weeks. You can just imagine what happened to the Kobe beef steaks I had shipped from Japan. Anyways, they are here now so let’s get this started.

You may be asking yourself, “but what is The Plate Project?” God bless the internet: What is The Plate Project

And now that you know what it is, let me just say that I feel honored to be the ambassador of Israel in this project and that I will do my best to share with you a little bit about the food culture over here. Israel is in a strategic crossway between East and West, between Africa and Europe,  it is only natural that the plate go through here, Israel is a small country with a multi-cultural society, local Arabs and Jews, mixed with European, American, African, Latin and Asian immigrants. The variety of flavors you can find here is quite exquisite, Israelis love their food, it’s no coincidence that “Master Chef” is one of the most popular shows in the country.

The idea is that I will post pictures of local foods, share the recipes when I can and try to use my plate as much as possible in situations where I would normally have to use disposable plates. So let’s go eat out!

To welcome the plate I had a sandwich on it (chicken breast and veggies) but my friend Galie says her sandwich is more Israeli and looks tastier (she’s right).
Eggpland and Israeli salad (tomatoes & cucumbers) on ciabatta bread sandwich.

To see more pics of delish Israeli food, follow me on twitter: mautwt 
See you around,

Oct 27, 2010

Why having a Samsung Galaxy I7500 both sucks and rocks

So I recently got a Samsung Galaxy I7500 with an Android operating system. This phone is one of the first Android phones to come out, and so it came with one of the first Android operating systems, 1.5

It sucks having it because Samsung won't release any updates for it (3 more versions of Android have been released since 1.5), they refuse to even answer emails of users asking about updates, and working on an update or giving support to users has never even crossed their minds, because Samsung sucks like that.

On the other hand, having a Galaxy I7500 rocks because there is a big community of users and developers that have been working on creating their own updates and support each other. Right now, Android operating system 1.6 (Galaxo has been created and released by Drakaz, and he is working on porting Android operating system version 2.2 (newest one when this post was written) to this device.

In what Samsung falls short, a big community is striving, helping each other with problems with the Galaxy, helping each other upgrade their crappy-slow-crashy phones to the newest operating system version. All in the spirit of Open Source, inspired by Google's Android platform that was created in open source precisely for this reason, to be able to get past the short-fallings of manufacturers and empower users to better the Android system.

Although this device isn't the fastest or most advanced Android phone, I'm happy I have it mostly because of the community that surrounds it. Other Android phones, even though they're faster and more advanced, don't count with a community as active and helpful as the Galaxy I7500's, and that is the only reason I'm not bitching from here to the moon about this Samsung's device, because of the community, not because of the manufacturer.

As an active part of the community, I try to help users posting replies in forums and I even posted my own tutorial on how to upgrade the old 1.5 operating system to, I've received a lot of feedback and it makes me happy to be able to help other Galaxy I7500 owners upgrade their phones.

I'm eternally thankful to Drakaz for his work on the phone's updates and plan on keep helping other users with their Galaxy I7500s until I get a new phone ;)

That's why it both sucks and rocks having a Samsung Galaxy I7500.

Sep 27, 2009

The Downside of living in the Jewish State -- Una desventaja de vivir en el Estado Judío

There is a great thing about being a Jew living in Israel. I no longer have to explain why I can't come to work or school on the Jewish Holidays, and I don't have to take any sick days off work/school to be able to celebrate the different holidays. I get 'official' days off on the holidays and the Sabbath, and so does the rest of the country.

Pretty cool right? Well you would think so, except for when it has to do with you trying to live in this 21st century that depends [almost] completely on technology. And what happens when your internet connection is down? Or when the electricity in your house stops working, or you have a major water leak? Nobody will help you. Everybody is taking the day off and won't help you, and if they are willing to do so, it will cost you more than double the normal price.

Right now I'm writing this post in my computer that is not connected to the internet, I'm offline, disconnected from the world, because my internet connection is down and when I tried calling both the infrastructure provider (HOT) and the ISP (Netvision), their recordings welcomed me saying that they're closed until tomorrow night, have a nice holiday... that means, close to 30 hours without internet :'(

It makes me reflect upon the fact that today, a computer without internet, is like a car without gasoline. You can enjoy some of the neat things that it can do, like turning the lights on and off, listen to music, but it won't take you anywhere.

I like living in Israel, but the "service culture" could improve a lot. For example, there could be small 'emergency-teams' that work during the holidays in companies that provide services as important as the internet, electricity, water, cellular communications, etc.

What I have left now is to pray that a miracle will happen and that the internet will come back on it's own. Maybe when all the other Jews go to pray and stay off electric and mechanical machines the internet will free up and return to me.
Or maybe it's just a Jewish conspiration to disconnect us all from our computers and make us atone on this Yom Kippur.

While waiting for the internet to come back, Gmar Jatima Tova and Shana Tova,


Hay algo genial sobre ser un Judío que viven en Israel. Ya no tengo que explicar por qué no puedo ir al trabajo o a la escuela en las fiestas judías, y no tengo que tomarme días de enfermedad del trabajo / escuela para poder celebrar las diferentes festividades. Aquí nos dan 'días oficiales' de vacaciones durante las fiestas, al igual que los sábados, y es lo mismo para todos los ciudadanos del país.

¿Bastante bien no? Es lo que se podría pensar, a excepción de cuando tiene que ver con tratar de vivir en este siglo 21 que depende [casi] totalmente en la tecnología. ¿Y qué ocurre cuando tu conexión a Internet está caída? ¿O cuando la electricidad en casa deja de funcionar, o si tienes una fuga de agua? Nadie te ayudará. Todo el mundo está tomando el día libre y no te hacen caso, y si están dispuestos a hacerlo, te costará más del doble del precio normal.

Ahora mismo estoy escribiendo este post en mi computadora que no está conectada a Internet, estoy fuera de línea, desconectado del mundo, porque mi conexión a Internet está caída y cuando he intentado llamar tanto a los proveedores de infraestructura (HOT) y al proveedor de internet (Netvision), sus grabaciones me reciben diciendo que están cerrados hasta mañana por la noche y que me desean felicidades por las fiestas ... Eso significa cerca de 30 horas sin internet :'(

Esto me hace reflexionar sobre el hecho de que hoy en día una computadora sin internet, es como un coche sin gasolina. Puedes disfrutar de algunas de las cosas interesantes que puede hacer, como prender y apagar las luces dentro y fuera, escuchar música, etc., pero no te llevará a ninguna parte.

Me gusta vivir en Israel, pero la "cultura de servicio" podría mejorar mucho. Por ejemplo, podría haber "pequeños equipos de emergencia" que trabajan durante las festividades en las empresas que prestan servicios tan importantes como el internet, electricidad, agua, comunicaciones celulares, etc

No me queda nada mas que orar para que un milagro suceda y que el Internet regrese solito. Tal vez, cuando todos los Judios se vayan rezar y se mantengan alejados de aparatos eléctricos y mecánicos, el Internet se libere un poco y regrese.
O tal vez es sólo una conspiración judía para desconectarnos a todos de nuestras computadoras y nos haga expiar en este Yom Kipur.

Mientras espero que vuelva el Internet, Gmar Jatima Tova y Shana Tova,

Aug 1, 2009

If only breaking up was so easy

If only breaking up was so easy...
Si tan solo cortar con tu novia fuera tan facil...

Feb 22, 2009

Where do you come from???

Hello y'all!

Since I started this blog I've seen the number of visitors grow and grow. And the little map at the bottom of the blog shows people coming from the most random places.

Sometimes I wonder how people found this blog.
Would you mind sharing with me how you found my blog? Comment.


Feb 6, 2009

Israel Football League

I was watching the Superbowl on METV (Middle East TV, a Lebanese channel) because they show the original American feed, that is, with the original commercials and the whole shabang. During one of the commercial cuts, the American commercials didn't come on, and instead, the METV commercials showed. One of those commercials was about the IFL ( I went to check out their website and decided that I needed to go see one of these games. First of all, because I like football, and second of all, because I had to see with my own eyes football being played in Israel.

The games are played either on Fridays before Shabbat starts or on Saturday evening when Shabbat is over. Today's game (Friday morning) was played in Yoqneam, a small town 40 minutes north of where I live. The Haifa Underdogs received the Jerusalem Kings. It was obvious from the first look that this was an amateur league, with no goal posts (I'm wondering if there is any field in Israel with football goal posts), no scoreboard, no clock and the field was only 70 yards long (mid field was on the 35 yard line). But besides the things before mentioned, the players were wearing the full gear and were pumped up, there were 4 referees that called the plays (mostly well) and a small group of fans, most of them relatives of the players or coaches, cheering for their teams.

This league is by no means professional, and you won't see the next Roger Staubach being scouted from this league, but it has a great significance. The fact that there is an American Football League in Israel means that the sport is becoming more popular... and perhaps one day it could become a real pro-league.

In the meantime, I'm planning on not only going to see more games, but actually getting involved in some volunteering capacity. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be coaching my own IFL team ;)


Some of the jokes/observations I blurbed out of my mouth today:
  • "If we get lost, we can't ask for directions... nobody around here knows what football is."
  • "Show the replay!"
  • "Challenge that call coach!"
  • "Where's the guy that sells beer?"
  • "What's the halftime show?"
  • "Why isn't the PA system playing any music?"

Thanks for reading,

PS: The Underdogs creamed the Kings

Jan 14, 2009


Jan 1st, 2009

I woke up in my sister’s house at 7:00am. The temperature outside was 6°C (43°F), when I got out of the house I could see my breath, it was really really cold. Got in the van and started driving southwest. About 400km and 4 hours later, got out of the van and found myself shveetzing at 31°C (88°F).

I thought to myself “it’s so nice to be able to wear shorts in January, this rocks!”

Went straight up to the room to change into a bathing suit and made my way down to the pool and beach area. Drank the coconut juice straight from the coconut and once I finished the juice I asked the “señor” to take the coconut to peel and cut, prepare it with lemon and “salsa buffalo”; ate the whole thing. Awesome! The temperature of the water is perfect, the sand on the beach is great, I’m sitting on a pool side bed, under not so hot sun, but hot enough to tan you; and aside of the bubbles of dirt that sometimes float in the water, it’s all great!

I’m here with my sister, brother in law and my two nephews, I hadn’t plan to come to Acapulco, so my sister and her family inviting me over has made this Mexico trip a greater experience than expected.

Dad’s birthday/family reunion on the 31st was also great. Seeing [almost] the whole family, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews was also superb!

I can’t get enough of this beach and it’s paradise like weather! I ACA!

Dec 27, 2008

Travel Blog entry #1 - Security

As I was getting in line for the security inspection at the [Ben Gurion] airport, you know, where they x-ray your bag, the man in front of me started to take off his coat, belt and shoes, when the x-ray machine operator told him in a really thick Israeli accent “no, no, there is no striptease here”, to what the man responded with an incredulous “what do you mean”, the Israeli security guard then said “we don’t do that in Israel, no need, here fine.”

That’s cool, I thought to myself without making too much of it; but life can surprise you sometimes with this kind of little things. Got on the plane and four and a half hours later I landed in Paris, got off the plane and started to try to make sense of the crazy disarray of how the Charles DeGaulle airport is built. I finally figured out that I had to take a bus to terminal 2E, when the bus finally showed up, the doors of the building opened to let us out and to let us feel the freezing cold outside (0°C or 32°F). To my surprise, the bus was as cold as the outside, no heating! And every time it stopped, the lady driver would leave the doors open to let nobody in and us freeze inside! It sucked! I don’t think any of the airport terminals are really conditioned, it’s so freaking cold!

I finally got to terminal 2E, got my boarding pass for the next flight and got in line for the security inspection. Oh boy! French security is retarded!!! A line of about 10 people took about half an hour! They made everyone

take out of their bags laptops, phones, ipods, mp3 players, cameras, camcorders, disk on keys, phone chargers, any cables or anything electronic related. Other things that had to be put in those plastic trays to be x-rayed were: coats, hats, belts, shoes, jewelry, change, etc. It took for freakin’ ever!!!

Then I started walking around the terminal to find out that there isn’t a single place where you can smoke, and worst of all, the whole airport smells like perfumed fart! Everywhere smells like fart, just with a little perfume on top, it’s disgusting!!!

But after those two completely different experiences in security screening, I have to say that I still trust about 50 times more the relaxed, super high-tech security check in Israel than the slow but “thorough” security check in France. I know that the plane leaving from Israel won’t get highjacked or explode in mid air, while the plane that leaves from Paris, well… who knows? And if you’re wondering about rudeness, the French turned out to be way more assholes than the Israelis… at least so far.

Bottom-line, can’t wait to get out of stupid Frenchland, where they charge for the internet and a cup of coffee is 5 Euros!

The only good thing that I found in this place is that there are a couple PlayStation3 demonstration stations where you can actually play for free… mostly non violent demo-limited games, but hey, it’s free PlayStation! Gots to play!

(Still smells like fart)

About the following posts

I'm traveling in Mexico and in this blog I will try to plasm an anthropological image of my experience here, and of what used to be my day to day life, with all the folklore that becomes part of the routine and the ordinary for somebody who lives here, but that is exotic and interesting to foreign eyes.

I hope it comes out well.

Dec 16, 2008

I haven't written in a while, and in English even longer... Keeping up a blog is hard, even though I have thousands of ideas that cross my mind every day, and there is always something worth dedicating a moment to contemplate, sometimes I even think of writing about it in this blog.
But things happen so fast and situations lead to other situations, and by the time I reach a computer so many things have happened that created a whole experience, a complete day, and I can't get myself to reflect upon only one thing to spill it in this blog.

I guess that is the frustration of the newbie bloggers, who don't know what to write about, can't find the time to do it, or are just procrastinating and just can't get themselves to do anything at all (all apply to me, yes).
Sometimes, there is a kind of pressure that prevents you from writing in your blog. Like what are the readers going to think? Will they like it or not? Will they be offended by something I wrote? Can they misunderstand my intentions? Do they think this is stupid? Will they disagree? And a million more other questions that just don't let you write.

But the truth is that a blog is supposed to be anything, or not nothing... well, anything. Got me?
Postmodern? Oh, fuck yeah! But it is important to understand, that [at least] this blog is just a collection of thoughts, images, sounds and other random shit that appears before me and that I choose to share with you.

About all the questions that I wrote before, the truth is that I don't care about the answers, this is my blog, if you like it, you are invited to read it and participate; if you don't like it, well, thanks for coming anyway.

If you're still reading this, good for you! ;) I'll keep doing what I've been doing. Wishful thinking makes me want to say that I'll write more, but you know how it is, blogging and procrastination come hand in hand.

Today I'm writing not because I'm not busy, because I really am, but because I came around to my blog and was sad to see that I haven't updated it in a while, so here you have me.

As a reward for your patience, I share with you this link for an awesome auto-cooperative game, help yourself have fun and enjoy!

Visit my cellphone photo blog and my website for other random stuff.