Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Tattooed Lady

The first thing I needed to do Friday was figure out where I would be for the Sabbath.  Monaco seemed like a good idea, but I tried calling their synagogue and nobody answered.  Finally I tried a synagogue in Nice, and they said that Friday morning was too late in the week to try to find a family to host me but I should go to the chabad house.  I would prefer to stay with normal people and not chabad people, but beggars can't be choosers, and I am a beggar.

Chabad in Nice was extremely welcoming.  In fact, word had reached them of my possible arival and as soon as I started to talk, they knew of me and would be happy to host me.  Saturday lunch I ate with the rabbi, and was honored to sit next to a man who I was told was the best pianist in all of France.  An interesting man who spends his time between NY, playing for the Philharmonic, and France playing here and in Paris.

He was extremely loud and wouldn't stop talking the whole meal about how important it is to get along and how much he loves everybody.  He knocked over my cup of water three times.  His right arm had been sitting for a while in a small puddle on the table that had collected near him.  He would occasionally break from his lecturing to give me an aside, and sometimes would give me the same aside three or four times without realizing that he was repeating himself.  Twice he accidentally drank from somebody else's cup of water and spit it out as though it was the foulest stuff in the world.  “Water is for horses.”  He told me.

On Friday, since I wouldn't kayak anywhere, I went to a couple of museums with a girl I met in the Hostel.

“Hi I'm Dov.”

“Hi Dov, I'm Lydia.”  she told me when we introduced ourselves.

She was pretty so I sang a song, Lydia the Tattooed Lady, as it is sung by one of my heroes, Kermit the Frog.  I stopped after only a line or two “You probably get this a lot don't you?”

“Yah” she told me.

Something I ate Friday night, or rather, the huge quantity of
everything I ate, made me sick.  I was up periodically through the
night and excusing my self from the synagogue in the morning to puke.
I sipped water so as not to dehydrate, and by Sunday morning was better.  Today I won't paddle far since I'm still not tip top.

That aside, Europe is awesome.


  1. I will have you and Lydia know that "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" is also sung by us Coney Island Polar Bears as we swim in the icy brine.

  2. It is just what the Coney Island Polar Bears sing when swimming every Sunday in the season.