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China: 4 questions: WhatsApp; WeChat; VPN; Mecan 1. Does WhatApp work in China? If so, can it be used to make free WhatsApp phone calls from China to the US? Is it necessary to add the country code?   

2. Is WeChat better for this?

3. Planning a 2 week visit to China. Would you recommend a VPN to retrieve Gmail and, if so, which one and why?

4. Have you visited the Mecan Hotel in Yangshuo, and if so, how was it?


January 30, 2017, 03:53:28 PM
Re: All Halocha Shailos and teiffa Questions Wow, Moko, that is interesting about Camel milk being sold now in the USA. Ain Beis Medresh B’lee Chidush. I also see that the camel milk is $18 per pint, which would be $72 for a typical size half gallon (4 pint) container. At that price, Camel milk drinkers should be more concerned that it may be diluted with cows milk, than the other way around.

December 19, 2017, 08:16:20 AM
Re: Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
They haven't had ownership that desired that level.
Sometimes the customer service attitude trickles down from the top. A hotelier understands the long term value of pampering guests, while a landlord is interested in collecting rents and not in giving the tenants more than required under the terms of the negotiated lease, and a real estate developer wants to sell apartments. While the new owner has been all of these, this is not his first hotel, and he apparently had success with his others. It’s just a different business model.

January 17, 2018, 05:58:11 AM
Time Off to Travel I notice many frequent DDF posters seem to travel quite frequently and extensively. If you are not retired and you are working for a living, how do you get all that time off?  Perhaps you are self-employed and/or traveling is part of your work? Just curious... please post
February 13, 2018, 05:42:50 PM
Re: Brooklyn Restaurants
Best Brooklyn restaurant other than the loft, unimpressed with Bison?

Bordeaux is excellent

March 04, 2018, 06:56:03 PM
Re: The funny/strange/interesting video thread... Interesting video to sea. Sank you very much for posting!

March 05, 2018, 08:20:09 PM
Re: kosher food in airport lounges Any kosher food available in Wingtips Lounge at JFK?
March 06, 2018, 02:04:31 PM
Re: Trip planning for second honeymoon
After 15 yrs of marriage, finally taking my wife to Europe. She has been all over Europe, but it is my first time.
We will only be having about 3 days Leaving Sunday coming back Thursday. My problem is deciding which area/city

My choices are Madrid/Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Venice.

Looking for a good mix of history, Jewish and otherwise, and availability of kosher food.

I would recommend Venice and Rome, both of which certainly meet your criteria. If you only have 3 nights in Europe, do 2 in Venice and 1 in Rome. I think it's about an hour flight or 3.5 hour train ride between them.

March 09, 2018, 10:53:42 AM
Re: Spain Master Thread Mini-Trip Report: We visited Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Gibraltar, Granada and Barcelona; and then Israel.
In Madrid, I recommend Pinati Restaurant, where we ate both nights that we were there. It opens for dinner at 7 pm, and the other restaurant, which did not seem to get great reviews, only opens at 8:30 pm. They are a few blocks from each other and close to the heavily guarded shul, where you will need a passport to enter. The Prado Museum is amazing if you appreciate art. Shlomo Hanoka gave us a great day tour from Madrid to Toledo, highlighting the Jewish history in a very meaningful way, and I highly recommend him as well.
They served us a nice kosher meal on board the Renfe train from Madrid to Seville, order in advance, on Preferente class, dining car.
Seville tour guide Moises Hassan was excellent, as was our stay there in the Hotel La Casas de la Juderia, in a junior suite. We happened to be there for the Seville Spring Fair, which was very festive and colorful. Tour guide and driver Abby Suissa (see Gibraltar thread) drove us from Seville to Gibraltar, gave us a tour of Gibraltar, where we spent Shabbos in the Sunborn Hotel. Afterwards, he drove us to Granada. The Alhambra Palace there is beautiful; I recommend a guided tour. We flew from Granada to Barcelona,where we visited Gaudi's colorful Parc Guell as well as La Pedera, a/k/a Casa Mila. The latter was very interesting, I recommend you take the audio tour which starts with an elevator ride to the roof, one of the main attractions, and then walks you down. We enjoyed walking around Barcelona, not so much La Rambla, which is a bit too Times Square touristy, but rather the Passieg de Garcia and nearby streets. We stayed at the Le Meridien right off La Rambla, which was very nice, and we ate at the nearby Restaurant Maccabi, an excellent restaurant with great food, and also took out from Shaq Shuq a few blocks away.         

May 08, 2018, 03:55:50 PM
Re: Switzerland Master Thread  I was thinking of taking the Bernina Express, scenic route train, from Zurich to Chur then on to Tirano, Italy, and then train down to Milan Italy. Long day, but supposedly worthwhile. Any experience or thoughts on this?    Is kosher food ever served on Swiss trains?
June 25, 2018, 05:35:03 PM
Re: All Halocha Shailos and teiffa Questions
bracha on sights is called ברכת הראיה and is for specific views. taste and smell are called ברכת הנהנין and is said when pleasure "enters" the body and we benefit from it (regarding smell, we learn from a posuk that the neshama benefits from it (remember why we smell besomim?)
a good voice does not enter the body and there is no real benefit
So there are Brochos for “specific views” where we thank HaShem for the beautiful or extraordinary sights, such as the Yam Hagodol. Enjoying those sights does not enter the body any more so than listening to a concert. Thanks for addressing the issue, but I’m still not convinced. This question occurred to me on Rosh Hashanah when I observed a blind young man so obviously enjoying the Chazan and everyone’s back up harmony.

September 13, 2018, 01:52:43 PM