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Topics - moish

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1
Tech Talk / Best Unlocked Android Phone Up To $400?
« on: November 16, 2017, 01:51:15 PM »
Title says it all. It needs to work with T Mobile, and a good camera would be appreciated.

Any thoughts?

2
General Discussion / Hungarian citizenship by descent
« on: October 17, 2017, 02:14:04 PM »
Has anyone received Hungarian citizenship based on Hungarian ancestry? I believe they have made the process smoother but would like to hear from someone with experience.

3
Trip Reports / Hopping Around Asia (Mostly)
« on: July 05, 2015, 08:01:53 PM »
This trip was going to be my first foray into solo travel. I had to be in in Beijing before Pesach 2014 for a specific reason and it didnít make sense for my family to come along. They were going to head back to the States by themselves while I travelled east and eventually meet up with them for Pesach.

I could have easily taken the direct TLV-PEK flight with El Al, after all, this trip was booked when they still partnered with AA, but whatís the fun in that? Additionally, I figured that since I was going to be travelling alone, I might as well hit up some locations that wouldnít necessarily be conducive for family travel. If only you could have seen the face of the interrogation officer at TLV when I told her my itinerary. She simply didnít know what to do and had to call a supervisor to take over  :)

As with my previous TRís, I usually focus mostly on the destinations themselves, not so much with the means of getting there and hotels. Additionally, as itís a custom of mine to write TRís at least a year after it actually took place, I tend to forget many details. So I will, for the most part, let the pictures tell the story.

I figured that I didnít want to be bothered buying a local sim in each location especially given that some of my stops would be short, so I went ahead and ordered the T-Mobile Simple Choice plan which offers free data roaming. I had the sim card sent to someone in the US who activated it by making a phone call while located in the US, who then sent it to me. The free data roaming was going to cover all the locations I was going to visit besides for my connection in Amman, so it was a really good option. While it worked well for Waze, for some reason I had to manually refresh to get my new emails.

Well, letís get right to it. After getting some pre trip jitters (weird, right?), I was off. First destinationÖ


Doha

I arrived in Doha at a quarter to 6 on a Tuesday morning flying via AMM and KWI with RJ and QF (It was my first time in the AMM terminal which is certainly a huge upgrade over the old one, but I will miss the old lounge).

RJ TLV-AMM


New AMM terminal


New Crown lounge balcony


View from crown lounge


4
General Discussion / KFI - Kashrus Watchdog in Israel
« on: February 04, 2015, 04:17:41 PM »
Meet KFI (Kosher Food Information for the English Speaking Community in Israel)
9 Shevat 5775
January 29, 2015

KFI: Who We Are:
KFI is a not-for-profit organization founded by a group of English-speaking Rabbanim concerned about the lack of uniform standards amongst the kashrus organizations in Yerushalayim. They seek to establish a minimum Mehadrin standard, as well as spread greater awareness of kashrus (and potential kashrus issues).

The Rabbanim of KFI have found widespread deficiencies, even in mehadrin eateries, in areas such as bishul akum, the absence of adequate supervision, checking of bugs, as well as instances where meat, chicken, and other sensitive items were left unsealed. Therefore, the Rabbanim have joined together to create a much needed system of independent verification of kashrus standards.

What We Do:
- We have established a minimum, reliable standard of kashrus supervision for mehadrin eateries, which meets or exceeds American standards. Any establishment verified by KFI will meet at least this standard. Details of the standards established by KFI will be made available to the public.

- We work together with eateries to raise their standards to minimum mehadrin level. Ė We maintain regular on-site audits to verify that these standards continue to be upheld.

- If the eatery maintains standards above those that KFI requires, KFI verifies that the eateryís claimed standards are adhered to.

What We Do NOT Do:
- We do NOT set standards for raw materials or endorse the different hashgachos found on them. Rather, KFI publicizes an eateryís list of hashgachos, and verifies that it complies with its published list.

KFI IS NOT A HASHGACHA!

We do not recommend any eatery. Rather, we seek to provide the public with the information that will allow the consumer to ask his Rav for an accurate and considered ruling.

5
General Discussion / ISO graphic artist
« on: February 03, 2015, 05:18:32 PM »
can anyone recommend a good but cheapish graphic artist? thanks

6
On The Road / Avis Corporate Awards - end of reward days
« on: November 18, 2014, 04:39:52 PM »
so i just got an email from them that my company will no longer earn reward days. is this a new policy for all companies or is it size based?

7
On The Road / New SPG Promo
« on: November 10, 2014, 02:18:18 PM »


i got free night 1-5 after 2 stays up to 2 free nights. did everyone get the same?

eta: looks like link included my spg number

8
General Discussion / Renting a fridge in jerusalem
« on: October 07, 2014, 04:30:10 AM »
anyone with info or experience?

9
On The Road / American Colony in Jerusalem
« on: June 19, 2014, 07:17:04 AM »
Anybody ever stay here? anyone know of a way to get it at a competitive price?

10
Goods For Sale/Trade / $20 voucher at Got Kosher? in LA
« on: June 15, 2014, 06:43:44 PM »
expires 7/4

paid $12, accepting any reasonable offer

11
Up In The Air / Niki no longer bookable on ba.com?
« on: February 20, 2014, 09:47:50 PM »
is it just me or is niki no longer displayed on ba.com?

i hope its still bookable via phone

12
Tech Talk / KeepGo, anyone use them?
« on: February 12, 2014, 10:17:59 AM »
I'm looking for an international data SIM to use for upcoming travel, and the only one ive found with affordable rates is KeepGo. does anyone have experience with them?

14
Trip Reports / New Zealand with some Seoul
« on: November 03, 2013, 08:11:30 PM »
Part 1: Introduction, Miscellaneous Tips & Getting There

I always wanted to see New Zealand. I had originally thought Iíd combine it with Australia, and when planning my Australia trip thatís what I had in mind. After researching both countries it became apparent, however, that to combine them into one 3 week trip wouldnít do either country justice. It had to be two separate trips. And so it was.

This was to be our most ambitious trip to date. Travelling with a 5 year old and a 2 year old is never easy, and did I mention my wife was 6 months pregnant at the time? After consulting with my wifeís doctor who assured us it was safe, we decided to go ahead.

- As far as kosher food is concerned, there isnít much outside of Auckland and Wellington, cities not really on the tourist map. Armed with the local kosher list and plenty of food from Israel, we made do, primarily eating protein out of a can or box. New Zealand has somewhat strict customs guidelines, but after reading through them carefully, you can see that chicken and meat is allowed as long as itís shelf stable and contains no bones. Thus, there is a large variety of kosher shelf meals produced by Meal Mart and Kiryas Joel that are permitted. I bought some Mountain Oven bags from Amazon to heat up the meals if I ever found myself without access to a microwave.





There is a kosher list which we loaded onto our phones, and we made frequent stops to the supermarkets. Many cereals are kosher including the Australia/NZ favorite, Nutri Grain. Additionally, most of the lox had a hashgachah on it, and some supermarkets even had fresh packaged salmon with a hashgachah that we would bring back to our room and cook up. We also bought fresh eggs which we cooked up in the morning. It was always an adventure going to the supermarket to see what could find.

- I knew we would be taking long flights and long drives, so I made sure to have 2 tablets on hand for the kids loaded up with various kid friendly videos. I also downloaded some talking books (Cat in the hat etc.) and Marvelous Midos Machine type stuff. Of equal importance was bringing tons of nosh and treats.

- To be honest, the proper way to ďdoĒ New Zealand is to do it the way the myriad of young Israelis we encountered do it. They basically come after finishing army service, buy a car, and basically drive & hike for 3 months. There is so much natural beauty, the way to properly experience it is by going on these multiday hikes, something obviously I couldnít do in my situation. Nevertheless, I think we got a nice taste of the country in the 18 days we were there.

- I would be remiss if I didnít bring up the dateline issue. Without going into specifics, there are some serious halachic questions as to when Shabbos is. Is it the local Saturday or Sunday? It would be wise for someone thinking of taking this trip to discuss the issues with a competent orthodox rav. For what itís worth, I basically kept 2 days of Shabbos. So in the 18 days we were there, only 12 were actual touring days. It was either that, or not to go at all. For a short overview of the issues, see here http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-trav-dateline.htm

- As far as our routing, we booked an AA All Partner award TLV-HKG-AKL on El Al & Cathay in Buisness for 45k miles, and then a United award CHC-SYD-ICN on Air New Zealand & Asiana, ICN-HND-LAX on Asiana & ANA, and finally EWR-TLV on United, all in Business Class for 127,500 (I think). Remember that I needed 4 seats, so it was kind of a miracle that I was able to get pretty much everything I had wanted. 

TIP Ė In the beginning, Cathay had only 3 seats available HKG-AKL, so I voluntary downgraded myself for that leg hoping/assuming it would open up as we got closer. But even within 2 weeks of the flight, KVS showed no availability for the flight, even when searching Cathayís website. For some reason I got it in my head to call AA who told me they saw availability and put me in business. So it would seem that AA sees availability even when Cathayís website doesnít.


Getting to New Zealand from TLV is a real doozy, to be quite honest. Unlike on our trip to Australia, where we cut the trip by stopping in Abu Dhabi, our trip to AKL entailed a 9pm departure for an 11 hour flight to HKG, arriving at 2pm, then after a mere 1:30 layover, we took the 3:25pm flight from HKG to AKL, another 11 hour flight which got us in at 7:30am Friday morning. I figured we would be zonked when we finally arrived, so I planned a light day in Auckland with the idea of spending our 2 day Shabbos resting up for our adventure.

I donít remember the flights anymore as much time has elapsed, but I do remember my 2 year old, which I might mention is a very hard age to travel with, absolutely refusing to go to sleep on the second flight when they turned out the lights, and struggling with him not to make a racket while the other Business passengers were trying to get some shut eye. I couldnít help thinking, ďHave I made a huge mistake by attempting this..."





To be continued at some point...

15
Trip Reports / ďLightĒ Trip to Vienna & Prague
« on: August 06, 2013, 05:48:05 PM »
Having a baby a mere 2 weeks before the start of bein hazmanim, I pretty much wrote off any sort of trip. It was to be the first summer since we got married that we were going to simply stay put. However, being bitten by the travel bug as I am, as bein hazmanim progressed, the itch kept on getting stronger. We decided to make a go of it, and planned a ďlightĒ trip to Europe to see some of the cities we had missed in our travels. My travelling through Europe until this point had been focused on seeing countries. I had always wanted to see Prague & Vienna so we decided this would be the perfect opportunity. I searched around for flights and found a charter airline flying to Prague for $350 a ticket. Not too bad considering we decided to go a week before we actually left. And off we were, with our 5 year old, 2 year old, a new 3 week old baby.

Our flight on Friday morning was on Travel Service/SmartWings at 9:10am which got us into PRG at about 12:15pm. After eating some lunch, feeding the baby, renting the car etc., we hit the road at about 10 to 2. Driving was fairly easy, and we drove it in under 3.5 hrs plus a half hour for breaks, and we arrived in Vienna at around a quarter to 6. TIP: If you are ever considering doing some serious driving in Europe, itís definitely worth your while to learn how to drive stick.

Something to remember, we picked up the car in the Czech Republic, and the car had a sticker on it from the CR. When you cross the border into Austria, you need to buy a sticker to put on your windshield to be able to drive there. Any gas station should sell them, and they cost around 10 Euro for 7 days IIRC.

Our first stop was at the kosher restaurant, Alef Alef. As far as Shabbos meals, this is pretty much the only option, and they require prepayment. To our horror though, they were closed when we got there around 6. As it was late, (shekia was around 8:45pm but davening is at 7 with the meal directly following) we rushed to the hotel, the Imperial.

As our plan was to be in Vienna for four nights, I broke one of my rules and booked 2 nights at the Imperial, and 2 nights at the Bristol, both Luxury Collection hotels. The Imperial, the nicest hotel in town, was too expensive to book for all the nights, even at the SPG C+P rate, and to stay at the Bristol all 4 nights also wasnít an option, because after all, how can we go to Vienna and not stay at the Imperial? So we decided to do 2 and 2.

The Imperial definitely lives up to the hype. Itís truly a beautiful hotel, as the former palace of a prince. When the Queen of England visited Vienna, she was put up at the Imperial due to lack of nicer accommodations. The service was impeccable as well.








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