Man, I really love it here. Don't get me wrong - I miss America in a big way. I miss appliances that actually work, and hot water that lasts for more than 15 minutes. I miss customer service. If any of you have ever been to Israel, you'll notice that there's a really weird orientation out here - it's absolutely bizarre.
People here aren't as money hungry as in America...they just care about having enough money to live, and aren't caught up with luxuries/materialism. It's good for their psyche but it's horrible for business. Frequently when I order a slice of pizza at a pizza shop, the person will look at me, grunt, and basically insinuate with his body language that he's doing ME a favor by SELLING me a slice of pizza. Also, recently, I tried to buy flowers for someone on the side of the street. I literally sat there for 10 minutes while the guy was on his cell phone. The flowers cost $5. I held the $5 bill out for 10 minutes...all he had to do was take it out of my hand. He refused. Finally I just threw the money in his lap and walked off with the flowers...I don't think he even noticed. It's pretty hysterical.
Anyways, last week, I went up to Tel Aviv to hang out with Dani Stern (Ansky) and Brandon Schaefer who were both in town for the week. I've known both guys for a while...Brandon I met at EPT Deauville in 2005 (which he won, LOL) and Dani I've hung out with in NYC for at least three years. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. So while all you fools on the East Coast were enjoying your five feet of snow, I was chillllllllllllin at the beach
Here's some pics from Tel Aviv:
Anyways, what else has been going on? I had my first interview for MBA programs this past Thursday which went really nicely. I was pretty nervous heading into it, but was blown away by the comfortable atmosphere the admissions officer cultivated - it was very easy to have an honest conversation and allow him to get to know me. I'm pretty excited about the program, and plan to visit the campus in March when I'm back in the States.
As for poker, I don't play a whole lot anymore. It seems like everytime I play, I win or lose a few thousand...I'm making money overall, but I'm not really enjoying the stress. I'm pretty comfortable financially at the moment for a number of reasons....I have a brilliant new money manager who keeps picking homerun after homerun. One of his latest hits was a company called McMoran Exploration (MMR) - he really believed in the company and went super heavy on it, ultimately making it my largest holding. The gamble paid off as the company's thesis proved true and we made >100% in a couple of months. Here's a graph of the firm:
Anyways, that's about that. My studies here continue to be incredible. It's not easy being in class more than 10 hours per day, 5 days a week (I think I was in class like 12 hours/week in college), but the knowledge is so beautiful that it's all worth it. If anyone has any questions about Israel or religious studies in Jerusalem, feel free to post them and I'll let you know!
Peace out girl scouts,