Even though North Korea is threatening to preemtively “reduce everything opposed to the nation and reunification to debris.”

I’m just posting now because several people have messaged me over the past hour or so, worried about my safety and well-being. I do appreciate your concerns, but short of actual invasion of my adopted country, I will not be coming home (unless you tempt me with something awesome, such as a lifetime supply of free mac and cheese).

I have realized, however, that unrest and turmoil seem to be fixtures in my travels.

January 2005: Palestinians vote in their first elections in nine years. I arrived the day of, and stayed in the same hotel as Jimmy Carter, who was in Israel just to be there for the elections (and annoy me), though I think he checked out the day we checked in. No comment on how he checked out politically decades ago…

December 28, 2005: Katyusha rockets rock the town of Kiryat Shmona, in the north of Israel. Days later, I spent an afternoon eating great falafel and shopping in a large shuk there. Also, I bought a really cute bag that day, which I still have.

January 4, 2006: Ariel Sharon suffers career-ending stroke. I was on a bus coming into Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and really had to pee but we were stuck in traffic the entire way. After returning to our kibbutz hotel that night, my friends and I spent the night watching the news, crying and discussing what this could mean for Israel. We had no idea what would come that summer.

October 2006: Kidnap plot concocted by Islamic extremists in the Czech Republic. Set to occur during the High Holidays, Jews were to be kidnapped from a synagogue in central Prague and subsequently murdered. I spent Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur under the watchful eyes of the excessive police presence in Prague’s Jewish Quarter.

November 2006: Riots rock Budapest, Hungary. Despite multiple warnings from our program director not to go to Hungary, I spent a long weekend in Budapest mid-November, when the worst of the troubles had already subsided. Well, en route to a large public bathhouse, a friend and I got on the wrong bus, and somehow wound up on a bridge over the Danube, right in the middle of the protest. I got some great shots on my camera; unfortunately, my beloved Canon met its demise the next day and never recovered. And so all of my Hungary pictures are lost to the wind.

On the plus side, I think I managed to avoid trouble for the better part of this year’s travels. My third trip to Israel went relatively smoothly, FOR ONCE. The only riots I got caught up in while in Europe in June were the Eurocup ones, and they were great fun.

And so now I’m in Korea, a couple of hours from the DMZ. Please don’t worry about me–stuff like this happens all the time, and as my overpriced Hadaya ring says, gam zeh ya’avor. This too shall pass.

OK, not my actual ring.  My Hadaya ring is on my finger though.  It's just dark and late and I don't want to hook up my camera and everything.

OK, not my actual ring. My Hadaya ring is currently on my right index finger. It's just dark and late and I don't want to hook up my camera and everything.

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