Hello random internet weirdos. Good to see you. Not really. But I want to promote my new YouTube channel so I'm going to spend the next few hours writing a bunch of nonsense to hopefully entice you to watch me starve myself for 72 hours and then eat raw duck liver of questionable quality on camera.
What the fuck am I talking about?
Great question. Let me explain.
The Auschwitz Diet
It all started back with the Crypto Crash 2.0 back about a month ago.
Things were just fine before that. I was getting 2-3 new clients a week for social media management from Paigham Bot, I had some awesome fur coats to keep me warm in the shitty New York weather, and I was sitting on what I thought was a fat stack of magic internet money "just in case."
Well, "just in case" turned into reality when the market went to shit. And has continued to go to shit. And by the looks of it, WILL continue to go to shit.
In a way it's a good thing - but we'll get to that in a second.
Like I wrote in my last post, Manhattan is an expensive city to live in. After living in hostels for over a year and a half, I was spending money on creature comforts like it was my job. Grass fed beef, black Timberland boots (I always wanted a pair), and a slew of other retarded shit that somehow managed to separate me from my hard earned dollars.
To further complicate things, Instagram decided to put the brakes on a lot of the strategies I was using to grow my and my clients' accounts. Ban after ban caused me to lose a big chunk of my income. The crypto crash made matters worse not only by gutting MY nest egg, but the nest eggs of the few remaining clients I had from earlier in the year.
When it rains, it pours.
But I wasn't totally wiped out. I still had some savings and some income. And you know me - I have new shit passing through the pipeline all the time. That said, I didn't want to take the chance that some other Black Swan would unexpectedly swoop down on me and fuck me over in some other way I hadn't anticipated.
I had a few choices:
- Get a normal desk job in Manhattan to continue living there
- Go spend December selling hair straighteners in some random ass place to take advantage of the holiday gold rush
- Go live in a cheap 3rd world country while I rebuilt my income streams
Taking a desk job didn't really appeal to me (I've actually been fired from every single office job I ever had. And a lot of restaurant jobs too now that I think about it).
But part of me wanted to stay in New York - so for a while I actually considered it.
When I initially went there, I wasn't expecting to stay more than a week. I'd never been there before and figured I'd pass through on my way to Tel Aviv.
How can you compare a massive, crowded, dirty, urban jungle to beautiful beaches, hot Israeli girls, and amazing food?
Fortunately, I made some amazing friends in New York. The digital nomad lifestyle doesn't really take advantage of everything New York has to offer, but I liked my friends. I liked the fact that there was a massive Jewish community. I even found a nice little yoga/Pilates studio, complete with a cute little 25 year old Pilates instructor from Switzerland for me to obsessively stalk on Instagram.
Shabbat - not even once
I got addicted to the Shabbat dinners, the Saturday morning trips to shul (synagogue), the fact that 20% of the white people you see walking down the street were likely Jewish.
It's hard to explain, but when you grow up as a minority and move to a place where you're a sizable part of the population, it makes you feel more at ease. That's one of the reasons why Israel is such an amazing place. (For Jews, at least.)
Anyway, let's get to the fucking point: New York was great, but I didn't want to stay there anymore.
The Shabbat dinners were great - but it was the same people every week.
Shul was fun at first - but eating so much unhealthy food fucks with my Snake Diet-esque girlish figure.
And don't even get me started on the weather...
Cold. Rainy. Blah.
The first day it snowed, I legit got depressed. It did give me a chance to wear my new Timbs though. And by then I'd bought two PIMP ass fur coats that I netted me compliments from total strangers literally every time I left the house.
But still - not worth it.
Being fat and wearing a fur coat with a bunch of Jews VS being ripped and wearing board shorts with a bunch of slutty backpacker girls? Tough call.
To be fair, if I had gone there with any direction whatsoever beyond just "seeing what it was like," I'd probably still be there. But like most of you, I don't have much direction. One of my old Israeli bosses used to call me afifon bli chut - a kite without a string.
Option 2 didn't sound like a blast either. I've been out of the hair straightener game for almost a year, and while I know I could quite literally walk into any mall in the world and pick up exactly where I left off, I can't say that's really very appealing either.
Whether you're a prostitute or a freelancer, once you work from a bed for long enough, you don't want to go back to working standing up.
Yeah, I miss it sometimes. But this was not one of those times. Being "forced" to go to that job because you're running out of money is not the same as going for 2-3 weeks to go make friends, explore the world, and experience something new.
I even looked into it a little bit. One company tried to send me to fucking Wisconsin. The other one told me Charlotte. Both sounded lame as fuck. I considered Cape Town since it's been on my list for years AND because their spring/summer is starting around now.
But at the end of the day I did what anyone would do - I picked the easiest option: Thailand baby.
Catch me if you can
While I was in Tel Aviv, I had a little travel relationship with a girl who happened to be from New York. We had a great time and bonded in a way that's virtually impossible if you and other person live in the same country.
I've been meaning to write a post about it, but these little mini-relationships are one of THE best things about traveling. You meet someone special, you bond with them, and then one of you leaves the country before the relationship starts to decay. Catch and release.
I really liked this girl and she really liked me too. I won't go into too much detail (even though I doubt she'll ever read this), but suffice to say she was all about it while I was there. She even got me a belated birthday gift: an Artscroll siddur, which is like a religious Jewish prayerbook with my Hebrew name Bezalel (בְּצַלְאֵל)monogrammed on it.
A little strange since I'm not religious whatsoever, but I guess she assumed that since the people I was hanging out with were (and the fact that I went to Shabbat meals and shul every week), that I was too. Even though I'm PRETTY sure I told her multiple times that I wasn't.
Regardless, it was an intimate gift. And she was coming to New York in early December.
Meanwhile, I already had one foot out the door. And I didn't want to get stuck with December's rent payment. I also wanted the deposit back for my apartment.
And truth be told, the cold weather was getting to me. I was sick of the New York lifestyle in general. I just wasn't ready for it because I had no reason to be there other than the community and some friends.
I felt like some kind of wild animal that was doing its best to submit to domestication. But then its hair starts falling out, it starts getting fat, and actually starts to look depressed.
I booked a one way ticket back to Phuket two days after this girl was supposed to arrive. My reasoning was that we'd have a day, an afternoon, a night or whatever to hang out and do New York things before I left.
Needless to say, she wasn't pleased.
"Oh my god are you serious? That's the meanest thing anyone's ever done to me."
She was kind of laughing when she said it so I tried to play it off. But she wasn't having it.
"I never want to speak to you again."
For a brief moment, I considered trying to honey her out of it. Telling her that I really wanted to spend time with her, that I had been looking forward to seeing her too, that I wanted to spend my last day with her.
But part of me was insulted that she didn't understand my situation. And let's be real - I wasn't about to cancel or change my ticket with so much at stake. So I did the next best thing.
"Um, okay. If that's what you want. I'll talk to you later then."
It's good to get closure sometimes. Even if it's not the type of closure you were expecting. At least now I could go to Thailand without any distractions.
I ended up spending my last day there with my semi-famous New York Jew friend. This guy gets stopped on the street by people and every party we go to he knows at least a dozen people there. It's like this in Tel Aviv too.
He helped me tie up some loose ends, agreed to send my fur coats and black Timbs back to my parents', and walked me back to the proverbial gates of the city.
Back into the wild.
Hi [someone's future] mom
In an effort to save as much money as possible, I booked a flight that I hope I'll never have to book again: Eight hours from New York to Moscow, a nine hour layover in Moscow, and then another eight hour flight from Moscow to Thailand.
While I was standing in line to board the flight, I found myself behind a group of young religious Jewish girls. Ankle-length skirts, long sleeves, the whole shebang. They looked like they were around 16-17 years old. Like typical New Yorkers, they were being super obnoxious to everyone, including the flight staff.
One of them had a massive gold gift bag and was holding up the line by asking her other friend to take pictures of her. She posed a few times before handing over her boarding pass, but before she did, she pulled out a few small balloons from her giant gift bag and handed them to the poor airport employees just trying to do their job.
I was surprised when they smiled - instantly won over.
I boarded the plane behind them and watched as Gold Bag Girl made random comments to people on the plane. Saying hello, complimenting their clothes, telling them to have a nice flight, etc. Just being a goofball in general.
As I got closer to my seat, I heard her say, "Where's my seat? 35F."
I looked at my ticket. 35E.
I groaned inwardly.
I mean don't get me wrong - she was cute enough. But she was also jailbait. And I was all emotional and weird from the weight of my decision to leave that I wasn't sure how I'd deal with some chatterbox sitting next to me making random comments about who knows what.
I sat down next to her, fully expecting to immediately feel the brunt of her personality, but instead all I got was silence. Not even a peep.
I looked over and saw that she had opened a prayerbook and had started rapidly moving her lips, her voice barely audible even from where I was sitting.
A few minutes later she closed the book and put it away. I braced myself yet again for the onslaught.
Now I was getting insulted. The random airport employees are good enough to harass but I'm not? What is this shit?
Not one to be ignored, I took it on myself to break the ice. "Where'd you get your bag?"
The question lit her up like a Christmas tree (Hannukiah?). "What, this thing? It was my birthday a few days ago and my friend surprised me at the airport with it."
She leaned forward and started rifling through it. "It has all my gifts in here."
I go, "Yeah I saw it as you guys were walking in. That shit is pretty pimp."
"Thanks," she said with a laugh.
Suddenly nosy, I asked her, "How old are you?"
"Me? 25. I turned 25 on Tuesday."
"What!?" I said in disbelief. "I thought you guys were like 16-17."
She laughed again as one of her friends came down the aisle. My seatmate turned to her and said, "Listen to what he said about my bag."
Then turning to me she said, "Go ahead, tell her what you said."
"You tell her," I snorted.
She goes, "He said, 'It's a pimp bag."
"I said, 'That shit is PIMP,'" correcting her.
Her friend laughed nervously, still unsure if I was some creepy weirdo who was bothering her friend or if she was actually enjoying the conversation.
"There's a seat back there. Do you want to come sit with us?" Her friend asked.
"No no, I'm good," my seatmate replied.
"Yeah?" Eyecodes flying everywhere, her friend asked, "You sure?"
"I'm fine. But can you bring me one of the tuna sandwiches?" Then she turned to me. "Are you hungry? Do you want a sandwich?"
I put up my hands to ward off the future Jewish mother. "No no, I'm good. I don't want to eat your food."
But she insisted: "No, it's okay. Are you hungry?"
Without even waiting for my response, she turned back to her friend: "Can you bring the sandwiches? And the pickles too."
This little exchange turned into an 8 hour conversation, punctuated by at least a dozen inquiries about my current and potential future level of hunger.
I won't go into the entire conversation because this thing is already long enough and I have other shit I need to do today, but one part of our talk actually made a lasting impression on me in an area of my life that I thought I had pretty much figured out.
Judaism = delaying gratification
Over the course of our conversation, I found out that she was affiliated with Chabad.
These are black-hat/black-jacket-wearing Haredi Jews with a twist - they're nice to everyone and actually seek to include Jews of all denominations in all the mitzvot. Basically they try to be as inclusive with secular/borderline Jews as possible. They don't exclude anyone as long as they're Jewish.
These guys are the fucking best, no lie. Virtually every major city around the world has a Chabad House whose purpose is to help any Jews with whatever they need.
Most of the time this ends up just being a Shabbat meal on Friday night. But you never know.
That said, every time I meet someone who is in their 20s or 30s and STILL religious, I always get curious. After all, now that they're adults, they have the option to drop all the religious shit and just live a normal life. And while some do (although most still keep kosher and Shabbat), many of them don't.
I always found this so interesting because being a religious Jew comes with a fuckton of restrictions and responsibilities. You have to say literally 100 prayers per day (don't quote me on those figures) and there's all these other things you can and can't do.
For example, you have to say a prayer when you:
- Eat something
- Drink something
- Go to the bathroom
- Wake up in the morning
- Go to bed at night
- Take a shower
- Wash your hands
In addition to that, you have to abide by the rules of kashrut - meaning no pork, no mixing meat and dairy, no shrimp/lobster, as well as a dozen other things.
You have to keep Shabbat, which means you're not allowed to do any work from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. No phone, no internet, no driving a car. You can't even turn on the light or use the microwave.
And then there's everyone's favorite: shomer ngiya. Literally translated means, "guarding the touch."
No touching the opposite sex unless you're married. No handshakes, no hugs, no kisses, no holding hands. Obviously no sex.
As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of awkward introductions where you go to shake someone's hand and they give you a look and say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't..."
And while Chabad is as "black hat" as they come, I met quite a few young Chabad girls that had no problem putting their hands all over me and seemed super DTF. They were all rabbi's daughters too, now that I think about it.
But here I had a perfectly normal, pretty, seemingly well-adjusted 25 year old girl who was still drinking the Kool Aid even when nobody was watching. I mean, I guess her friends (and sister, I later found out) were on the plane, but still. 25 years old is old enough to decide whether or not you want to live a certain lifestyle.
After a few minutes of gold-bag-pimp-smalltalk I said to her, "Listen, I want to ask you something. It's going to sound patronizing but I don't mean it that way. I really want to know because I'm curious. What practical benefit do you get from being religious? Like, what am I missing?"
Didn't seem to take any offense. She knew I was Jewish/Israeli at this point as well after seeing my orange Ichud Hatzala rubber bracelet. I even managed to slide in there how I did a few years in the IDF, which she IMMEDIATELY told her friend as she walked by.
"He was in Tzahal," she said, apropos of nothing.
Side note: having served in the IDF is a surefire panty-dropper in the American Jewish community. Maybe not so much among the liberal ones, but generally the religious Jewish communities lean to the more pro-Israel (and thus conservative) side of the political spectrum.
But I digress...
Disregard females, acquire currency
The answer she gave me was pretty interesting.
"Okay so for one: the community. Like, if you need help, you always have where to go. One woman had cancer and we did a fundraising drive for her and we raised a million dollars."
My jaw hit the floor. "A million dollars? Wow."
I mean, let's not get into how the cancer industry is a total scam and waste of money. They should have paid me that million bucks and I would have had her cancer-free in a few months. But still, rallying a community to raise that kind of money is no small feat.
And Chabad are experts at fundraising.
Remember, there are Chabad Houses all over the world that put on free Shabbat meals every single week. These people have big families with 7-8 kids. Jewish school isn't cheap. Plus add to that the fact that Haredi Jews believe that Jewish men should spend ALL of their time learning Torah.
Where do you think that money comes from?
A lot of them don't work. They exist on donations from the Jewish community. This is a hot issue in Israel as a lot of Haredi people get welfare from the government, don't contribute to society (by joining the army for example), while the secular Israelis have to work twice as hard.
But this girl had a job. She worked in real estate (for her dad's company as I recall). She also told me that aside from rabbis, it's common for Lubavitch (Chabad) Jews to work.
At one point she said to me, "Right now with girls my age, the new hot thing is to work really hard and save up a lot of money so when they get married they can support their families while the husband learns all day."
If my jaw could have dropped any further, it would have unhinged.
Okay not really, but that was a massive eye opener for me. It's such an uncommon point of view to have, especially in America where it's all about equality and egalitarianism. Those things are great, don't get me wrong.
But there's something to be said about that level of a woman's sacrifice for her husband and children. ESPECIALLY when the payoff isn't even tangible - it's spiritual.
She goes, "You're supposed to give tzdaka - like a donation - every day. And even though this isn't the reason for doing it, they say that when you do, your earnings start going through the roof.
"People would go to the Rebbe and ask him what to do because they didn't have any money, and he would tell them, 'Give tzdaka.' But they would say, 'how? I don't have anything.'
"Then when they gave whatever they had, their situation would improve. And the more they gave, the more it improved."
I've actually heard this from multiple people before who've said the exact same thing.
In Hebrew it's called asirit which means "a tenth" - implying that you're supposed to give 10% of your earnings to charity. And the people I heard it from were some of the most greedy, money-grubbing "businessmen" I'd ever had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with. These people would haggle with the barista at Starbucks to get a discount on their muffin.
But they happily gave to charity. One specifically that I can remember gave to Chabad as he was pretty involved with them, despite just being "traditional" (keeps Shabbat and Kosher).
I told her that I had heard the same thing from other people, adding, "I've always wanted to try it."
She gets up and goes, "Wait here for a second," before walking to the back of the plane.
A few minutes later she came back with a blue canvas bag with the word Hannukah written on it - full of stuff. She sat back in her seat and immediately started pulling stuff out. Bags of sandwiches, a tupperware full of chicken, what must have been an 800 page hardcover book, and a little plastic cylindrical container with a coin slit and Hebrew written on it.
"Do you want one of these sandwiches?" This girl was relentless.
"Fine," I said, giving in. I guess I would be starting my diet in Thailand.
"Here's a pickle too," she said, handing me a ziplock bag.
(You can't make this shit up.)
Then she handed me the book. The cover read, Practical Tanya.
Tanya is the name of the doctrine that Chabad teaches. And since I was asking about practical benefits of living a religious lifestyle, I guess she wanted to show it to me.
She goes, "Here. This is for you. Maybe you'll get some use out of it."
I raised my eyebrows. "What? Really? No, I couldn't take your book."
"No no, I insist. Take it. You'll think it's interesting."
In situations like this, I would have put on the same face you put on when your grandma gives you a set of Legos for your 15th birthday and expects you to be happy about it.
But for some strange reason, I actually did appreciate that she gave me the book. Thoughtful gifts are the best gifts. And maybe it also reminded me of the other girl who had given me the siddur... hmm.
Then she handed me the cylinder. "This is for tzdaka," she said.
I'd seen these before in varying degrees of fanciness. They're basically like a little piggy bank that you're supposed to fill up with loose change. Instead of spending it on yourself, you're supposed to give it to charity. It's one of those things I'd always seen but never used. And now I had one.
"And here's a menorah for Hannukah also," she said, pulling out a smaller plastic bag full of stuff. "There's some candles in here too."
"Wow," I said, unsure of what to say. "Thank you."
When in doubt, be polite.
"Do you want some of this chicken?" She asked, shoving the tupperware in my face. "It's really good. My mom made it."
I go, "No no, I'm good. Thank you though."
She goes, "Are you sure? What are you going to eat in Moscow? Just take it."
I tried to resist but it was no use. She loaded everything up in the bag and passed it off to me. Something told me she wasn't just trying to lighten her load for the flight back.
I could feel everyone around us eavesdropping on our conversation. No touching, not even any overt flirting. But something was happening.
Put this box on your head
On the one hand it was kind of a shame that she was off limits.
But on the other, it was refreshing to see that there are still some girls like that out there.
Marriage hasn't been on my radar since forever, but every time I make a strong connection with a girl, part of me always imagines what life would be like if I pushed our timeline into infinity.
You think to yourself: What if I got out of the game and just chose THIS one?
I would always joke around and say that if I ever DID get married, it would be to a religious girl. And my preference was confirmed after this flight. The level of care was just unreal. For me, a total stranger. Someone she'd likely never see again.
But that's just how Chabad is: they give. And they give happily. And they give without thinking what they'll get in return. There must be some practical benefit to that, right? It's got to be more than just, "Because God says so."
That's what I was trying to find out. And this girl was trying to help me find the answers.
When we landed, she even insisted that I put on tfillin.
You may have seen the religious Jews who will wrap a black strap around their arm and attach a little black box to their head (and another one to their arm). Or maybe not. It's pretty obscure unless you're around Jews a lot.
You're supposed to do it three times a day: at dawn, dusk and at some point in between. There are special prayers you're supposed to say and some book you're supposed to read from, but I literally have no idea what it is. But Chabad for some reason LOVES to make people put on tfillin. Or as they call it, "tefillin."
They'll literally stand on the street on Friday and ask people as they walk by, "Do you want to put on tefillin?"
They're not asking for money. This isn't a job they get paid to do. They just stand there and try to get people to put this shit on.
If they stop someone like me who gets guilted into doing it but has no idea what they're doing, then they'll patiently walk you through the whole process - prayer included.
And you should see how happy they are when they finally get someone to do it. You'd think it was a salesman closing a deal.
Anyway, this girl INSISTED I put on tfillin before we part ways. So we found another young Chabadnik in the Moscow airport to do the deed. They even took lots of embarassing pictures of the whole process, presumably to use to soften my public image when all my scandals hit the papers.
While I was saying prayers in a Russian airport, the girl took the book she'd given me and started writing something in the cover. I made a mental note to read it later.
Finally it was time to say goodbye. Their connecting flight to Jerusalem was literally boarding as we walked to their gate.
I briefly mentioned it earlier, but her sister was on the flight as well and was virtually the polar opposite of her. Not religious at all with a short pixie haircut, she was also very sweet but with that same pilpel (spiceyness). During the flight she came over and said to me, "You look like James Aspey!"
Immediately some girl in the row in front of me - who until then hadn't said a word - goes, "YES!"
She turned around and said to the pixie, "You're right! I was thinking, 'Where do I know him from?'"
Pixie girl goes, "Yeah you look just like him." She squinted at me. "Are you him?"
I laughed. "No. Definitely not."
As we were saying our goodbyes at the terminal, her friends let us have a moment "alone" (read: ten feet away but listening to everything).
"Well um, I hope you find what you're looking for in Thailand!" She said, mindful of her friends eavesdropping.
I go, "Yeah, you too. I'm glad we got to sit next to each other. Have fun in Jerusalem. Keep in touch."
No hug. No high five. But I'll be damned if I didn't feel like I was in high school again.
Her sister goes, "Okay, SHE won't give you a hug but I'LL give you a hug for them."
I tried to transfer my love in a non-creepy way through this underage girl to her religious sister. Not sure if it worked.
As we both turned around to leave, she called out over her shoulder, "And make sure to invite me to your Jewish wedding!"
Looking back, she was totally giving me an opening to say something slick like, Invite you? You're going to be the bride!
But instead I said something retarded like, "Haha yeah, invite me to yours too. Don't be a loser and pretend like you don't know me!"
She was nice enough to laugh one last time before disappearing forever.
With that behind me, I started the last leg of my journey: back to Phuket. Back to where it all began. Sort of.
Look ma- no strings!
And with this behemoth approaching 6000 words, here comes the punchline:
I'm 35 years old. And while I can still get away with charming young religious Jewish girls, having quarantined travel relationships with other backpackers, and living the life of an afifon bli chut - it's time to step my game up.
I actually started reading that book she gave me. It reads like a fucking technical manual for a Korean space satellite, but one tidbit that I gleaned from it was that difficult decisions involve two paths:
- One that is short, but long
- The other which is long, but short
The implication here is that one of the paths will be full of shortcuts, hacks, tweaks and other ways for you to presumably save effort and time but are really just keeping you further from your goal.
The other path involves more work earlier on and seems more difficult, but ultimately will lead you to your destination faster.
As a consummate life-hacker, I can relate. I've always tried to figure things out on my own.
Fuck what the mainstream says. I want to make my own decisions.
Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're not. But you have to test and experiment to see what works and what doesn't.
And for me, that long but short path has always been The Unapologetic Pursuit Of International Glory And Recognition. Not just for validation and attention, but because as my mentally ill comrade-in-arms friend is so fond of saying:
You can't be broke and famous at the same time.
That's the reason for all this, you know?
The narcissistic and verbose articles I write and sponsor out of my own pocket, my daily posts on IG (equally as narcissistic), the websites I've created over the years, and now my recently revived YouTube channel.
I wanted you to see it. I wanted everyone to see it.
I wanted it to get famous and popular, for it to receive critical acclaim solely because it had been deemed "high quality" by a nebulous "they" that I never quite defined.
But that shit never happened, and for the longest time I blamed the world for not appreciating my genius instead of understanding what it really was:
I just picked the wrong outlet for my vanity.
Writing is so SOLITARY!
Notice how 99% of people who consider themselves "writers" have terrible hair? Because they stay at home all fucking day writing. Who cares if their hair looks like it's been cut by an vengeful barber?
You're not going to sit around and read a book out loud while your friends listen. What is this, the fucking Bible or something?
But what you WILL do is open Netflix and pick a movie to watch with friends. You WILL pay $20 to sit in a movie theatre and watch a flick on a giant screen while you eat overpriced popcorn and Junior Mints.
Putting myself in videos has always been the final frontier for me. I've dabbled in it a few times, but always came up with excuses to stop.
In 2016 when I did my 30 day vlogging experiment, I got a bad haircut and couldn't stand to look at myself on camera anymore. And don't even get me started on how long it takes to edit the damn things...
Guess what though: the bank account is getting lower and lower every day. And while I believe that crypto isn't going to disappear any time soon (everyone needs a way to buy questionable goods on the internet), all the ETH I've been sitting on isn't worth nearly as much as it was a year ago.
So this time around, I'm going to do it right.
I'll be relentless - like a Jewish mother trying to feed someone who hasn't eaten in the past five minutes. Because I know what's waiting for me this time if I fail.
"Excuse me, miss - do you straighten your hair sometimes?"
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