There are many beautiful things about living in Israel. The plumbing unfortunately, is not one of them. In the oldest neighborhoods of Jerusalem neighborhoods, like the Old City, or Nachlaot, both which were built before indoor plumbing was the norm, you come to expect certain…issues. Many apartments I have been in in Nachlaot have the kitchen and bathroom on the porch, because in that historically poor neighborhood it was cheaper to add on than reconfigure to house to accommodate pipes.

But now I live in Rehavia, Nachloat’s adjoining, more affluent brother neighborhood. I’ve moved on up since the homeless, jobless state ck discovered me in on Har Habayit.

Rehavia, with streets named for poets and sages of the Golden Era in Spain, designed with green-spaces in mind, tree lined streets and proper trash receptacles that get picked up with alarming frequency is, for all intents and purposes, considered a nice neighborhood.

So why, oh why is there raw sewage sitting outside my bathroom window making the room smell like it was enveloped by a giant rancid ass, mixed with dead fish and rotting corpses, served on a bed of carrion left in the sun, with a side of month-old counter-top milk.

And I wish I was exaggerating.

Apparently there was some kind of plumbing problem in the building, we noticed because our toilet didn’t flush so much as just add more water to dilute anything that might be in there. Maintenance men were called and they attacked the sewage pipe running right through our back yard with the professional, hi-tech instruments of a water hose and long stick.

However, they seem to have forgotten to deal with the gigantic puddle of ass mud which is still sitting just below the aforementioned bathroom window of the otherwise lovely Chateau Laybecca.

I’ve sterilized the toothbrushes and moved them to the kitchen but every time I reluctantly go into the bathroom to pee the noxious fumes cause me to gag and cough and fight the urge to hurl, knowing that that would just add to to the overall smell.

I’ve resorted to my hippy past and have been burning incense and scented oils in there around the clock, but the best it gets to is rotting vanilla ass.

So, eh…maybe Shabbat dinner at my place isn’t the best idea this week.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • Because Rehavia is the high rent district?

    Seriously, it could very well be that infrastructure is breaking down. West Jerusalem ain’t such a young place and Rehavia is one of the older neighborhoods. It could well be that either your building’s or the city’s pipes have aged to the point of breakdown.

    I would say it’s time for a road trip with pictures.

  • Laya- I don’t see why a little ass mud should stop you from having shabbos dinner at your place? If you don’t have this dinner, the ass mud wins.

    Ass mud. That’s comedy gold. 🙂

  • Hello,
    Hi. I’ve visited your site before and I thought that it was pretty cool.Very pretty.

    OK my comment has nothing to deal with your post really, and i am really sorry about that. It’s just that I’m Muslim and your Jewish, and I have a very bad habit of asking Jews what they think of Muslims. Of course it’s becuase of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. IDK, lately I’ve just been thinking that every Jew hates Muslims, and vice versa— though I know for sure that not every Jewish person hates Muslims, and not every Muslim hates Jewish people (I’m MUslim and I’ve had several jewish friends myself). The Media!!

    Anyways… basically, what do you think of Muslims if you don’t mind asking? Do you believe that the conflict is also a religious conflict on the Palestinian side (like do you believe that they believe they have a religious right to the land that is argued over, as the Jews do?)? Anyways…. sorry for my very random comment, but I think that dialogue is important between Muslims and Jews. 🙂


  • Israel… No place like it 🙂 Where else will you have plumbers show up with pipes and sticks to fix a sewage catastrophy… Oh and barfing in the bathroom seems cool, juts dont do it in the kictchen, cause then for sure no shabbat dinner for you!!! Keep strong and much love from the unholy, good smelling and plumbing friendly America

  • D, actually we, Jews and Muslims, have a lot in common in our concept of G-d. When there is peace in the Middle East, I am sure that we will be able to cooperate successfully.

  • I thought that ass mud was something that you got at the Dead Sea.

    I have Rehavia pumbing disaster stories too. We’ll share! 😉

  • D, I don’t think the Palestinians’ perceived right of return has much to do with Islam. Of course there are some who have a religious take on it, just as there are religious Jews who believe that the land is promised to them by god. From what I understand, many of the Palestinians feel that they were turned out of their homes and want them back. And of course not all Jews hate all Muslims, but there is no shortage of intolerance on our end either.

  • D, you didn’t ask me, but I’d like to chime in. The short answer is: the vast majority of Jews absolutely DO NOT hate all Muslims. We only hate the extreme fanatical Muslims who advocate violence and the murder of innocents through, for example, suicide bombings.

    But peaceful Muslims? They’re welcome for dinner at my house anytime.

  • Laya, sorry you have to deal with all this muck. But it does bring me back to the days when I was a newlywed living on Rechov Narkiss, and Rachel and I had furniture that kept breaking because it was pre-state, and Israeli college students next door would have raves on Friday night, and the thing they called a washing machine blew up, and we froze to death…aren’t you freezing too? Doesnt that help keep down the smells?

    Anyway, I better put away this bottle of wine, and get to business, there is so much to do for Jewlicious.2

    I think you should get your mezuzzahs checked, you may have some of the written by palestinian women in nablus variety in there…

    And tell David to get this tefillin checked.

    And while your checking things, tell Mobius to also check his mezuzahs too.

    And as far as smells and their names, I think you are an expert.

  • Laya, your post was hilarious. I wish you better plumbing soon, but “rotting vanilla ass” is great, I have to remember that line.

    D, I second Shasta’s comment, the only people I don’t like are haters and terrorists, whether or not they’re Muslim. Same goes for most Jewish people I know – though sadly, not all of them.

    Anyways, anyone who wants to get to know me better just has to ask, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, atheist, it’s all good. I love to meet people from different cultures so we can learn from each other. (But I usually try not to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unless it’s someone I know really well. It’s a bit of a hot-button issue for me.)

  • lay— i woke up this morning with a migrane b/c of the ass stink. when u wake up, let’s pleaaaaaaaase call the ba’al habayit dude to get this fixed.
    he’s funny that now the whole blogging world knows of our ass-smelling apartment…

  • Somebody in your building had some crazy mud but in order to create enough ass mud to cause a migrane. Maybe the solution is inviting them to shabbos dinner to help the with there….uhm…regularity?