Old Town Square
I begin this blog with a story of New Year's revelations. After texting with Brad, and getting dressed up, I took the tram from Postovka and made my way to Old Town Square. After waiting for what seemed to be forever, and getting wet in the rain, Brad *finally* arrived... with a couple in tow. We shared beer and Russian sparkling wine and went about the merriment of celebrating New Years with hundreds of other people. The fireworks weren't anything exciting, got a picture with Brad, then we went to the cartoon pub just off of the Square. We only stayed for a beer though, since it was expensive, and we went to Jama (by now, no one should be surprised).
After that...life was just job hunting, football and staying sane. Most of my past blogs will have email excerpts, and here's another one (to my dad).
And despite the plethora of resumes and emails...still nothing new on the job situation.
That's Brad with the Russian sparkling wine and me with a Gambrinus.
I've already started looking into other countries, Poland
I've recently come to the conclusion that Prague is a peculiar place. I get get good cheap goulash, really cheap beer (around 34 Czech crowns, and that's $1.42 US) and other foods. Plus, beer is cheaper than water and coffee. Go figure.
But two things that are necessary in order for me to live a proper life are expensive...books in English and contact lens solution. I know this because I've recently purchased both.
And the Czechs don't seem to have grasped the idea of gravy. Which is sad because I need it in order to make Sheppard's Pie. And what's cream of chicken soup? How does one cream a chicken? Nevermind, something tells me I'm better off not knowing.
Oh, and I like Turkish food. And to prove the aforementioned cheap food theory, it cost me 300 Czech crowns ($12.57 US) for my meal (Turkish meatloaf and mashed potatoes, actually quite yummy), a glass of white wine (I'm thinking Hell froze over), Baklava (still unsure if it's Greek or Turkish, Emre won't confirm or deny much of anything in that area), and tip.
By the way, Emre's half-Turkish, in case anyone's wondering.
Alright- 1/22/06. I went to the Prague
Zoo. I had a really good time once I got there, but it was one heck of a trip. I had to take the tram to Hlvani Nadrazi (main train station) to catch the red metro to Nadrazi Holesovice and then bus 112 to the Zoo. I saw all the usual critters- birds, seals, penguins, etc. It was fun, even though it was January and chilly. I got postcards for myself and family and then went on my merry way home.
1/24/06- Trip to Krakow, Poland. Excerpt from email-
Yup, I am now in Krakow
. And let me tell you, there were plenty of times when I just wanted to turn around and head back to Prague
. I got up at 5am to take the 7:18 train from Prague
(with 2 stops in between). Well, of course my first 2 trains were late. Then, on the way from the 2nd stop (just inside Czech), we had to stop at the border and they checked my passport. Well...we were there for an hour!!!!!!!!!!!!
Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. I had a hard time figuring out which train to take next when I got to the station. I ended up taking a local train and they didn't announce what stop was what. I'm glad Krakow's main station is easily recognizable.
I had a hard time finding the hostel, but I eventually did. They just printed the wrong stop name on the directions. They suggested to walk, but in the dark and when it's this cold...No way!!!!
I think I'm going to go to bed early since it was a long day and I'm really, really tired! I'm going to visit a castle tomorrow and I'm not sure what else. I leave early on Thursday b/c I want to try and catch the train that goes to Katowice
and then direct from Katowice
. Next time I come to Poland
, I'm flying!!! :)
It was a rather crappy hostel, with only one other person staying there. My first stop the following day was the main market where I saw a lot and took plenty of pictures. Then I walked to Wawel Castle and spent quite a bit of time there. And then it was off to a museum to see da Vinci's Lady and an Ermine (or something like that).
And another excerpt (this time from an email to my aunt)-
Well, I just got back to the hostel...quite cold and very tired. I think I managed to see a lot though. I went to the castle and took a look around, including climbing *a lot* of stairs to see a bell. I also went to an art museum that had a painting my da Vinci...it's a girl with an ermine. It once had something by Raphael, but it went missing during WW2.
1/29/06- Prague Castle!
I finally made it to Prague castle. I didn't do the stair climb, but I did the hill climb from Maro
I got to see the changing of the guard, which was really cool. Then I went into St. Vitus Cathedral, where I took *lots* of pictures and spent a lot of time. What can I say? I have two things I have to see when I travel- castles and cathedrals. And there was plenty to take pictures of. There is a place in the cathedral called the Chapel of St. Wenceslas. I won’t bore you with the history, but it was rather beautiful and there were many paintings on the walls and precious stones. And there is a door in the chapel, behind which is the Crown Chamber which has the Bohemian crown jewels inside it. It is locked and has seven keys which are held by seven important people (the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Prague Archbishop, the Chairman of the House of Deputies, the Chairman of the Senate, the Dean of the Metropolitan Chapter of St. Vitus Cathedral and the Lord Mayor of Prague), and they all have to be there in order to open the chamber. The jewels are rarely on display, the last time was 1998 for the 80th anniversary of the Czech Republic. I think there were 9 times in the 21st century.
At the castle, I saw the Old Royal Palace and Golden Lane as well.
Well, at the beginning of February I started looking for another apartment. Postovka was owned by the TEFL school I went through. At first I'd been told that I could have it until June, but in January (when I was giving her the next month's rent), I was informed that I had to move out. She tried getting me into one of two homestays, but they weren't acceptable to me. So I went through a real estate company and got an apartment for two months (since I wasn't sure how much longer I'd stay in Prague since I wasn't finding work). So I moved to the other end of the 9 & 10 trams to Prague 3- Zizkov, my tram stop Biskupcova. I ended up making the move myself, which wasn't too much of a big deal. It was a really nice place- 2nd floor just off the elevator, separate toilet and shower rooms, bedroom with a closet (Postovka had no closet), but only a double hot plate to cook on.
I hadn't been there long when I got a care package from my parents. Inside were cans of clam chowder (great for cold Prague days), packets of powdered spaghetti sauce and gravy (I'd only had bad sauce and homemade gravy-esque), contact lens solution, a stuffed cow (I'm from VT), DVDs of Serenity and X-Men 2, CDs of Fort Minor and I Am the Avalanche, maple syrup, hot chocolate, amongst other stuff.
During my time at Postovka and Biskupcova, I was glad to have my laptop w/ DVD player and *plenty* of DVDs to watch. And I'd found this place called Red, Hot and Blues that had a small store that rented DVDs and sold American stuff- including chocolate frosting. Yup, I bought some, just to eat as is with whipped cream. Good stuff, personally.