Monday, Monday

Trip Start Jul 03, 2006
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Trip End Aug 20, 2006


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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Monday, July 31, 2006

Hello, today is Monday. It's so hot in here. But that's okay, I'm used to it by now. I don't have much to write today. I had such an excellent lunch, it was at a buffet. Not exactly like the Golden Corral or anything but it was so good. Reasons Golden Corral is better: A)ALL YOU CAN EAT B)SERVE YOURSELF C)IT'S CLOSER okay, those things aside, this one was way better food and atmosphere. Eating with the locals: PRICELESS. :) I had some little potatoes, two small pickles, and breaded pork, which I made a sandwich out of. Mmmm. And a nonalcoholic beer, it was a whole 50 cents. It was good. It's really a test when you're in the serving line, though, because the hungry people behind you have little patience for confused foreigners. So just point at something fast and say "when". I love it because the food is homemade, you can tell. They had little jaternice balls and I wanted to try one but I didn't want any unnecessary difficulties.

That meal was a great way to rejuvenate after a very difficult Czech lesson.

I went to two lectures this afternoon, one on Myths and Symbols of the Czech Nation and the second was the third in a series of 5 lectures on Czech history. The first lecture used power point and mostly talked about prejudices and (mis)perceptions about the Czech Republic. For example, the Western world considers the Czech Republic part of Eastern Europe, people still say Czechoslovakia and think the people here have no heart. The presentation was by a student from Spain who has lived here and taken pictures/done research as a hobby for the past 4 years, so it was his opinion. I thought it was very well done and entertaining. Plus, it was in the theatre room which is nice and cool w/ comfortable seats. The second lecture was Czech history from about 1450 to 1800. He covered the joining of the Hapsburg Empire in 1526 and the gradual decline of Czech culture for about 150 years, approx. 1620-1790. The Czech language was only spoken by peasants and almost disappeared. The population of Bohemia and Moravia was cut in half following the 30 years war, 1620-1650. That is crazy, considering they were very powerful in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Anyway, the wall around Olomouc was built again and again, starting in the 1500s and the current one was built to defend the city in the Silesian war in the 1740s. I wish I had learned as much in the Czech class. There is tons of information and I know it's helpful to learning the language but just now it's hard to understand. Maybe I can go on just having terrible grammar. No, that's lazy.

We might have a soccer game tonight, we had one last night. The country I forgot was the Czech Republic, duh. And we spoke in English, for everyone who inquired. :) English, mostly, with a little Spanish/Italian and Czech. Some guys spoke German if they were on the same team. Actually during the match, we spoke mostly Czech. No in-depth Czech conversations developed during the game for some odd reason. I don't know.

One of the things I can't get enough of over here is how many people participate in simple activities that we forgot long before my time: a family (grandparents with their children and grandchildren) going for a walk, people everywhere riding bikes together, families riding bikes together, people canoeing or kayaking down the river, a group of old ladies sitting on a bench under a tree for hours, passing time in the shade, chatting, whatever. Teenagers shooting baskets, not gender separated or all decked out in fancy gear or shoes, just having a good time. People walking their dogs.

I see these things all the time, every day. People walking or riding their bike to the grocery store. Try to imagine people out for a walk back home, not just a few here and there, but as in the sidewalks and paths are full of people just strolling along. Families, friends, everyone walking. Just for something to do. I'm pretty sure you get the point by now, I just think it's brilliant.

Well I haven't heard back from Krista yet about what they will reimburse me for, but I really need a way to tell time. A watch is the first device that comes to mind now that my cell phone's broke. But I'd like to know if I'd be reimbursed or not before I buy it. I'm starting to become aware of my dwindling account balance now... Maybe I'll change the setting on here so people can make a donation. We'll see. Well I'm off to enjoy the outdoors with the Czechs, thanks for reading.

Ben
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Comments

monicabrown
monicabrown on

I walk
Just for exercise, but casual walking sounds nice and it does seem almost romantic since we don't see it much, except maybe in South Omaha. Sorry about your cell phone. I lost my watch yesterday. I flushed it down Dave's toilet. Hope you can get a watch. Where do I donate? The crazy discotek sounded fun, I'd like to hear more about how it compares to anything here. We sorted through Albina's boxes yesterday, with Cathy Mc. and her cousin Marilyn Vyhlidal in the lead, over at Dave and Melia's. About 10 people came to look over the goods, and we did save you some stuff. Mostly books. A really cool book called zeme> ma with wonderful pictures. How could you pass up jaternice balls? Go back again and try some. Oh, and I wonder if your sore back may have something to do with the bed you are sleeping in?? Thanks for the cool stories and may God give you help at Ceska Skola. Love, Monica

jackiebuchta
jackiebuchta on

Even more fun reading with a group!
Grandma Rose, Grandpa Jack, and I had fun reading yesterday's and today's updates, and looking at your pictures. Na shle! Z Bohem!

valandbrent
valandbrent on

Thank you, Ben!
I can't get over your excellent descriptions of your day to day activities and of course, the food. Too bad Dan and Julie are on vacation. He'd love this entry! I am so thankful that you get this experience and that you are smart and humble enough to appreciate it. The soccer, the movies, the classes, the food, the people out enjoying a slower-paced life, and even the caves are all coming alive in my mind and I'm having fun right along with you. Except it's air conditioned where I am. God bless you and guide you in your days in Olomouc and especially in your studies! Soak it all up like a sponge, honey! Love you!, Val

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