Friday, March 24, 2006

Amazing how things can change so much in 2 days. I always knew that this would be a drastic eyeopener for me, but that's like someone that says that electrocution is painful without ever having been electrocuted. So, this morning I went over to the supermarket here in Prague and bought some writer's fuel, otherwise known as Krusovice beer, which I've found to be damn tasty.

So the flight over was uneventful as mud...not a single problem, other than that it might have been colder on the plane that it is here in Prague. I swear that my mind has gotten to the point where I expect things to go wrong (crazy, since I've been mostly lucky in my life) so I was half expecting my luggage or my driver not to show up. But it did, and he did. I think he knew a whole 3 words of English....being "car" "yes" and "no"...and even though he was very friendly in a I-don't-know-what-you're-saying-but-I'll-smile-like-I-do way, I don't remember his name....I think it was something like Krczhechcwvl, or something else that is long and has one vowel in it. Still, new-leaf #1, make a serious effort to start remembering people's name. Not like I can refer to students as "hey you".

It was mostly dark during the ride over, which completely screwed up what I used to think was "incredible direction sense" on my part. It was a fairly long ride to the flat where I am staying, upwards of 30 minutes. And with the darkness, I had no idea if I was in the Czech equivalent of Sunshine St. in El Cajon, or La Jolla. But after many high-g turns, Kczcdsahrfhl got me there safely and I met my landlords. The best part is that their son, Andrew (which is probably spelled with a z, x, and some accented letters) speaks great English. I was showed my flat of which I'm going to attempt to attach pictures of below... Anyhow, when I booked the course and accomodations through Linda at Akcent, I was told that I wouldn't have internet access in my room...but my boy Andrew has hooked me up...and I have been reaffirmed how the internet is the most incredible thing ever invented by Al Gore...I immediately got on Skype and called Wendi and Mom so I could check on all my ladies.

*homesickness alert*

So, here goes my first attempt at posting some pictures. I've never blogged before, except for that time in Rome when Joe and I ate nothing but cheese and dried meat for 3 days.

I find my room to be cozy and practical, with a certain Ikea-ness that I think is all but uncommon in Europe these days. Some might use the word "Spartan" but for the next few weeks it has everything I need; internet, t.v., refrigerator for Krusovice, private bathroom, and I can' forget the perfectly matching 2 mattress pads. Sorry about the mess...unpacking has been a cumulative process. It is surprisingly warm in here...which is why they decided to give me one blanket. Might have to go to Prior (uber-mall 5 minutes walk) and purchase another for 37 cents.
And czech out that fancy rug and pictures..errr...


The rest of the room, with the door to where the airplane food went.












I think my balcony is bigger than my room. But as you can see, a decent view with a variable landscape of deciduated (is that a word?) trees, and mottled with a mixture of pre-1900 and communist era buildings.

I seriously have no complaints. I think the cost of my accomodations for over 5 weeks came to $550, I get breakfast every morning, and Andrew's mom does my laundry for me...if I beat her hard enough.






The amazingly quiet street on which I live.

After dropping off my baggage and airplane food, Andrew took me for a quick ride to show me where I can get money, metro, and most importantly, food. It all happens to be within a 5 minute walk. I'm in Prague 4, which is a good bit south of the main part of the city, but if you were to pull up a map of Prague's metro system, I'm a stone's throw from the Budejovicka metro stop.

My first dinner in Prague...pizza. Next to the metro stop there is an incredibly authentic Italian pizzeria called "Colloseum" (how freaking cheesy is that) and I shit y'all not...the pizza rivaled anything that I've eaten south of Rome. Get this...a pizza and a half liter of my new friend Krusovice for $6 US with tip. I was hoping to find authentic Czech food, but sometimes familiarity wins over exotic.

Afterwards, I took the metro over to the Vinohrady part of town so I could stand out in the cold like the rest of Prague, found a place to have a cappucino (FAUX-PAS but luckily, they don't know it here) and then came home.

Next post, pictures of Prague, discussion about light switches (the little fuckers) , and shopping in Prague. I have a date with a jazz club in the Old City (Staremesto) and I don't want to be late. In the meantime:

*Most amazing thing about Prague* - Holy crap, I love the metro system. Anyone that says that Amerkuh is "addicted to oil" needs to take a peek at how their rivals the Commie Bastards constructed a mass-transit system that works. Get this, my 15-day transit pass allows me to use the metro, city buses, and street cars for a whole 320 Crowns (or $13) Berlin was maybe a small notch above, but I still love it.

*Biggest ripoff* - Went to the Old Town Square and wanted to sit back and watch the world go by, so ordered a beer (again, Krusovice...because Pilsner Urquell is shit) at a little cafe right across from the Astronomical Clock, and it cost me a whole $5, BUT it made a great picture.



*Loneliest/Most Homesick I've been* - When I went into my digital camera to see how the above picture turned out, I saw this and almost started crying in public:

*Most Disturbing Thing I've Seen* - Last night going down into the Metro station in Vinohrady, I saw a middle-aged man trying to get onto the upwards escalator. Homey was obviously drunk off his Czech ass, and 1 foot up from the bottom of the escalator, he fell over and continued to roll over himself at the bottom of the escalator like a big lump of dough in one of those mechanical kneaders. No one (including myself) helped him...we just watched him roll....I think we were all thinking that 1) 200 lbs of dead weight would be just to difficult to help up the escalator and 2) there's a guy that drinks way too much.

*Thing that I've noticed most about myself* - When I have no one to talk to, I talk to myself...in metros, in my room, in the shower, and in public. Is this just my own thing or does the lack of social interaction make us all whackjobs?

*Most I've laughed* - Went to put on my shoes tonight, and Bella's rawhide chew bone was in it. It is now going everywhere with me since it has been my unknowing good-luck charm since I left.

To all my friends and family, PLEASE leave comments. I miss you all like a fly misses poo.

-R

9 Comments:

Blogger Joe Jones said...

Wow! We really envy you - you have to let us know you're address so we can czech you out on Google Earth.

Dude - the best pizza (excluding homemade of course) and beer I ever had was over in the Central Bloc at Pizzeria Cyclop (Krakow). You can find the Polish variation with kielbasa. Gotta agree with you there - nothing hits the spot like a great thin-crust pizza and a nice amber beer with twice the alcohol content of Michelob High Life.

Nothing beats mass transit over there - those Commie Bastards sure did get that right, but it's also good to have real toilet paper when you're in a pinch, I'm sure. Especially after 20 hours of airplane food.

Sounds like you're setup to have a blast - reminds me of my first experience of going "so far away" to visit my now-lovely wife. Funny thing is that it's really not that far off, and it's pretty easy to adapt since people can be very friendly. Bloc on, dude!

11:58 AM  
Blogger MAGDAfromtheBLOG said...

Hey Ryan I want to get those updates too!!!!

Magda

12:03 PM  
Blogger Rodney said...

I figure the length of your posts will be directly related to how bored you are. Not bad so far considering you're new on the scene. Hope times get more interesting and the posts get shorter.

Don't spend too much time "transitting".

1:38 PM  
Blogger JonesRanch said...

Sounds incredible...can't wait to hear how the whole teaching thing goes. Good luck!

Oh, and please spend a few coins redecorating that joint before you send any more pictures of it. Eeek! Martha S. would be appalled.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Mom said...

Ryannnnnnnnn, calledyouwhile we,jones family juniors were all here for breakfast. you know dad with his sliced oranges and salt pork! you must be out having fun somewhere. i am going to get ready to play at church so must ge going, be careful. have fun love mom

9:27 AM  
Blogger annie said...

Nice comment from Rodney!

Anyway, glad to hear you're soaking up the Southern Mid-Eastern Central European culture!

Stay away from that green bug-juice.

You should have helped the escalator drunk.

Getting used to the lift???

Love,
Annamarie

2:15 PM  
Blogger shelley said...

Ry
Loved the pictures and sooooooo good to hear from you! They heard me laughing from across the street even with the construction noise!! Be safe my friend and know that we are all thinking of you.
Love to you
Shelley

2:43 PM  
Blogger italian cuz said...

i tried to email you at the ryan@aztecimaging.com address and it didn't go thru. I enjoyed your blog site. Is it still in effect? or are you haveing too much fun to keep it going. I leave for Italy on the third of July. Renzo is there since May. Let me know what you are up to. Are you studying? working? watching the World Cup? Trust all is well. Love to heare from you. Sandy

9:26 AM  
Blogger kerrykrasnasky said...

Hi Ryan ~ congrats you are back in Argentina! So jealous. Have a beer (I mean a couple of beers) for me you know how I roll.....

ps. behave yourself, you are representing Americans -they have a bad impression of us as it is!!! LOL
TAke Care

10:28 AM  

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