Date: Aug 30, 10:30PM
Location: Praha 2 (apartment)
Mood: Cold, tired
Listening to: Nothing!
Well, the past few days have been an adventure, to say the least. I’ve been feeling under the weather, probably jetlag, which has never been that much of a problem for me…. unfortunately there’s always an exception to the rule and I’ve been taking a two or three hour siesta just to make it through the day. My roommates also slept a good chunk of the afternoon, so at least I’m not alone.
So far I haven’t eaten out- there are a few good mini-marts and a 24-hour grocery store a block away: Francouzská street. To explain, in our neighborhood, everything is named after an international country or city: We’re on Záhřebská, after Zagrib, the big street Francouzská is France, on adventures today we went down Angliczská (England) and Italská (hopefully you can figure that one out!) It’s a pretty cool area, but I’m falling into a tourist thing of saying “Oh it’s just down France street” instead of working on pronouncing the Czech word.
Back to food, the microwave here is incomprehensible, you can set the wattage as well as the time, and there’s a ‘grill mode’ that I’m going to have to try out sometime. The stove is pretty standard though, except you have to light it with a little spark machine, so I made chicken legs with mystery spices from the mini mart.  I know the picture isn’t terribly appealing, but they were yummy. česnek turned out to mean garlic. For your viewing pleasure, here is a traditional Czech bread and the mystery cheeses I’ve been eating.  And since I’m food-blogging, apparently, look mom, I’m eating fruit.  And REAL eggs, but the fact that they’re not refrigerated here creeped me out a little bit. I couldn’t find eggs in the refrigerated section, so I was wandering around the rest of the mini mart, and there they were, on a shelf just like the rice and noodles. They taste delicious, though!
Speaking of Cesky, today we had a very short, ’emergency Czech’ class. We learned greetings, some of which I already knew, numbers (which are very helpful to know when you’re making purchases and stuff like that) and locations like restaurace, pošta, and banka. Alright, those ones are pretty easy to guess, but it gets harder, and the pronunciation is almost never what you’d expect.
Then there was a walking tour of old town, during which I started feeling really crummy and went home. I’m already semi-comfortable with the tram; of course I’m not going to take it by myself late at night, but going between home and school during the day (which of course I’ll be doing a LOT this semester) is pretty easy and very safe.
Okay, so in the post title I promised adventures. Well, we had one. My roommates and I, as well as some fellow CEA students from around the corner, decided we couldn’t be in Prague without at least checking out a beer garden. I don’t drink, and one of the other girls didn’t either, but we decided we could order soda, and hang out and see the cultural experience of a real Czech beer garden. We navigated our way to the huge park that houses the garden: everything outside shuts down at 10pm because of noise laws, but this place was exempt because it was so far away from residential areas; and to our surprise, we found a “movies-in-the-park” type situation: an English movie with Czech subtitles on a huge inflatable screen, with hundreds of (mostly college-aged) people sitting on a hill watching. The most astounding part? Behind the screen, you could see the whole city: castles, cathedrals, everything Prague is known for. I tried to take a picture, but my camera isn’t the best at night shots.
So, remember how two of us going to the beer garden weren’t planning on drinking? The joke’s on everyone else, because the tasty-looking dark, foamy drink that was advertised on the signs outside (and was outrageously cheap, 29czk a glass) which half of our party ordered turned out to be kofola, the Czech Republic’s answer to Coke and Pepsi. It was delicious and not even slightly alcoholic. As we were leaving to meet up with another group of CEA students (finally, a few of us have Czech phone numbers, so texting at 2,5 crowns a test is occurring) it started to rain, so I headed for home- I’m sure my roommates will have stories to share tomorrow!
I’ll blog again in a few days- I don’t want this to be too much tedious, ‘I ate this and went to class,’ type of posts, but I do want to keep it semi-current.