Saturday, August 28, 2010


So, you know how in my last post, I said that I did not miss Wegmans yet? Well, now I do. I never anticipated how hard it would be to find mango and cardomom. I guess it´s my host father´s birthday today, so they´re having some friends over for a barbecue and they wanted me to make some Indian food. I tried to make a tandoori marinade from Chicken makhani spice mix, it was... interesting, but we will see how it tastes. I also made Indian rice pudding, which took about 10 years, and I doubled the recipe so we have kheer coming out of our ears.

but I really have not done anything exciting today, so here are some pictures.

The town square. It is gorgeous and like most Czech Houses, unabashedly colorful.

We made muffins. We did not have a muffin pan, because Mami does not believe in things with only one use, but we were able to borrow one from some relatives. But the muffins were quite tasty.

This one is for DV and my math class. DV was always talking about RC cola when we were doing matrices, but I had never seen any until now.

traditional Czech food. That is a hunk of Edam that has been battered and fried and served with french fries and tartar sauce. Which reminds me. In czech menus, they have a "meatless meals" section. First item on this one was fried cheese with ham. It is a different definition of meatless.

The garden, which I would classify as a farm. It is huge.
P.S.Did anyone else freak out when they heard Csardas at the beginning of "Alejandro"?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Starting to Adjust

Well, that might be a bit of a stretch. Things here are in that weird limbo between eerily the same and utterly different. I am still really happy here. I am not feeling homesick anymore, though I do miss all of you! But about the differences, here§s example A. so, the other day, we, Jana and I, were hanging out with some friends of Jana at a local pizzeria. BTW, If you are wondering about the randomly awkward passages, it is probably because if Czech keyboards have an apostrophe, they hide it very well. They were speaking in Czech, then would stop and try to explain what was going on to me in Czenglish. We ended speaking in French for a while. But somehow, one of the boys told me that Czech Chinese restaurants actually serve dog. I was a little bit scared, and a little bit not too surprised. They seem to eat everything here. I do not think I have tried anything to crazy yet, though. But tonight, my family and I went out for Italian food. I decided to have penne pesto, but I was too proud to use the English language menu, so I did not know exactly what was in there. It came, and it did not look or taste like any pesto I had ever had. Then, it dawned on me. what if the waitress had misunderstood pesto, and brought me pes (dog!!!!) instead?!?!? My family assured me that was not the case, but I admit, I was still a bit leery. I guess that is the boring homebody in me. Next time, I just accept that it is Czech Italian food, not AMerican Italian food like I am used to.
There were a few big differences that totally caught me off gaurd on arriving here. On our plane from JFK to Heathrow, it was boiling hot. The whole time!!! I had my pants rolled up like a winner, and I did not even touch my blanket. when we got to the airport, all I wanted was a glass of ice water. But in Europe, or at least the UK and the Czech Republic, ice is nowhere to be found. I do not think that my family even has a freezer. Also, did I mention the slímace (slugs) ? They really are as big as chihuahuas. I drew a comparison for my host family. They thought it was funny. Or maybe just how hysterical I was about it. my last big difference for today is Czech towels. They are small and thin and about as absorbant as a Wegmans bag. I do not miss Wegmans yet, because the bakery section of our local market is pretty cool. I am satisfied :p
Now, I will finally share some pictures. I have not taken too many, but here are some. Oh, and there is an awesome picture from our Czech orientation swirling around the web somewhere, or at least on some memory cards, so I will try to get my hands on it soon. The internet here is not so hot, so it may be easier said than done.

Eli and me. He was THE other Amurrrican going to the Czech Republic, so we traveled togetehr an dhe got to spend 2 orientations with me. Lucky kid.

Chillin, well roasting, on a hot Czech afternoon at our Orientation. Down the left: Me- USA, Gabriella- Chile, Vinicius- Brazil, Marina- Brazil
and up the right: Vanessa- Brazil, Sandra- Venezuela, Sofi- Venezuela and Joyce- Hong-Kong. Joyce was the only one from China, though there were many girls from Japan and Thailand. Thankfully the weather has cooled down a lot since then.

Fernando- Italy ( ala Lady Gaga "Alejandro" which became our orientaion theme song. Kind of like how Bad Romance was our camp anthem, and every grade did something with Lady gaga at horizons.) and Me

I wish I had taken pictures at our first orientation! Our little orientation group was two people headed to the Czech republic, 4 for Hungary and the 2 "Latvians." They were all so cool! I was sad watching everyone leave even though I had only met them the afternoon before.

You will get more pictures when I feel like it, so keep your pants on. Oh, and I am halfway through my first journal. I have been here 5 days. I might need to buy some more.

NEW FEATURE!!!!!! Czech Stutus: Improving quickly. Almost to level of babies before they say their first words.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jsem tady! I am here!

I arrived in the Czech Republic friday morning and it is great. I am still not adjusted to the keyboard yet, but I am improving. Jana, my amazing host sister has been my Czech teacher during the days, along with letting m efollow her around like a duckling in town. I thought it would be colder here, but it gets so hot in the afternoons. And nowhere has air conditioning! The food so far has been great. I think I have had some sort of potato product at every meal, besides breakfast. we also drink a lot of čaj, which is tea, and tons of soup. Lunch is hot and dinner and breakfast are smaller and cold. Oh, and they do not have ice cubes here! But the zmrzlina, ice-cream, is really good. They eat a lot of sweets. If any of you can get your hand on some Tatranky bars, do it! They are so good.
Enough about food. I have a funny story. So, at the orientation when we arrived there were about 40 students from all over the world. There were two of us from the US and a lot from Thailand. Everyone was super sweet. I ended up hanging out quite a bit with some Germans,a belgian, a swede, who I accidently asked where he lived in Switzerland, and a norwegian. They were a lot of fun, but I was spoiled by their excellent English. so, I had been at the orientation overnight and I realized that I never told my parents that I had made it safely. I asked My Belgian friend if I could borrow his laptop to send a quick email, but the keyboard was ridiculous! He is from flanders and his keyboard was AZERTY, not QWERTY. Here, it is QWERTZ. A bit tricky, but I wil get it soon. My email ended up being
i made it.
Everyone thought that was hilarious. Granted, I did too.
But life here is great and the town is gorgeous. Yesterdaz, I bought our bustickets. Jana had to practice with me a few times, though. Soon, I will be much better. I should go now to see if she needs a hand with lunch. Čau!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm a wee bit nervous...

It's coming so quickly. Now I've passed the 1 week mark. I found out today that my visa's not ready yet, so now I just wait with my fingers crossed. I'm sure it will all come through though. There's only one other US citizen going to the Czech Republic, and his is all set, so the AFS volunteer I talked to was confident that mine was on the way. I've been spending this week getting together with various friends before I leave. I'm going to miss everyone! Last night, we went to a Yoyo Ma concert. It was full of people, and we smuggled in some goat cheese, cucumbers, molasses cookies and gummy worms. At the concert venue, they don't want you to bring your own food because they sell crazy overpriced food, like $4 sodas! It was great, though. We're going to the beach today, so I'm pumped!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's starting to seem real

I got back late last night from a wonderful time at a music camp in Canada. I had a great two weeks. I landed there only knowing one person and left having made some really great friends. It was a bit reassuring to know that I can land somewhere and make friends. It makes getting to the Czech republic a little less scary, but there, I won't really be able to communicate. My czech is still non-existent. I leave in just over two weeks. This summer has zoomed by. It seems like school just ended yesterday. Now, I want to get together with all my friends before I leave. I'm finally starting to get a little nervous, but mostly just excited.