Monday, August 27, 2007

Ahhh! How to begin???

And so begins a new era. The era of My Life in the Czech Republic! How out of control is that? How totally unbelievable and different from all other experiences? And yet it looks so like that illusive home place. Home but with a twist of architecture, and a slurring of languages. Honestly, I'm on total language center overdrive. It's seriously insane. As I fumble around for words I find myself realizing just how much Cantonese/Spanish/German I know! It's so hard to express. And at the same time I'm trying to come up with the correct Czech word for things. Does it come? Well, on occasion. Mostly my Czech is just mixed up in the general confusion of my thoughts. There are these words that I can say, but they're completely devoid of meaning as of yet. I'm thinking flashcards, lots of flashcards.
So, here I sit in Bartholomeus, overlooking the old town square of Cheb, sipping my caramel frappe and thankful for the gift of internet.
Life has been a whirlwind these past few days. Just as training felt like months in a matter of weeks, I feel as though I've been here for far longer than 4 days. FOUR DAYS!!! Is it really possible that it has been so short? And I keep thinking that already I should have the entire layout of the land in my grasp. At the same time, I am happy to say that I arrived at this spot safely on my own, and even managed to order. Although, I sort of cheated because my confusion denoted me as a foreigner and happily afforded me an English menu of all things! I was sort of scrambling my way through the German edition, but the English was MUCH easier (surprise surprise).
At the risk of this being the LONGEST post in history! I'll try to keep myself on track.
We arrived in Cheb on Thursday morning after a very long and sleepless flight. We got to see our little home right away. Naomi and I live in Skalka, a small housing development on the outskirts of Cheb. The communist influence is strongly evident in the architecture. I think I actually forgot to include a photo of the building from the outside but here are a couple shots of my flat:

This first one is of the sitting room half of my bedroom, followed by the sleeping portion. It took several days for me to totally settle in, and then I made several large photo murals. Great fun.

This last photo is of a light switch. Yes, I realize it's a rather random thing to add, but I think they're pretty fascinating.

It has been really great having Tammy here to take us by the hand and show us all that Cheb has to offer. She lives about 20 minutes or so away from us in a little flat by herself. She has taken us around to see some of the sights every day it seems. Here are some shots of Chebska Hrad (Cheb Castle)

I actually thought I'd put more of those in but I guess not. Ah well. It's a pretty amazing place. It was built back in the 12th century, or at least that's when it started.
On Saturday evening Che and Crystal came to visit us from Sokolov. That was VERY cool. It was amazing how excited we were to see them after only a couple of days. It was such a relief that they were settled close by and were doing well.

Did I mention that this was going to be the longest post ever? Um, yeah. Anyhow, I've been enjoying a number of Czech delicacies as well. Thankfully Pizzerie serves exactly what it sounds like. I've had a chance to go to several, and to experience the art of putting ketchup on it. It's a lot better than it sounds. Last night I also got to try their fried cheese. It was pretty good, but eating a 4"by4" brick of cheese was enough for at least three or four meals, so I took a lot home. Of course I have also been happy once again to sip on European Fanta! Great times to be had by ALL!

So things are going pretty well thus far. I could write a ton more, but I think this will have to do for now. I don't have a whole lot of time before I have to be up at the school. The school looks really nice as well. I'm a bit nervous about how the whole teaching business is going to go, but I'm excited to know that I will mostly be working with advanced students. I know that Marianne, who was here before me, was able to have them reading some condensed literature books, so I'm hoping to be able to have some good discussions. Should be fun.
I hope everyone is well, and I intend to update more frequently once I get settled in better. I can actually use the internet at the school, but I don't want to download photos on their computer, so we'll see what happens.


Crystal said...

Fun blog! Mine's if you ever want to read.

Anonymous said...

so fun to see the pictures! it looks like an amazing place... :)
the tower of cheb was really nice!!! we just have to try to visit you...


Jessie said...

so good to read about your adventures and see the pictures. look how good I've been about checking! :) Love you!

Jessie Rose

Joni said...

Don't cha wanna-wanna- fanta-don't cha wanna- wanna- fanta...
(Had to sing it.) :)