Wow… what a couple of weeks. I’ve finally started working, and went from having no classes to a lot of classes. I averaged 7 a day last week. It was a lot to get started. but it’s definitely preferable to hanging at Starbucks all day! And I got my first transit classes today, so that added a new twist. It’s been fun though, all my students have been really nice and interested. And interesting. Today at the transit class I had my first group (of 3, but is supposed to be 5), and that was fun. It’s nice to have more people for them to play off of during role plays and such. But enough about boring stuff.
So what else has been going on. We had a few people from the course staying with us up until last week. And while it was hectic, it was a lot of fun having everyone back in town before they headed home. One of the advantages of having people in town visiting, is that you get to do all the fun tourist stuff. Before I was working last week, I did some roaming around with the camera, since I had to prove that it is nice and sunny here sometimes. And it has been nearly everyday for the last two weeks, yay! So one day a few of us went on one of the river tours, which was pretty fun. Then we just wandered around a bit, and somehow in the course of the day, discovered a bike tour on a circular bike for seven. Of course, there was no question that it was necessary for us to get on that bike. We hunted it down, lost it, found it, and then our friend convinced the guy to give us an extra 20 minutes (the tour was only 20 and basically just went around the square=lame), so we went around the square, through major traffic down to the river, back up behind the square, and back around to the start. It was pretty much the best day ever.
A couple days later, some of us took a day trip down to Kutna Hora, which is a town about an hour away. It’s a cool little village, with a bunch of great churches, and most notably the Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the bone church, check it out here…. http://kostnice.cz/. Pictures really speak much better than I can about how bizarre the place is…
My personal favorite part of Kutna Hora was the Church of St. Barbara, which is the second best example of Gothic architecture in the CZR. The church had some beautiful 14th century frescoes, that were really well preserved. The sad part is that my camera was dying so I was running around the church trying to get what I could. But I highly recommend a visit to Kutna Hora if you’re swinging through.
The day after Kutna Hora we got the pleasure of waking up at 7:30 (meant to get up at 5), to trek to Prague Castle to hear Obama speak. Me, and 20,000 of my closest friends. It was a madhouse. In all actuality, once you got through the crushing mass (literally) of people waiting to get to the security tent it wasn’t bad. There’s plenty of room in the square in front of the castle for all. They had three huge screens set up, which was good because we couldn’t get anywhere near the stage. It was a really good experience for all of us. With the exception of a few protesters on the way to the castle, and the omnipresent Greenpeace folks, everyone there was really positive and excited about it. It was a pretty short speech, I think about 20 minutes or so, but was very well received. We had no idea what he was planning on speaking about, and were all a bit surprised by the topic of nuclear weapons. BBC article here… http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7983963.stm But at that point, very few people had heard that North Korea had launched their rocket that morning. So well played on keeping things topical Barack.
It was really interesting to hear the opinion of my Parliament member student when I met him on Monday, because he was front and center for the speech. I asked if he met Obama and I don’t think he understood (he’s very low level), but I’ll work on it if I teach him again. He thought it was a very good speech, and very interesting. He said that many of the EU Parliament members are very optimistic about the next few years and the world relationship with the States. So that was good to hear. Later in the day, my friend and I were wandering around behind Old Town Square near the Jewish Quarter and they had police and security everywhere with a bunch of the streets blocked off. The Obamas were apparently touring around the Jewish Museum and Cemetery areas, so I guess they had some time to check out the sights of Prague.
So all in all things are pretty good here. I’m hoping to hear this week what the status of my legal business is, and hopefully I can get all that straightened out tout suite. And my next order of business is to find some flip flops. I’m regretting not bringing any warm weather clothes, as the warm weather has definitely arrived here in Prague. But being warm is a small price to pay for it being beautiful here everyday now!
Currently watching: The Amazing Race! (Trying to catch up… it’s a race, and it’s amazing!)