Settling, settling....

Trip Start Feb 10, 2011
Trip End Jul 01, 2011

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Moravia,
Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Americans!!! 

People don't really celebrate Valentine's day here so celebrate it extra for me back home :-)

Okay SO.  Things have gotten a lot better since my first post, so do not be alarmed.  I think traveling is the hardest part.  I basically slept for almost two straight days and now feel back to normal.  

On Saturday, my lovely tutor Jana took Lindsey and I all over Brno.  We went to an ancient church that was amazingly beautiful, with the most intricate stained-glass I have ever seen from the 12th century.  We also went to a castle, but it was not nearly as impressive as the church. There was one particularly terrifying moment, though.  There are some bells on the side of the castle that go off every hour on the hour and play traditional Czech songs, and we were there at exactly the right time to hear them so we got excited.  When they started playing everyone within a quarter mile radius jumped and covered their ears, and a kid started crying.  They were SO LOUD! And so out of tune!  Or maybe Czech folks songs just implement a lot of tri-tones and minor seconds.  Hmmmm.  

Sunday was another fun day.  I had my first really delicious Czech food (broccoli with cheese) and my first Czech beer!  I was so excited I took a picture.  After lunch, all of the international students (there are over 200 of us studying here for a semester, from all over the world) met in the city for a scavenger hunt.  We all crowded around a statue of Mr. T.G. Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia and the namesake of the school, and got our assignments.  We had to do silly things like check the prices of food in the supermarket and ask strangers what certain Czech slang meant.  Unfortunately, my group got very, very lost, and ended up getting back two hours after the scavenger hunt had ended.  And, to add insult to injury, we didn't even finish everything!  

Monday saw the start of the official orientation week, and I have been doing a LOT.  It takes a lot to set up a life here;  I opened a bank account, got my transit card, got a phone, my school ID, etc etc.  It basically feels like freshman year all over again, except waaaay more confusing!  The international studies office does a good job of orienting you, but you cannot help but feel overwhelmed at some points.  Despite the flood of new information, Monday made me feel way better!  I felt like I was getting stuff done, and getting on my way to making Brno my home.

Yesterday the Czech language intensive started!  It is a two and a half hour class that is a lot of fun, but it definitely reinforces  how extremely difficult Czech is.  An American professor here put it this way; if your first language is not Slavik, you have to study and practice for hours a day to become proficient in Czech.   It is not a language that you just pick up while you're here.  It is a very beautiful language though, and I have learned a few words and phrases.  

After class, ten of us went out to dinner.  We went to a little restaurant (restaurace) walking distance from our dorms, and had a wonderful time. There was a little fake train station and tiny town next to our table, and I kept wondering it a train was going to come.  We all ordered our drinks (pivo all around), and about ten minutes later here comes the train...carrying our drinks!  We were all so excited we rushed to grab our cameras to take pictures, and this group of German people sitting across from us started yelling at us in German!  We had no idea what they were saying, and then all of the sudden the train started to leave, our drinks in tow!  We had to chase down the drink train, and surely looked like idiots, but it was all in good fun.  The German people were just trying to warn us hahaha.  

Ok folks I will try to update more often so my posts aren't quite so long!  But for now, I am going to go to the Mandarin club and see what it's all about.  :-)

Oh, by the way my Skype name is Annalee.Craigmile, so skype me anytime!  I would love to hear from you!  



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Babe on

I love the pics. Its so pretty there. So are you

agcraigmile on

thanks! Too bad I'm retarded and can't flip the pictures! ugh

iaro on

The pics are awesome! I'm so jealous that you got to visit an old church!

Bhumi on

Where is this picture of this drink train??!?!?!?!?! hehe glad you're settling down, still missing you lots &lt;3

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