Most - the city I live in
Trip Start Oct 04, 2007
7Trip End Nov 23, 2007
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This is the first time I have travelled somewhere and been completely "out of the loop." No one speaks English, or better yet if they speak English they do not let me know. I have to communicate by non-verbal means everywhere I go by myself. It is actually kind of convienent not having to engage in the formalities of everyday life. I don't have to act interested in stranger's affairs. I am held accountable for a bare minimum: greetings, thank yous, sorrys, and goodbyes.
The hotel room I stayed in for the first few nights was modest at best. I guess the best way to describe the room in general is that it has seen better days. I really didn't have a problem with the room, but the furniture had to be from the 60's.
The only complaint I had was the bed. The bed was a bed frame with couch cushins on it. I firmly believe that bed used to be a couch in its younger days.
The room had a distinct odor to it, one that can commonly be found eminating from the elderly. You know the underlying smell that seems to be common to all elderly people? It's not fair to describe it as unpleasent, just more of a smell that would keep normal people from wanting to spend prolonged periods of time around them. I am starting to miss the smell.
It took a couple of days but I was upgraded to a buisness room. PHOTO_ID_L=new-room.jpg] The room was filled with modern furniture, no distict smell, an actual bathroom, an internet connection, and most importantly a bed with a real matress. The only downside of the room is that there is no refrigerator, but I suppose I can live with that.
All of the rooms have very primitive air conditioners - a window that is about 4 feet tall and opens like a door. I have tried sleeping with the "air conditioner" off but that just leads to mad collections of duck butter in the middle of the night. If I sleep with the "air conditioner" on I wake up shivering in the middle of the night. I am still working on the correct balance of clothing required for sleep. I still have inklings that living in the Emirates made me highly susceptible to low temperatures. Maybe living here will condition me before I go to Russia for winter.
In all fairness, the people here seem very friendly. I do not know first hand, but from watching my chief talk with them they all seem to get along really well. One Czech habit, like that of all good Europeans, is the lack of deodorant and these guys and gals are plenty ripe.
One thing that surprised me about Czech is that I thought there would be beautiful girls everywhere. So far in Most I have seen maybe one attractive girl. The rest have been very unstereotypical. I am sure in more popular cities the stereotype will ring true, but to be frank here the girls are pretty ugly. Maybe I just go to the wrong places, but I am not impressed.
The food here is really cheap and is delcious. I get to eat authentic dishes everyday at the refinery. So far the best meal I have had were potato pancakes stuffed with some sort of meat. The pancakes were so greasy and coated in oil I could feel blood flow constricting with each scrumptious bite. They were so delicious I did not want to stop eating them, shortly after I felt like I needed to spew, mostly due to the unnaturally high consumption of transaturated fats. Yet I have no regrets. The most common dish I have is knedke, or dumplings, the sauce varies day to day but the dumplings remain constant. They are not like normal dumplings. These dumplings resemble bread that has been boiled. They are really tasty and I think that I will miss them when I leave.
Beer is so important here. It is an integral part of life. Even in the refinery canteen one can pick beer as their beverage at lunch. Ales calls beer liquid bread because it has yeast in it. He firmly believes it is more healthy for you to drink beer than eat bread. There are so many amazing beers here it would be a crime to deprive anyone from its splendor at any time, even during work. Apparently the army and schools used to use young students and draftees for good means in the early days. It was not uncommon for young soldiers and school mates to spend a couple weeks a year harvesting hopps for beer during the year. How awesome is that, can you imagine that your tour of duty was traveling to a different part of your country and harvesting ingredients for beer? To keep it interesting the harvestees would have competitions to see who could gather the most hopps in their tour. The competitions were so fierce that some people would even resort to purchasing hopps with their own money and adding it to their harvest. Ales is proud that he obtained 3rd place and still has memoribilia commencing that monumentous occasion.
The bars here are shady as hell. For instance, there is town called Louny which brews one of the best local beers I have tasted it does not use preservatives so it has a very short shelf life and is not that common. There is a bar here that has the Louny sign hanging in front of it. Once we ventured into the bar, we sat at on patio furniture in an almost completely undecorated room. The bar really looked like a garage. I have heard there are tons of garage bars in Wisconsin but I did not know they ventured internationally. The bar served one beer in one size and nothing else. No menu; no need. We drank this amazing beer, it was so good and more surprising it was cheap. 15 beers (0.5 L) cost us approximately 12 bux. Now if that isn't a deal I don't know what is.
So all in all I think I will like my stay here- there is good beer.