Monday, June 24, 2013

Leaving home



Moving house is not complete without the above song, Jebeidiah - Leaving Home. I went to YouTube to find a link for this song, now I'm stuck in an 90/00's Australia garage punk/rock internet black hole. So many good Frenzal Rhomb, Body Jar, Area 7 songs. That was just how it started, I attempted to start this blog an hour and a half ago. I've since watched some Adam Hills and Donald Glover stand-up along with other random titbits that popped up in the sidebar.

The moral of the story is I am packing up my room to leave and really not getting anywhere. I've cleared the bookshelf, made a pile on the bed and did one run down to the bins. Progress.




Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekend Trips

"Work will set you free"


The sign above, hangs above then entryway to the former concentration camp, Auschwitz. Located an hour outside of Krakow, every year over a million tourists make the trek to Auschwitz to pay their respects and learn more about the tragedies that occurred here. The sign that can be seen in the above photo is not the original sign, the original sign was stolen in 2009. 

Birkenau Camp
 The sign has since been found, but it was cut into three pieces so that it could be transported out of the former army barracks with ease. 

The trip to Auschwitz was one of the main reasons my friend came to visit Poland, it was very interesting, but mentally exhausting. I think the exhaustion had three factors, the heat, the length of the tour and the sheer amount of people there.
There were not many rules inside Auschwitz, be respectful (a given) and no photos of certain items. The certain items included human hair remains, the piles of shoes and the actual death chambers. The amount of people that blatantly disregarded that rules was insane, I don't understand why you would want a photo of the hair or the gas chambers. When you get home from Poland, those aren't the kind of photos your friends are going to want to look at.

It was a short time my friend and I spent in Poland, not even a full weekend, but we managed to cram all the things I told her we need to do.

  • Eat Polish sausages
  • Auschwitz
  • Drink at the Good Bye Lenin
  • Eat a Zapiekanka
  • Go to a 4 zloty bar
Now she is on a flight back to Australia and I have that sinking realisation that it will be a long time before I see anyone from Australia again. 



Brno


The weekend before I went to Krakow, I went to Brno. Brno is the second largest city in both land size and population in the Czech Republic, it is very pretty but very quiet. It could be the time of year I visited though, because it is a very large university town and university is out for the summer. 












If you ever head to Brno, stay at the Ruta 80 hostel - it's a funky little tribute to the 80's. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The worst train ride, ever.

I went to Krakow for the weekend, the weather was scorching. I haven't seen these kinds of temperatures since Jan/Feb 2012. The plan was to catch the overnight back to Otrokovice, it left Krakow at 2200 and arrived at 0332, leaving me plenty of time to get home and have a kip before starting work at 0800 and it was a sleeper train, even better a little bit of shut eye on the train.

It was not too be.

The train compartment were tiny, three beds on each side. My bed was a centre one, but when I walked in there was a British girl laying in my bed, she looked at me pathetically and explained that her bed was the top one and would I mind swapping with her. She was already in my bed, there was really not too much I could do about it. So I climbed up to the sky high bed, my nose pretty much touching the ceiling, my legs crushed up to my chest, and tried to get comfortable. It was unbearably hot, sweating whilst not even moving, and six other people in there really didn't help.

The heat got a little bit better when we started moving, a breeze came in through the window, but that was not to be either. The train was delayed with mechanical difficulties for over an hour. So we stopped moving and the breeze stopped blowing. It was 0200 at this stage and everyone else on the train was asleep, I was lying there dripping with sweat trying to make out the faint announcements about our trains delay.

At about 0420 we arrive at Otrokovice, I had left the cabin in search of a breeze and I window with a better view of where we were. Unbeknownst to me, I had wandered into an empty carriage where I became locked in. I couldn't get into a different carriage and I couldn't get out the door when we finally arrived at the station.

I tried to get people on the platform to help me, but nothing. I started to freak out, I had no idea where the next stop would be and I had to go to work. Finally after hearing me try to get out (by trying to rip open a door) a train attendant arrived and yelled at me before letting me out at the platform. Because of the train delay I missed my connection to Zlin and had to wait 20 mins for the connecting bus. So I got back, had an hour and a bit sleep and went to work.

A day later and I still feel awful.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

25 Thing to do before you turn 25

Find the full article here.

25 Things To Do Before You Turn 25 | Thought Catalog

I stumbled upon (I was actually using stumble upon, see what I did there) this article the other day.  Seeing as I have 18 months until I'm 25, I thought I shall see what I would like to do/have done as well as the ones that I just don't understand. 

The original list....

1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.
2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.
3. Minimize your passivity.
4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.
5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.
6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.
7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.
8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.
9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.
10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.
11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.
12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.
13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.
14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.
15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.
16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.
17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.
18. Stop hating yourself.
19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.
20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.
21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.
22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first.
23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.
24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.
25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.

Completed


1. We were never at war? Perhaps to truly say I have completed this one, we need to fight and make up? 

4. McDonalds and many other shitty service jobs, never again, never again.

6. A degree is what you make of it. 

7. Poor money management is something that drives me insane with the youth of today. 

11. My friend once told me I had a powerful, little dictator inside of me. Example - I bought phone credit once and accidentally threw the receipt out, I punished myself and went without phone credit for two weeks. 

17. I'm great at letting go! You have to do it like a band aid. Rip it off and let the fresh air sting the wound. The pain won't last long. (I did drag out my last break up for three months :/)

18. Haters gonna hate, I'm not a hater. Someone once told me I had the sunny disposition of someone who had been suicidal at some point. Compliment?

24. Done and done. But I don't miss home.

25. I think this one is very similar to 17.


To Do

3. Stand up for myself. IE Talk to my management about not having been paid. Nine weeks and counting...

8. I really like the Internet though. 

10. I think to do this one I will first need to find someone I am romantically interested in. Sigh.

 12. Thing are in the past for a reason, I'm not sure how I feel about that. California is really far away also. 



Not my cup of tea....

5. Is this talking about going to get food after a night out?

9. How is having brunch four day in a row a bender?

14. Is this telling you to lower yourself esteem? Think less of yourself?

15. I would think forgetting what your priorities would be a bad thing. Sure fire way to stray off your destined life plan. Perhaps that's the point?

19. Why would I lie about having seen a movie/read a book/ listened to a band? 

20. We have a good public health system in Australia

21. I don't want to write a fan girl email, ever. 

22. Does it matter who says in first? As long as you both love each other and the first time isn't via text message, on the other side of the world after you have been dating for eight months. (I'm looking at you Shane)

24. I will never be a slave to Apple. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

It's like putting all your eggs in one basket then...

It's like putting all your eggs in one basket, then forgetting the basket.

It's like putting all your eggs in one basket, then leaving the basket on the roof of your car as you drive off. 

It's like putting all your eggs in one basket, then leaving them at the check out after you've paid for them. 

It's like putting all your eggs in one basket, then tripping on the basket, falling into a mirror and smashing it into a million pieces. 

That's how I am currently feeling about this job.  I still haven't been paid, it's going on nine weeks. I've used all of my emergency money and currently have about $30 in my Australian bank account.

What am I going to do if they decide not to pay me?

I have put all my eggs in one basket and left said basket teetering on the edge of a cliff. The weather report is just in, there is a possibility of gale force winds. 

Do you know what I am going to spend that last $30 on though?

Krakow. 

Speaking of gale force winds, the storms in central Europe eased for a few days, the sun was shinning and it looked like summer was finally here. But not for long, more heavy rain predicted for the next few days. 


A storm is brewing over central Europe 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Arts and craft time

video

You know you're a back packer

You know you're a back packer when you.......

  • Have been the smelly person on public transport.
  • Have grown a beard and think it's totally acceptable
  • Will take the bus for 24 hours if it means saving some money
  • Know how to pack light and what benefits it will hold later. No paying for checked baggage, no dragging luggage up six flights of stairs.
  • Have lived on nothing but bread for multiple days and don't think there is anything wrong with this diet.
  • Are not scared of situations when your probably should be. Over night train through eastern Europe  alone  - not a problem
  • Have lost a pair of shoes
  • Have walked 2 km in the rain to avoid paying for public transport
  • Have had someone cut your hair (or cut it yourself) with shoddy kitchen scissors
  • Know things aren't shaped by what you saw or did, but how you felt and the experience as a collective
  • Have travelled with someone and became subsequent best friends for a week
  • Have had a great night out with people you met less than 24 hours ago
  • Have ran for a bus/plane/train with a large back pack
  • Have got so drunk you don't know how you made it back to your hostel
  • Have gone multiple days without a shower. Twice a week is enough. 
  • Have heard someone or been the person to have sex in a dorm with other people in it
  • Have pilfered food from a free breakfast. (If you paid for breakfast you are allowed to pocket exactly double what you would have eaten for consumption at a later time.)
  • Have worn clothes that were in the lost and found.
  • Have missed a flight/plan/train
  • Have attempted hitch hiking
  • Guess people's nationality based on their luggage
  • Only know what day it is if you have a flight
  • Can scout out free WiFi in the most obscure places
  • Know no permanent address
  • Have owned and worn a pair of fisherman pants
  • Have a strict budget, except when it comes to alcohol
  • Know anything can be used as a towel
  • Scarves are magic. (towel, sarong, headscarf, cover up, etc.)

                     Conservative head scarf                                            Make shift hand bag

Use one scarf million different ways.




Most of all it's the night you'll never remember, with the people you'll never forget. 
NB I'm not quoting Drake.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The occupants of households past

I was talking to an Irish girl in a hostel once, about room mates. I told her about the rag tag punch of misfits I've lived with in the past few years.
She thought it was great.
So here it goes again.



Morgan - Was a drug user, now a lesbian roller derby player

 I had just finished high school and was desperate to get out of my mothers house. Not being of legal age yet was proving to be a problem in procuring a home. I had worked with this girl named Morgan for about a month, she said she had a spare room. It was great at first, we got along well, we threw awesome themed parties, she let me use her ID. Then she started smoking a lot of pot, she lost her job, didn't get a new one and spent our rent money on weed.
Time in the house - 7 months

Adelle- The crazy Christian


I was desperate when I took the room in this house. I didn't know her, she was advertising online. I had just got back from an overseas trip and couldn't stand living with my mother any more. Adelle was (I presume still is) a strict Christian. She was engaged but didn't live with her fiancé. I have no problem with religion  to each his own, but she used to have her super judgmental bible study group come over every week. But the thing that really earned her place in the lunatic house mate hall of fame was the fact she kept a very large jar of chicken bones on the kitchen table. Something about good luck, wedding, I never really listened. It was gross. 
Time in the house - 8 months

Siobhan, Mark and someone else so forgettable I can't even remember his name.

This house was doomed from the start. I moved in with my friend, her boyfriend and his cousin. Can you pick the odd one out in that situation? It was ok a first, but I moved out after the boys put a dead crab in my bed. Probably  just a joke, but it was the icing on the cake.
Time in the house - 1.5 months

Marty and Ash. 
This house was really fun. I moved in here after having a pretty shitty break up. Ash is one of my best friends and he knew Marty through someone else. Marty was a social worker during the day and a drag queen who went by the name Martini Ice at night. This house was a debaucherous mess and great when you needed a costume for a party.
Time in the house - 7 months

The bat cave - dangerous to your mental health
All good thing must come to an end. With the previous house, Marty reached an age where he wanted to try living by himself so Ash and I moved on. Being poor students we took the first house we were offered with our poor credit history and limited income. We called it the bat cave, it was where dreams went to die. There was staples in the wall like they'd been filming porn in there, a hole in one of the bedrooms, an outside bathroom and no laundry. Oh, and the landlord was an insane devil woman who once woke me up by knocking on my bedroom window.
Time in the house - 9 months

Ash and myself find a friend; Bec the British bitch.
When we got jobs, we got out of the bat cave. We found a nice respectable house near the university. A girl I worked with moved in. It didn't end well. We signed a year long lease, she left after two weeks, she didn't give any notice and removed all her belonging while we were out getting hung over food one day. We got our pay back though.......
Then came Paul
A bipolar nutcase. He was a really nice guy, but he was six years older than us but acted six years younger. He made for some really great nights out, when he would blow his salary shouting us drinks.
Time in the house -12 months


Pip, Ashley Stacy , Jodie, Ray.
(My last home in Australia)

Ash and I went our separate ways. I moved into an all girl share house. There was Pip; the feisty flight attendant. Ashley; the lesbian professional dancer. And Stacey; the pathological liar with a dalmatian named Dexter.

Ashley got a cruise ship job and left, in moved Jodie. Jodie lost a lot of weight on the duramine diet and was paranoid about putting it back on. She didn't work, went to uni like two days a week, went to the gym twice a day and would try to force us into house weigh ins.

Stacey was convinced everyone was out to get her and moved out/got kicked out for not paying her rent.

In came Ray a girl who claimed to be a devout Christian but was super slutty as well. What ever makes you happy I guess.
Time in the house - 12 months

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spring has arrived








It might not be the warm sunny spring I was expecting but it is beautiful nonetheless. Even with the torrential downpour. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I'm trying to get in contact with an insurance agency back home. I imagine the poor chump who has to read the insurance enquiries/complaints must get pretty bored.  Hopefully they find my attempt at light hearted humour amusing.



Hello,

I had an insurance claim debt to your company from a few years ago that I didn't pay (whoops). You sent it to a collection agency and I am now paying it through them, direct debit from my bank account.

Clearly I like to ignore this debt, hence I didn't pay it, I have put it so far out of my mind I can't even remember what the collection agency's name is. I live abroad and all of the paper work they sent me was not something I chose packed when I left the country a year ago.

Moral of the story is I am changing my bank account and need to update the direct debit details (even though I really don't want to.) Could you please give me the name of the company, maybe a website/email address?

I was an RACQ member, but I let that expire along with my driver's licence. What can I say, I'm a flake.

Any help would be great.

Thanks,

.......................

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Stats

I'm currently sitting in a Laundromat wearing only a summer dress because I wanted to do all of my laundry, it is raining and freezing outside. Freezing by silly Australian standards, there was a bro on the train in shorts and a t-shirt. While I am stuck inside, I shall update my statistics.


Days Travelled: 151 

Current Weather: 9 and rainy (what kind of spring is this)  

Countries Visited: 18 

Time Spent in Transit: 154 hours 

Current Location: Zlin, Czech Republic


Courtesy of Buzzfeed 

Worst book I've read: The Guardian - Nicholas Sparks   

Best place to do laundry: Andy's Laundromat Prague 

Festivals Attended: 4

Visa Status: Illegal (still working on the visa and green card)

Days left of this real job: 30

Things I have got really good at in Europe: Cutting a slice of bread from a full loaf.



View The Road Travelled in a larger map

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Collection of short stories

This bus must be pretty old. At least 20 years old in fact. 

  •  I saw a child pick up a cassette tape, put it in the CD player and shut the lid. He looked so confused when it wouldn't work. 
  • Roller blading is kind of big where I live, I saw some chump trying to roller blade on pebblecrete. 
  • There was a fire drill at the school I work at. They had pre-warned me that there going to be one and that I was responsible for getting my children outside to the safe point. Piece of cake. When the class started I did a quick head count so I knew how many kids to get outside. The alarm went off, I told the kids to leave everything where it was and head outside, there was no time to put their “outdoor” shoes on. Outside at the safety point did a head count, everyone there, nailed it! Or so I thought. I looked around at the other kids who were in perfect lines, my class swarming around like a heard of cattle. I saw one of my older kids on the other side of the car park, he waved to me, I waved back. As I was waving back a bee flew directly into my eye, I shrieked and tried to bat it away. I looked up hoping that the student hadn't seen it. He had and was rolling around on the floor laughing.  

  • The best example to give children, I think so. 
    This story was told to me and I think it's too hilarious not to share. A girl I was working with told me how when they were in high school she had to go on a really boring school camp, as soon as lights went out her and her friends sneaked out to go get drunk. She was pretty happy with herself so she was walking along smiling when she walked directly into a low slung clothes line. The clothes line went into her open smiling mouth and cut her in the corners of her mouth. 

  • I thought I saw a man kidnapping a child, he was running towards me with what looked like a child under his arm. I was all ready to make a citizens arrest, but when he got closer I realised he was just running with a pink gym towel and a pair of running shoes in his hand.
  • Kangaroo print shirt
    I was out having drinks with some friends of my flat mates and one of their companions tried to tell me we had a different moon in Australia. I wasn't the only one who knew what he was saying was wrong, several people tried to explain it to him, it took about ten minutes before he realised.




 My working visa has been denied because my degree has not been apostilled. What the fuck is apostilled! It's just a way to scam more money out of people. This has set back the visa process back at least another two weeks. As of Monday I will be an illegal alien.
 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

There will always be an Irish pub

Enjoying a beer in the afternoon sun


No matter where you will go in the world there will always be an Irish pub, this, however, is not one. It is a British pub that serves American hamburgers and hot dogs, washed down with the finest Czech beers. I am currently enjoying this cross cultural monstrosity because the WIFI is down at home and this place had an unsecured network.  There are many establishments that offer WIFI around here, but none are unsecured, which would mean asking for the password. Always a problem. 

But they are playing The Beatles, so this place has won my heart.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back to the Krak

My friend from home is coming to visit next month.

After what is almost a year abroad she will be the first friend from home I'll see, there will be tears.

Stayed tuned for the hilarity and misadventures that are sure to follow. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

:-/


I read this article recently.

http://jamesrusselllingerfelt.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/date-a-boy-who-travels/

 I finished it with a coo, I thought what a lovely idea. It filled my heart with the hopes that someday I will find a like-minded soul mate and we will have grandiose adventures around the world, get married and name our children after all the special adventures we shared together.


But then the cynic fought it's way to the surface. In reality probably not going to happen to me and to majority of people and I can't help but find a few faults with this article.

Yes, it is a very well article about some of the wonderful super-mega-bonus features that comes with dating a traveller, but I think it may skim over some of the negative points. I was reading the comment section afterwards and a few other people seem to have the same idea as me.  Here are some points I think worth mentioning if you are going to date a traveller, some good, some bad:
  • They will be ready to leave before you have even found your suitcase. If months on the road teach you anything, it is how to wake up, pack up and ship out in under half an hour, often with a raging hangover. (Good if you ever need to go on the run)
  • Flighty – who is more flippant s than those who spend months on the road, picking up and leaving whenever the feel, changing their course on a whim. Great whilst travelling  does not transfer to well to the real world. 
  • May not be able to stick things out, when the going get tough, the traveller jumps on the next train.
  • Some people you meet will be on the road solely for the adventure and to experience the world, but other people who are running away, from what varies. But it can be hard to get commitment out of someone like this.  
  • Be ready to wait for this person, but don't wait too long. It is a very fine line. I broke up with my last serious boyfriend because I wanted to back pack south east Asia for 3 months, he was happy to wait for me and that was the problem. He should have wanted to come with me, or at least be upset that I was leaving and hadn't invited him. 
  • Selfish. When you have spent month making decisions only for yourself you can have trouble reintegrating back into society.  
In theory it is nice to think you will find someone that shares your enthusiasm for life and will travel to the forgotten corners of the globe with you. But, what do they say? Opposites attract? You can't bring two crazy travellers together and expect them to have wonderful adventures together, it will end in tears. You can travel with the one you love, but someone needs to be the more grounded person in the relationship and from personal experience I know it can't be me.  I'm not saying every traveller is like me, but this is based on myself and others I have met on the road. (I have met some great travelling couples and I am super happy for them, but they're the exception, not the rule)

I think the article will lead to an increase of desperate women trawling airport bars and travel sections of the book store looking for a 'chance' encounter with a world weary stranger, someone who can be their everything and open their eyes to a world beyond their scope, but if your eyes aren't already open, somebody else probably can't do it for you.

I think Seeker, Lover, Keeper had it right in the song “Even though I'm a woman” (awful title, I think it detracts from how good the song is)

Lines worth mentioning

"I'm in love with missing you more than I'm in love with you."
"I love the danger in distance."
"I love you more when I'm missing you, it's why I'm always away"
"I was born to be in a state of longing"


Pretty sure I am going to die alone, my shrivelled black heart will cease to beat.   

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Anarchist's Day

Tostadas made with porn flour? 

Is there anything more merry than ducks playing in a puddle? 


I finally escaped Zlin, the town had some sort of grip on me, I've been doing nothing but sitting around my apartment, I wanted to leave, I wanted to put my travelling boots on, throw my backpack on my shoulder and explore the surrounding region, but I just couldn't get out. Some would call it relaxing, I would call it boring and a waste of time. when Monday rolled around I was miserable because I didn't expend any energy on the weekend.

Not this weekend.

I went to Olomouc, a  university town about an hour North-East  from Zlin.

I met up with some crazy cats  who I met when they were guests at the GBL, they teach English in Slovakia and each week move to a new town to share their English knowledge. Olomouc turned out to be a halfway point between their next teaching destinations, so I made the trip for a weekend catch up. 


Highlights of Olomouc
  • The Holy Trinity Column - The tallest column in Europe.   
  • The Astronomical Clock- It was remodelled in the 1950's to represent communist values. The angels and saints being replaced with workers, scientist and sportsman. 
  • Arion Fountain - It depicts a poet being throw over board and being rescued by dolphins. What really makes this fountain though is the tiny details on each piece of the statue.  We sat around the fountain in the afternoon sun and watched children steal money from it for a while. 
  • The old city walls - Walking around the lush gardens that surround the city just screamed spring is here. 
  • My personal highlight -  Mexican food. The restaurant was simply called Mexican restaurant and it dished up a fabulous albeit not nearly spicy enough fajitas.

Astronomical Clock

Arion Fountain


The 30th April was the anniversary of the death of Jaroslav Hasek, a celebration ensued. It was a costumed affair in a cosy little pub, with an array of colourful Czech's playing some kooky instruments, singing and best of all dancing on the tables. Jaroslav Hasek was a pretty cool dude, bron 1883 in Prague, he made his living as an anarchist writer, known for his humour and satire he wrote over 1500 novels in his lifetime, he fought for his country, he chased the woman he loved for three years before marrying her, then after a year, tried to fake his own death to get out of it. 


Morava River

Cat





SIDEBAR
People seem to move in and out of this flat all the time, I don't actually know who lives here, there are people I have never seen before.




Thursday, May 2, 2013

Back in Fighting Form

I am back on a computer.

For the low, low price of  $388 or (7777 Kč.)  

It's a cheap computer, but I challenge anyone in Australia to find a notebook - not a netbook, for that price. Hell, you couldn't even buy a smart phone for that price. Surely we make computers at home, why do they need to be so expensive. Silly Australia.

Things I have learn't about myself since I broke my laptop:

  • I thoroughly enjoy formatting things in lists.
  • I don't normally have an addictive personality, except when it comes to procedural crime dramas and trashy Australian soap operas.
I would like to thank the following for their support in the past few weeks, it's been a tough time for everyone:

  • YouTube
  • My phone
  • My Ipod
  • Anyone who I played Wordfeud against
  • The Guardian - Nicholas Sparks. You may just be another sappy love story that I am not particularly interested in, but you have filled the time nicely. 
  • Buzzfeed Mobile App
  • Motion City Soundtrack (Your infectious indie rock and dulcet tones have soothed me to sleep many a nights)
I would like to conclude this post by including a list of items that I have lost over this trip so far:
  • Boots - Full story here. 
  • Not one, but two scarves. One stolen by my bat shit crazy host mother in Georgia, another lost in night of drunken tom-foolery in Budapest. 
  • My ski jacket. - I saw it in the hostel when everybody had checked out for the flood, but then it mysteriously disappeared. I think Greg may have packed it with his stuff. 
  • A wallet - Stolen from a bar in Krakow, it only had 10 zl and a room key in it, so it really wasn't too upsetting. 
  • A bank card - left in the ATM when we stopped to buy ice cream in Tbilisi.
  • My handbag, the former soviet union gas mask bag. - Pretty sure it was stolen by some drunken slurry in the hostel. 
  • Majority of my clothing. - I honestly don't know what happened to it. 
  • Lens cap for my SLR camera. 
  • Two Ipod cords. 
  • The wall charger section for my phone. I now have a new one, but not through honest means. I stayed at this horrible place in Prague and asked if they had one I could borrow. They had a basket of about 20, and a bad attitude, so I just left with it.
  • The cord for my phone charger. - Left in the bar when it flooded. 
  • 30 bobby pins and every hair tie I had. 
  • Four toothbrushes.
  • Two lipsticks, one lip gloss and a compact powder brush. 
The post brought to you by Against me! - We Laugh at Danger (and break all the rules)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How NOT to win friends and influence people. (Based on real first time encounters with people)

1. “Lucky we're all British in here, I can't stand Americans. (I'm not British) “
2. “Who wants to make a bet the I'll be the loudest snorer tonight.“
3. Unidentified person: “What have you been doing?“
                            Me: “I was teaching in Georgia the country."
                             UI:  “Oh they started that war they lost against Russia a few years ago."  
4.  “I just throw it out there, I hate Chinese people and I hate Italians.“
5. “Where in America are you from?“ (never assume)
6. “I guess you're kind of pretty.“
7. I spelt my name phonetically for someone who didn't speak English as a first language. Someone I met the night before corrected me and spelt it correctly. The person I was originally talking to, then looked at me like a was a psycho.
8. Anyone who sits on the aisle seat on the bus/train, so nobody can sit next to them. Not based on a first time encounter, but I'm on the bus and watching somebody do it, so annoying. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Not anymore...

How does one make friends?

I now have a new job.

Huzzah.

The company is organising my visa. 

Huzzah.

They found my a share flat to live in. 

Huzzah.

I get to stay in Europe another year.

Huzzah.

The company gave me a phone. 

Huzzah?...

But who am I going to call? The people I live with are very nice and all except one speaks English. But I feel bad making such a large group of people talk in another language, especially if it means excluding one of their own.

Which brings me to the question. How do I make friends?

A few years ago, my friend and I were brainstorming money making schemes. I suggested speed friendships- like speed dating but without any of the sexual connotations. Basically anyone who felt like they needed a new/more friends could attend and see if there was anyone they clicked with. My idea was shot down in flames, my friend said  nobody would admit they didn't have any friends.

I'll admit it, I am searching for a friend. I am not entirely friendless, but in my new town I am. I don't even know where to start looking. Is it pathetic “ to look for a friend."

 Maybe I should put an ad in the paper.

        “Female looking for companion.                                                                                                                                   Must be available for coffee, drinks, errand running, 
hi-jinx and miscellaneous activities."

That is sure to only attract crazy people.

I guess I could join a gym and start chatting to the unsuspecting woman on the treadmill next to me. Ask her to coffee. She'd think I was hitting on her.

Strike up a conversation with someone on the bus. A lot of weirdos ride they bus.

Sit alone in a busy cafe and offer the spare seats at my table to people. Tricking people into a friendship doesn't seem like a good premise.

I guess I just keep smiling at everyone I meet and eventually, I will find the one.
My new friend.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

The truth about long haul buses

It's so much cheaper and it only takes a little bit longer, this is going to be great, taking the bus is a great idea.

Wrong

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Buses operate with their own special kind of Murphy's law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong and then some. Forget about sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the view. You will be driven to tears by someone you have never met and will never see again in your life, you will arrive in your destination feeling haggard and drawn, wishing you had just stayed home in bed curled up in the foetal position with a good book. It sounds more enjoyable then what you are about to put yourself through; if you decide to solider on through what will  be an obvious travesty, here are some simple rules, guidelines to prepare yourself for what you are about to embark on.


  1. You will NEVER be comfortable. You've brought an inflatable neck pillow, you have worn layers to prepared for whatever temperature the bus decides to be, Ipod is charge, book at the ready. NO. This bus runs by it's own rules, the temperature will be scorching followed be an Arctic breeze that will blow through the bus every 20 minutes for the next eight hours. You WILL hit every pot hole possible, even when there isn't any, the driver will swerve off the road just to make it that little bit more uncomfortable.
  2. There will be a douche in front of you, next to you and behind you. Any combination or all three at once. They will kick your chair at random intervals and often just as you have started to drift off to sleep, they will breath to loudly and even worse than that when you can feel them breathing on the back of your neck.
  3. There will never be enough bathroom breaks. I won't drink any liquid in the hours leading up to the bus ride, nothing is worse than needing to use the loo on a long bus ride. But it's like your bladder knows you have settled in for the long run and decides this will be the perfect punishment for all the late night drinking sessions. You use the bathroom each time the bus stops but back on the bus and an hour in, you need to go again and looking around at all the sleeping passengers you know that it will be a while before you get your chance.
  4. You won't time your snack eating well, and finish them way too early into the trip. You think you have enough to sustain yourself through out the trip, wrong. You're bored, so once you start you won't stop eating – leaving you hungry for the remaining hours of your trip.
  5. You will encounter the jerks of public transport – they are on all and any forms of public transport: noisy cell phone douche, crying kids with parents who don't do anything, the sweaty slob, the smelly person, the general crazy who only wants to talk to you, and the drunk who will be on the verge of puking for the entire trip. Don't look for them, just know they are there, waiting for that seat next to you to become vacant so they can come and regale you with stories you don't care about. 
  6. You will touch something gross: be it gum, a used tissue or just general filth. It's there and you will put your hand in it.
  7. The seat you choose will be broken in some way. You spy a seat in the yonder, it looks too good to be true, no children around, plenty of leg room. But it won't be until your at least 15 minutes into the journey, that you realise it's broken: it won't recline, the tray table has snapped off, the cushion is wet with an unknown liquid, somehow it's not properly attached to the ground and you will go flying at every corner. (trust me, it's happened to me)
  8. The traffic will only ever be bad if you are in a rush. This one is just a given.
  9. You will never be prepared when it is your stop and everyone will look at yo like you are holding up the trip. You've known for the entire journey that your bus will arrive at the station at approximately 0700, you packed your belongings ready to go at 0650, but still when you pull into the station you are the last one off, struggling to put your jacket on and your luggage off without falling down the incredibly narrow stair case.
  10. The music will be some sort of fusion between Chinese opera, hardcore drum and bass and Justin Beiber. It will be too loud, you can't drown it out and if you do manage to fall asleep you will here it in your dreams and wake up in a panic thinking all of your worst nightmares have come true.

NB: Buses with WIFI are fantastic.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I think I got a job.

I think I got a job. You think this would be one of those things that I would be certain about, but.....

Firstly I did an interview with a lovely woman and she asked me if I was interested in the position, I said yes. She asked me when I would be able to start, I said I could be there next week she said, see you then.

Pretty straight forward so far.

Then, I received an email from the regional manner saying that he was in the process of trying to find me some accommodation and that he would spend the days following my arrival showing me around the city.

Still looking like I got the job.

Then....

I received an email from a different woman, who said asked if I was still interested in the position would I be able to interview on Wednesday.

That's when I get confused, the first two correspondences make me think I have nailed it. Third one, makes me think I have not gotten it yet.

I'm just going to show up and hope for the best.  

Fingers crossed.

Below is the area where the job is.


View Larger Map

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The ye ol' flood of 2013


The hostel has been shut for the last few days with the water turned off, one of the pipes exploded and caused a bit of a mess downstairs. I could have stayed there and just gone elsewhere to take a shower and use the restroom, but I decided to go to Wroclaw - the city of Gnomes.

The above not technically a gnomes but I would say definitely gnome like enough to be included in this photo spread. 


These gnomes have been around for a while and a new one arrives every year, generally they are sponsored by a business and placed out the front. What the gnome is doing is often related to the business. The first gnome was placed in the 1980's and was used to represent the protest movement that opposed the communism regime at the time. It was fun and absurd but mostly, it was an effective way to take a stand. 

Nobody is certain how many gnomes there are any more, rumour has it that there may be over 180, but as soon as your turn you back these little guys keep multiplying.