It has been a very long time since I wrote my last blog. I apologise for this. Praha has just provided too much entertainment for me to handle. I have now completely lost my time management skills. Furthermore, I have reverted to the good old days of napping. You know you’re life is going well when you are forced to take forty winks by 1pm, that’s what I say.
This blog is a little selfish, giving little insight into life in Prague or as an exchange student, just telling you all what a good time I’m having and hopefully making you madly jealous!!
So, what have I been up to in these 3 or so weeks I have been shirking my blogging responsibilities? Well, much has happened so I will try on keep in focused on a few key elements.
1) Midterms. These should probably have affected my life a little more than they did. However, inconvenient as they were, I got through them with not too much trouble. In fact, I made it to the infamous Nation2Nation party on Tuesday (partied harder than intended) and then got full marks on my midterm the following Wednesday morning (not that this should be in any way encouraged!)
My honest opinion is that professors here are highly unlikely to fail exchange students and do their best to avoid such situations. I have also noticed full marks being given out much easier here when they are almost never seen at dear old Edinburgh. Of course I fully intend to get my head down to some serious work before Christmas, but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the freedom while I have it!
2) My birthday in Krakow. So far my best experience has to be this weekend away. Organised by the Buddy System, me and 19 of my fellow students + around another 20 from Prague Technical University headed of to sample life in Poland.
The 9 and a half hour night train started off as drinking, game playing fun and then ended up as cold, interrupted attempts at sleep. However, arriving at 7am for breakfast in Krakow, everyone’s spirits and energy soon lifted and we began with a guided tour around the intriguing city. The trip included a trip to Auschwitz which was incredible, and a trip to the salt mines. On the first night we had a highlander party. Before dinner was even served I was hauled up to play drinking games which resulted in 4 shots of something which burned on an empty stomach. The games, dancing and laughter continued throughout the night.
The next night was a “pizza party” in an unusual little vinyl pub. This night also doubled as my birthday night out. At midnight, in one of Krakow’s gay clubs the group (and a large amount of the rest of the club) sang happy birthday :)The celebrations were continued the next day on the long train journey home where I was surprised by a cake and more singing, Polish vodka and apple juice, and a Krakow souvenir stuffed animal wearing a tartan hat! I have named him Zizkov, after the area in which we live and one of the beloved tram stops.
3) I am currently writing this blog while relaxing in an apartment in Zell Am See, a ski resort in Austria. On the first day here I rented my snowboard (which looked damn cool) and headed up the slopes eagerly. However, I have news for you people, snowboarding is hard! And god does it hurt! I fell repeatedly on my tailbone and wrists, both of which started to suffer pretty early on. Nearer the end of the day I had one epic fall where I tumbled over and landed on my head. This knocked my confidence for the rest of the day and I am ashamed to say I then sold out and swapped my snowboard for some skis. My problem was, I was completely unable to stop or turn. As you can imagine this throws up some challenges. Any time I went of track or was hurtling towards someone I had to throw myself onto the snow. As I was also unable to stop, or slow down, when I took this dive I was usually travelling at quite substantial speeds and this resulted in some epic falls. I have used muscles I never even knew I had and every movement induces groans of pain. Standing up. Lifting a cup. Coughing. Breathing.
So today I hit the slopes with my skis and the naïve notion that this would be a piece of cake in comparison. Granted, compared to snowboarding it was much easier. However it did not come quite as naturally as I had hoped and I did in fact crash into to the back of someone. Thankfully he was a huge, experienced guy who barely noticed I touched him, merely looked at my with a combination of amusement and pity. So, at this point I decided lessons are a good idea if I plan to remain in one piece. Tomorrow morning I will have a two hour lesson and fully expect to be a pro by the time I an through (just so we’re clear, I consider a “pro” someone who can stop, maybe turn – hopefully in both direction – and stays upright around 60% of the time. I aim high)
Wish me luck….