The longer I’ve gone without a post the harder it’s been to start again. I lost focus and ended up waiting for something epic to rekindle my writing. Then I found it… but before getting to that let me recap y’all on what I’ve been doing over the past six weeks.
Since returning to Prague from New York (where I camped in Acadia, hiked in the Aiderondacks, drank too much beer, survived a hurricane and an earthquake; ate all my favorite food, and saw a lot – but not nearly all – of the people I’ve missed) this September I’ve been busy readjusting to the strange expat way of life. This involved a variety of challenges including surviving being bitterly broke while I waited on my first paycheck of the season.
The first real hurdle to cross was to get back into teaching. Thanks to hurricane Irene my flight back to Czech was delayed by a week costing me three days extra vacation in Vienna and causing me to spend my first week here in a daze of jet-lagged and ill-prepared for classes. Luckily, the first class of a new semester is always a good excuse to chat with old students and play games with new ones. However, I still spent the week waking up at four AM and returning home exhausted in the evening.
After conquering my disorientation I spent the next week catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and quickly spent my remaining Czech savings. The following weekend was the city wide wine festival. During this weekend parks across the city turn into wine distribution centers disguised by stages and performances. I spent the day in Vinohrady (a residential neighborhood that was once the royal vineyards). This event was roman themed – complete with a gladitorial arena staffed with Roman soldiers armed riding chariots vs. the Carthaginians and their armored elephant. However, since the day was mostly about drinking the delicious young wine, Burčak , (which I’ve already posted about) it seemed like a silly place to start my blog again.
The following weekend I did some outdoor rock climbing with my friend Joe Veeser. He taught me some rope techniques and we practiced on a outdoor climbing wall within 20 minutes from the city center. Since this was just one of many recreational centers found throughout the city this can serve as another example of how sporty the Czechs are.
The next big event was World Cup Rugby 2011. I’ve been watching rugby with my Irish friend Sinaed for the last year: starting with Irish league matches, moving on to the Six Nations Annual tournament, and culminating in the World Cup. This tournament stretches over six weekends in New Zealand (one British colleague took 4 months off work to fly down and catch every England match). I was down at the pub at 7AM to catch the Ireland matches at least one day a weekend until Ireland got knocked out of the tournament by Wales. (America also played but we were quickly destroyed. However, we brutalized Russia before we went.) This weekend is the championship match: New Zealand vs. France. The New Zealand All Blacks will win – you can’t beat a team that employs a traditional Maori War Dance (the Haka) to intimidate the opposition before every match.
But last weekend I was finally inspired to to write again when I took a camping trip down to the Austrian Alps to do a bit of rock climbing. More on this in the next post.