Sunday, 7 October 2012

I sit at the table eating my spaghetti and pasta sauce, well I thought it was pasta sauce but I can't read Czech and ended up buying some olive sauce, along with free bread that is conveniently placed in the center of the table. The kettle boils in the background hinting to me that the tea is ready. I drizzle some found olive oil (just in case my olive sauce wasn't enough) over the steamed pasta and grind the black and brown pepper over top to enhance the taste, with a rolled up sleeve I dive in for my Thanksgiving feast. I can't help to imagine the delicious food that my family and friends are eating back home, but they probably can't imagine what I'm eating either, so it balances itself out. I stop, give my thanks, and continue eating.

I arrived in Brno, Czech Republic after staying in Krakow for three days. The three trains took over eight hours, with a thirty minute delay in the pouring rain in Ostrava, but once I touched the ground in Brno, I found my hostel and crawled up the ten-ish flights of stairs to make it to reception. I like to think that whomever put the hostel this high up in the flat is testing my endurance and perseverance, it's rewarding once I made it though. While waiting at the train station in Ostrava trying to avoid the downpour, a man came up to me and started speaking in what I assume to be Czech. I politely stated that I do not speak Czech, but only English, and he continued to mumble away to me in Czech expecting an answer to his question. This has happened on numerous occasions, and I've learned to do the whole 'I don't know what you're saying to me look, while holding my hands palm up to the sky with shrugged shoulders as the universal symbol of No Idea'. Since I began traveling, I have a new superpower that I wish to possess, unlike my younger wished superpower of being able to fly, I now wish that I could speak any given language at any time. Though being able to fly and do that would be quite amazing.

Getting to Brno has been an adventure.

I need to stop here and rant for one moment about getting used to different keyboards in every new country that I visit. It has taken me over 30 minutes just to write this because I keep backspacing misspelled words, etc, etc. For instance, the Y key is the Z key, but it is labeled Y with a tiny z in the bottom right hand corner, likewise for the Z key. I still can't make the right closing bracket sign without the help of the Czech girl who walks by occasionally. The @ sign I figured out by googling 'how to get the at sign on a Czech keyboard,' luckily the responder simply stated press ALT and V together, even though there is an @ sign where the 2 is but no number of buttons I press will make it appear. Or, I am looking at a key with 5 different options to choose from. DISCLAIMER: If anyone catches any spelling mistakes I swear that it is not my lack of knowledge, but I shall blame this keyboard.

Moving on...

From my last post in Belgium, I have touched soil on six countries, whether it be for two days or eleven days. Amsterdam was exactly how I pictured the city to be. Getting lost there was very easy since every street looked the same by cloning the canals one after the other, the cafe shops line the streets while a gentle breeze of their perfume lingers out from their doors. The houses look like they are about to tip over due to the slantedness of them. Yet, I can't help thinking that the residence of Amsterdam see much more than that in their beautiful city.

The hostel that I stayed at is one that I would recommend to anyone taking a gander to the Dutch capital. It is a caravan park consisting of two to three person caravans, an outdoor fully equipped kitchen with free breakfast to boot, and of course, outdoor WC's, or water closets for those who do not know the acronym. The park is situated about a 5 minute walk from a huge lake with little islands speckled everywhere in their waters... it was definitely a nice break from the hustle-and-bustle of the busy city. Two German girls taught me how to make 'little pancakes' as I will call them simply because I can't recall its' proper name. Photo attached below:

Did you know that Luxembourg is the worlds second richest country? What, Luxembourg? Where's that? Well it's a small country, positioned between... it's easier if you google rather then me blabbing on. Any who, I was using a map that suggested I go from one street to the other to make it to my hostel, so that's what I did. I made it to the first street, turned right to where the second street was supposed to be and it was a market square. Lost, I asked someone to point me to the right street, and the kind lady showed me too an elevator that connected the two streets together. First time ever that I have had to take an elevator from street to street. It makes sense though once I truly seen the city.
From Luxembourg, to Berlin, to Copenhagen where I found myself questioning whether or not I was still in Copenhagen. In the midst of the small suburbs lie one reckless area what is known as Christiania or Freetown to some. It's home to about 650, or 850, or 1000 citizens (depending on where the information is gathered from) living in make-shift homes spray painted, or decorated with a variety of art, and it has three simple rules that must be abided by, numero uno: Have fun, two: Don't run, and lastly, no photos. It was started by a group of Hippies in the early '70s when they took over an abandoned military barracks, and developed it into a new society so-to-speak. They remind all the tourists of the 'no photo' rule by having spray painted signs everywhere. The Løn is the currency of Christiania, but gladly accept Danish Krone as well. While walking through the crowded streets, dogging bottles and boozers, a haze from the legal pot or hash stands strolled by I couldn't help to think that this would be a bottle-pickers dream place. I think that if the world suddenly got rid of the government, and most straight-edge adults, this is what it would turn out to become. All in all, it was definitely an interesting place to see.

Flag of Christiania
That is all for right now...

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