as mentioned in my earlier post, here is my home for the summer. i guess you can't actually see our flat, it's on the fifth floor, which to americans is the sixth floor. no one lives on the first floor in europe;) but this is majo and daska and daniela on the day of lance and miska's wedding last year. don't they look handsome? i talked to majo last night, he called from dublin. poor kid is trying to figure out the irish accent. his english is excellent, but you have to admit even the savviest native speakers have struggled a time or two to discern...ohforgetit! i sat here for 5 minutes trying to think of a joke about the top of the marnin. yes, marnin. and for erin, darby o'gill and the lettle pay-ple. oh, that made me laugh. goodbye everyone.
let's start from the very beginning. julie andrews would say that it is a very good place to start. this photo was taken last year when scott, jack and i sneaked off to banovce to see daska (whom i'm living with now) and her son majo. it came out that daska really liked country music, and that, in fact, she used to sing in a country band. then out emerged the cowboy boots from the closet and the rest, as they say, is history. i gave her a copy of this pic and she took it and made a cutout of jack and he currently stands watch on the desk in her room. i'd have done the same, i'm sure. but here she is. and you can see our home a little bit. this is the view from where i sit and eat, eighteen times a day. at her every urging. i always think of funny or clever things to blog and then when i sit down to do so, i go blank. i wanted to do a whole blog on observations about slovakia. i think i'll save this one for when i can sit down and think beforehand. i have made a lot of them, believe me. hey, i think i have another pic on flickr of our building...let me look:)
ok can i just say it??? i think this may have been my first piggy back ride ever, save for those that james made me take from her when we were "little," er, when she was little, and i was...young. i really felt like i was being brave by accepting scott's invitation to take a piggy back ride to a little underground italian restaurant in banska bystrica. i was not certain that he could carry me and was frankly a little surprised when he did. i'm working on this. being brave. what a great picture, though, eh? thank you to sylvia for getting some posted and reminding me of this happy memory.
oh, for crying in the night, if it gets any harder to find a picture i'll never blog again. could be the 90% sweat humidity in this internet cafe, too. those europeans really love their foosball! anyhoo, here it is, dun dun dun. whence comes my name. in a crazy twist of events my (cajun) uncle, gary, mentioned in passing that our name came from a plum brandy. then last year during our time of "bar evangelism" (scott and jack being the main attraction, but, then, when weren't they?:) a bottle was brought out in our honor. lo and behold i saw something vaguely, albeit slavified, resembling my last name. i chuckled in disbelief and politely got away with only a sip of the offering (their judgement already blurred, thankfully). since then, slivovica has seemed to pop up with regularity. the other night at a friend's flat (again, thankfully, i was able to decline since they explained that it "wasn't a drink for ladies"), today at tesco, and a few other places. but i can assure you that none of these has been imported to california, or whatever it says on the bottom of this bottle. i have some funny misunderstandings that i meant to write about but now i am running out of time. i will be speaking tonight about the love of God at a women's small group. i'm nervous since we don't really have a translator. only a woman who speaks pretty good german and really poor english:) but God will translate, i hope.
hello sweet bloggers. still finding myself unable to upload my pictures onto blogger, i am forced to rely on the pictures of others, and with no pictures of banovce to be found, i default to ice cream. oh who am i kidding? default nothing. anyway, i had two scoops of this delicious frozen treat earlier today and it's likely i'll have more. but today was special because they had not one but two of my favorites. my only favorites, really. jogurt and malina (raspberry). there's really no other way to go. each scoop costs seven crowns, i think. amazing. well i could go on, but since i've been on this computer going on three hours, i think i'd better let sleeping cones lie. i know, i know. that's not even what that phrase refers to. so, so long for now. have some dq for me:)
this is right near where we are staying!!!! isn't it neat? katka's mom's flat is right in the middle of the old town. it's so wonderful and convenient. we can walk just around the corner and we're right in the middle of everything! yesterday we watched a historical re enactment of the austrians fighting the hungarians. it was neat, annnd a little creepy! but to me the whole old town feels like a movie set. much like that new development by lance and shannon's house where all the buildings look like fake facades. you know what i mean? anyhow, we've been in this underground netcafe long enough. it's time to see the sunlight. plus, we haven't eaten in over an HOUR, and that just doesn't do here, it seems:) off to aida, the sweet shop we go. i am living a charmed life here.
ahojte from slovakia. today megan and i set out on our own by bus to a nearby town to see the bojnice castle. this blog entry is dedicated to dave barney, who upon entering this particular room of the castle looked up at the ceiling and said, 'talk about bling-bling!!!' i laughed really hard. so back to going to castle...i was really scared. i mean, that is the thing that scares me most...no, you wiseguys, not castles...public transportation. that, and new restaurants. and we had to conquer both today. we made it to bojnice ok because katka personally put us on the bus and told the driver to tell us when we had arrived. but from there we had to take a city bus up to the castle. i confidently got on a bus that stopped in front of a sign that read bojnice and within minutes we were the only ones on the bus and the driver stood up and just looked at us. my biggest fear. it happened to me in london when i was alone too, but there i had ended up in wimbeldon;) so we walked back to the bus station and i had to, gulp, ask a lady for help. she was sweet and more than happy to do so so we made it to the castle and zoo, neither of which we entered. i'm so glad megan and i are so alike. we walked around and took pictures and that was enough for us. then it was eating time. we searched and settled on a little place advertising slovak food. this is what scares me about new restaurants, ones that i've never been to before...i never know, do you just sit down and wait to be brought a menu or do you order at the counter? but we took a risk and just sat at an outside table and no one stared at us so i figured we were good. sure enough a waitress brought us a menu. we had decided to get a beer together, mainly to be funny, but when i tried to order a topvar, slovakia's most famous beer, she just said some word i didn't understand. luckily i'm a QUICK one and i figured out that it was another beer. so after a few embarassing moments with the waitress we got our delicious lunch and paid and all. well of course we, then, had to go take a picture of me posing on a toy horse that scott made famous when we were there 3 years ago. but as a result we missed our bus by a matter of seconds. thinking we could just catch the next one we realized it wasn't for over an hour and had to get back to the bus depot to go back to banska bystrica. so what do you do???what do you do? you call speedy taxi, of course. i did get a cell phone, a mobile, if you will (i won't;) so i dialed the number nervously and asked in slovak if he spoke english "a little" was the reply but luckily we were standing by a hotel so i asked in slovak if he knew where the such and such hotel was and he said he'd be there in 3 minutes, which was good because our bus back to bb was in about 12. he was a sweet driver and we spoke german together. so we made it back without incident, other than looking a little foolish paying for the bus because slovaks do not talk to each other, so amidst the pindrop silence we could not contain our laughter at the stoic driver and the comment la roja had made previous to our stepping on. i had wanted to get an icecream bar called a magnum bar, which is, ahem, bar none, the best ice cream bar in the world. but it was such a close call getting back to the bus, and she asked if i wanted to get my magnum bar and i was like, no i don't. because i didn't want to risk missing another bus etc. it was really funny. i miss you all and love you all.