Tuesday, September 30, 2008

this cant be right.... at least i hope it isn't....

Well i actually started my classes yesterday! My first class was math at 8:00 in the morning and although i didn't know where it was i figured that i would be able to find the room pretty easily. But i was wrong. I was very wrong! after about 20 minutes of trying to ask people on the campus where the building was located i finally found out that it was all the way across town! you see the campus here is not all togethor, they kinda have a main campus and then some random buildings spread throughout the city. So by the time i finally got to the class i was about 45 minutes late, but there was a few people going in when i got there, and it was a big lecture hall so i wasn't too worried.. When i finally got settled down in my chair and got my stuff out, i looked up to realize that the class was most definitely being taught in czech, which creates a little bit of a problem for me!
So after about 45 min. of me staring blankly at the blackboard, we finally took a break and i was able to go talk to the profesor! Luckily he was able to get me lined out with the correct course so now i should be able to understand something!

Other than that my classes have gone pretty smoothly though! I am looking forward to my czech language class.. even though it is gonna be crazy hard for me i'm sure!

We are gonna head to Poland this weekend so i will definitely let you know how it goes! We are gonna head to Krakow, then we are gonna go to Aushwitz so it should be a great trip.. and cheap!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

south bohemia!

I got back this afternoon from an awesome trip to south bohemia! (which basically is just the south central part of the czech republic).. But it was really cool!
On friday morning we took a bus from prague to the Castle Hluboka which was really cool. We were there for awhile and walked around through the castle gardens and stuff. After that we went to this little zoo in that town. So little in fact, that it is the smallest zoo in the czech republic! (although they did have a bear!)..
In that town there was this sweet old church too! It was yellow and it just looked awesome!

When we left Hluboka we went to a town called Cesky Budejovice! it was really nice too.. That night there was a few of us that tried to go out and get some dinner by ourselves. There was a couple of american's and a guy from canada with me and we had quite the adventure! Apparantly there was a big hockey game that night pretty close to where we were, so every restaraunt had every table reserved. I walked into about 15 restaraunts making lots of hand motions and muttering useless english words while usually i was just looked at blankly and usually got the response of a head shake and a hand wave.. it was very encouraging! finally though, after about an hour and a half we found a place! no one there spoke a single word of english, but we were able to get the job done and actually had a really good meal!
The next day we toured the real Budweiser brewery. Apparantly the American budweiser pretty much just stole the name from the czech one and then patented it... They dogged on St. Louis quite a bit throughout the tour, but we enjoyed it!
After the brewery we went to these old graphite mines which were right outside of Cesky Krumlov. They were pretty cool, but the best part of it was the suits that we had to wear and this little old train that they took us back into the mines in. It was so ridiculously small that we couldn't stop laughing till we got out of it and actually started the tour!

After the mines we went on into the city of Cesky Krumlov. It very well may be the most beautiful city I have ever seen! It is amazing! There was a big festival going on in the town so we had a good time just walking around and seeing the city. We stayed at a little hostel/pub that was right in the middle of the town and was really cool. It was one of our group leader's birthday today, so at midnight we all tried to sing Happy Birthday to her in Czech, but i doubt we were saying it right...
This morning we woke up and hiked out to these old ruins of Divci Kamen, which is an old castle. It was an amazing day, so we had a great time out there! After the ruins we came back to Prague, and although we have only been here a week it felt good to be 'home', or at least as close to home as we have here!

In case you guys haven't noticed, on the top right of the screen I put a link so that you can look at all my photo albums! I am going to try to keep up to date with that as well...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

efficiency makes happiness much easier....

ok so the last couple days we have been having to do quite a bit of stuff for the school.. yesterday we had to go get our id cards, and we had to wait in line for an hour and a half just to spend about 30 seconds showing this lady my passport and getting my id..
Then this morning we had to go enroll for our classes, which doesn't sound bad. We all figured that it would be sort of in and out. But we were wrong! Unlike kstate where you just click a few buttons on the computer, here you have to go wait in a room while this little old lady sitting at a desk in the front individually goes through the classes and their schedule with each individual person.. it was crazy! After about 3 1/2 - 4 hours i finally got to talk to her! With a room full of other students looking upon me longingly, I actually got the classes that I wanted.
I am taking: Math III
Electrical Circuit Theory
Intro to Philosophy
Beginning Czech Language
and Technology II
I really have no idea how difficult they will be, but i am sure i will find out soon enough.

Other than that everything has been going great. I haven't been able to get out of Prague yet, but I have seen alot more of the city and am still trying to learn my way around.
You all should know that this is a big moment here in the dormitory because we just got the internet in our rooms about 10 minutes ago! We are all pretty pumped!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

feels like i'm in a prison... wait, i am!

This Top picture is my dorm building.. it used to be some sort of a prison for political prisoners when the czech republic was still a communist country.. it was used by the secret police or something like that... now half of it is our dormitory and the other half is a hotel.. its weird because there lots of older people that are always in there staying at the hotel... it doesn't really feel like a dormitory... Also, there is two pubs in the basement so that is kinda different too..

This is the view out of my window in my dorm room... it isn't much but it is kinda cool.. I dont know what any of the buildings are for.. none of them have anything to do with the school....

This is my room, it is much smaller than dorm rooms at kstate. But apparantly my building has the biggest rooms of all the dormitories at CTU.. The guy that was showing me around the school couldn't believe how big my room was, he said that his was about half the size..

i think i am dehydrated...

ok so it didn't take us long to find out that they do not drink regular water here. All they drink is sparkling water, and it is gross! If you ask for water at a restaurant they bring you tonic water, which is even worse! Some other americana have found regular water at this grocery store that is close by, so i think that today we are going to go try to stock up..

I am starting to learn my way around a couple places in the city and am picking up the metro routes pretty quick too! The public transportation here is really nice, and once you figure it out a little it is very useful.. We are lucky because one of the main metro stops, dejvice, is only about a block away. So we are able to get places pretty quick if we want to.

We went out this morning and found a coffee shop that was pretty cool. I think that it might have been an american chain though, because everything was in english and the workers there knew english pretty well. But it was really nice to get some coffee! It is pretty chilly here already, so the coffee really hit the spot..

I am not sure what we are going to do tonight, but chances are we will probably be out pretty late... the metro stops running from 1:00 till 5:00 in the morning, so all of the czech people usually just stay out till 5:00 then come home.. they dont even act like it is a big deal to stay out that late, it is just the way that they all live...

But i think we are going to go out and explore a little bit in the city... hopefully we wont get lost... :)

oh and by the way.. the internet is alot harder to use here! google is practically worthless for me because it searches everything in czech. I haven't found a way to switch it back to english.. even on this blog, all of the tabs like the 'sign in' and stuff like that is in czech.. so i just have to keep clicking on them till it takes me to where i want to go.. it sort of an adventure!

Friday, September 19, 2008

and here....

So I am here in Prague! My flights went pretty well for the most part.. At first all of my reservations had been canceled, but we were able to figure it out..

It has been pretty crazy trying to get everything that i need as far as passes and id's and stuff.. It is tough because all of the applications are in czech so i have to have people interpret them all for me.. luckily they have a great international student club and they have been very helpful with gettting everything lined out..

Zuzanna took me out last night and showed me around and took me to eat at her dad's restaurant (for those of you who don't know, zuzanna is a friend who studied in america last year). It was really cool though because her dad's restaurant is right at the end of the Charles Bridge and is in the middle of the Old Town Square which is pretty famous. (luckily we got to eat for free too, because it was pretty expensive! haha)...

In my room there is like a main room with 3 other rooms branching off of it. My roommate is from new york and so is another guy in one of the other rooms.. and then there is a married couple that is in the other room. I feel bad for the wife because it is her and then 5 of us guys all sharing everything... it is kinda akward.. haha...

I haven't taken any pictures yet, but i will soon and I will post them up when i do!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

and closer...

ok so this is the big day! I fly out this afternoon around 5.
I am realizing why some people start packing sooner than the night before they leave!

Right now I am kind of sending out desperation emails to different people at the university because the person that is supposed to be there to take me to the airport isn't going to be there now, and I just found out this morning..

oh well though... I am sure it will work itself out...

Monday, September 15, 2008

getting closer...

So i still haven't left yet.. But soon...

I leave wednesday evening, and will get to prague thursday afternoon. My first week there will just be an orientation week. So i still won't start classes till the next week.

I am getting pretty excited though! I will update you all when i get there!