Depending on the outcome of this week, the next month may end up being completely mad. I have a potential job down in Melbourne — not a bad one, by the seeming of it — and if it all pans out, I may have to be down there for at least a week or two in December (and then moving down there permanently thereafter).
I also have my Uncle Phil’s wedding to go to in a fortnight, so I have to work that in.
Then there’s the usual Christmas-period madness; parties, social engagements, trying to get enough contracting work done to make enough money to survive. It’s getting somewhat stressful already and it hasn’t even started.
Everything could work out magnificently (what a refreshing change that would make) or it could all go rather pear-shaped. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m deeply hopeful that I can make some big and positive changes.
Ruzkin pointed out to me today that I have now been blogging on arcwhite.org for over a year. My updates may have occasionally been patchy and sporadic, but I’ve managed to post something just about every month at least — I consider that a bit of a win.
So — happy birthday, arcwhite.org!
Coming up in the next few months: Some more big posts about grandiose subject matter, more travel retrospectives, big personal news, a change in theme and plenty more waffle.
To everyone who’s been reading, and commenting — and there’s more of you than I ever really hoped there would be — thank you!
We haven’t forgotten the podcast, fear not! We’re in the process of relocating to a new, dedicated blog. We’ll post details here as soon as it’s done, and redirect the iTunes podcast feed appropriately. We’ll also be scheduling podcasts a bit more regularly (we’re looking at a bi-weekly release cycle). There’s some pretty neat interviews coming up — stay tuned!
If you have any questions or comments, or if there’s something specific you’d like to see us discuss, please drop us a line.
A quick post, because I’ve been busy and not updating my blog as well as I should’ve. Only way to get back into the habit is to keep writing, right?
So, a few interesting things I learnt in the Czech Republic:
You’ve probably heard that Prague is beautiful. The descriptions are not doing it justice.
Old Clock Tower, Old Prague
Watching Opera (Dvorak’s Rusalka) is much more enjoyable when captions are provided. Goes double if the performance is in Czech and you’re not a native speaker.
Any country where beer is cheaper than water (~25 krones, or AUD$1.50, give or take) is fantastic fun — but hard on the liver!
Czech food is extremely rich and dense (and delicious). I have a theory that this is something to do with the colder months of the year and needing high energy input traditionally to stay warm. Citation needed. If you can find a good, trustworthy restaurant, you MUST try tatarak.
Many Czech people speak English to some degree or another; most of them are quite nervous about actually using their English.
Everybody appreciates it when you speak at least a few words of their language. In Czech, this seems doubly so.
Lots of people (at least in Prague) have dogs, even if they don’t have a back yard. This seems vaguely cruel to me.
Any pub that’s been around since the 14th century is Doing Something Right.
Lucerna is a fantastic nightclub full of very friendly, drunk Czech party animals — if you like music from the 80s. And I don’t mean the best of the 80s. I mean 80s music, all of it, even the stuff that wasn’t very good.
Really good coffee can be hard to find. (I highly recommend Café Lamborghini, around the corner from the Lazarska tram stop — the food is a bit expensive but the coffee was solid! Service is great too.)
A large number of Czech people that I encountered did not seem particularly optimistic about their lot in life. I believe this to be a holdover from Communist oppression, and suspect that the Czech people will become extremely entrepreneurial over the next 10 years and that the rest of Europe should watch out. The folks I met who were optimistic and/or ambitious were powerhouses of hard work and talent.
Statuary atop the State Theatre
There was a Czech movie a few years ago about a simple-minded young man who wore big headphones around everywhere. Walking around Prague wearing a pair of Technics headphones will earn you strange wry grins from people that will baffle you initially — all because of this movie.
Everybody smokes, everywhere. Get used to it.
According to popular legend, the Russian mafia own a significant portion of a significant number of businesses in the Republic. Politics and crime are closely interwoven. Despite this, petty crime on the streets, at least in Prague, seems quite uncommon.
Tea houses are a fantastic way to unwind if you a) like tea and/or b) like shisha pipes. They’re turkish-style dens of relaxation, usually very quiet and a great place to sit with a friend and talk. Definitely need more of these in Australia!
Having a higher population density in an area makes a lot of really cool things possible that you just can’t do in a place like Australia (re: public transport, utilities, businesses), where everyone is accustomed to having a back yard and a lot of space. Not having a yard really isn’t that big an impost, in my opinion, and we should be building up rather than building out where possible.
Finally, the key words of the language for a traveller: pivo (beer), prosim (please), dekuji/diky (thank you/thanks), dobre [den|rano|vecer] (good day|morning|night), vyborny (fantastic/delicious). Guaranteed to get a smile if you can use some of these.