Monday, September 19, 2011

Homestay in Roztocky

Hey everyone, I would like to start out by saying that I didn't fail my goal right away. I wanted to blog yesterday but my computer decided it hates the internet at my homestay. So I'm at school right now.

Speaking of homestay, I haven't told you about that at all yet because it started this week! Now I haven't taken pictures of my hostmom or her house yet because I have to ask her to make sure its okay to put them online and whatnot. But I can give you a snippet about the hostfam:

I live with Jarmila and her blind dog Homer north of Prague. She has a cute little house with a green gate. Homer bumps into everything and can't hear very well, but he's very fluffy which makes up for it. Jarmila has three older daughters who are moved out of the house. Two of them have kids, two of them live in England, and one lives in Amsterdam but is currently on an archeological dig in Greece with her Canadian husband. I met the middle daughter and her children over Skype and marveled at the wonders of technology.

Anyway, my class had a big dinner Saturday night where we met our families. The next day they picked us up.

Jarmila and I took a walk around her (aka OUR) hometown of Roztocky on Sunday. This is a place one might deem a "liddle widdle town" because its very adorable, contains cottages and is near a river.

We also walked down to this really old church as well, but we had no money to pay for the tours so I'll show you pictures of that later... SPOILER ALERT: WE WENT ON THE TOUR THE NEXT WEEKEND.

Monday morning my hostmom rode the bus with me to help me get to school. (Yes, this is real life and I'm 22.)

On the way home I thought I knew what I was doing alone but got off at completely the wrong stop. After wandering around a bit I caved in and gave my hostmom a ring. She told me how to get home of cours,e but my pride was a bit unhappy.

I took a (mediocre, frantic) picture of the right bus stop when I got home because I was so happy to see it.

On Wednesday we saw some art in my studio art class (no way!).

The only piece I took a picture of was this crazy wall-sized picture made entirely out of staples.


[even smaller detail]

 Also, our kind teacher Jan (pronounced "yan" and I def. can't remember his last name at the moment) gave us plastic cutouts shaped like the Czech Republic. Awwww! I'm going to pull it out every time someone asks if I went to Czechoslovakia. 

Another night that week (Thursday, perhaps?), Jarmila made fruit filled dumplings. I discovered the key to making them really good: butter, sugar, cinnamon AND curd cheese. 

Brian, sometimes I think of your Europe travel blog, and I realize the only pictures I take of food are dessert.

Another day we went to the mall--not everything we do has to be traditional Czech--and I took a picture of this horse lamp at the (relatively) expensive cafe we went to.

[Both Naomi & Lee seem to be humoring me...]

On Friday we went to the Kampa museum to look at "pre-war art," which actually meant Kupka's art; he was one of the first abstract painters. We couldn't photograph his stuff, but they had a quality sculpture garden:
 ["Open Wall"]

[detail: there's paint in them bricks!]

 [reminded me of Lipchitz... not by him though]

Afterward we went to a cafe flanked by a lot of wall and not very much window.

On Sunday I went back to the Kampa, because we have to write a small paper about an art exhibit. It was the overachiever in me that made me go back whilst others are just writing about things we saw in class...

The artist I'm going to write about is Marian Karel, who currently has a big exhibit there.

[if Sten Nilsson read my blog he would totally relate.]

 I noticed more pretty stuff outside even though it was raining...

[get it, "pretty"?]

I also creeped on some Czech boys who were making a film on a pretty walkway where the trees thought it was autumn.

[or perhaps I should have told you they were in love?]

OKAY ALREADY, one more thing, this has been lengthier than I planned!

Jarmila took me to an exhibit of fair souvenirs from hundreds of years ago when "fair" mean pilgrimage or Christian processional.

[Mary of Madonna and Child can look rather manly in the wrong hands]

[Aha! So cheap/flimsy things are not unique to the modern fair!]

Damn it! That wasn't the last thing. Here are some photos from Levy Hradoc, a church that has been around since the 8th century or so... the oldest church in the area in fact. (Remember ages ago when your read something about a spoiler alert? THIS is what I was spoiling for you.)

[our tour guide refused to speak English for the self-centered American.]

[original stone foundations, below the current church]

Goodbye, cao, ahoj, na schledanou, until next week! 
(Or if I am wise it will be sooner because I take so many freaking photos each week.)


  1. Christie!! I love the pictures. That first one of the town is soooo beautiful, you should make it you screen saver.

    That picture with the staples was amazing. I'm glad you took a close up because I was not believing it haha!

    I love how you bring us along on your museum trips and exploring and that way we can see it too!!

    You may have thought it seemed long but to the reader it was perfect! Not too short and leaving me wanting more but not too long where I got bored :)

    Can't wait for more.....


  2. I agree with Brenda! It's not too long! It's PERFECT!

    Love the pictures!

    The fruit dumplings: Were there big chunks of fruit inside or was it like an apple fritter? Is curd cheese the same as cottage cheese? Does Jarmila have a recipe that you can steal and bring back so we can try to make them here? They look really good!

    Prague is beautiful!!!

  3. Haha! I have a picture of those penguins and chair too! How fun!

    And I do wish you would take more pictures of your food. I feel like that's the only thing I ever ask you about. :)

    That staple art is AWESOME. It's like something that Chris Norton would make in Drawing II and get the only A+ ever earned in that class.

    Miss you! If we don't Skype soon, I'm going to EXPLODE. :)

  4. Yes, this is chris norton commenting. The pictures are great! I really did love the staples and made a mental note that i need to use them to make a word sometime. There can never be enough food pictures--brian is right. And if Sten read this he would say it was "sick nasty." The cafe with the "lot of wall and not a lot of window" was also a highlight. Highly enjoyable. I will not try to make puns here because sarah would say I've lost my touch because of lack of exposure to you and brian.

  5. Crap. I should take more pictures of my food. I'll try to remember, but I'm always hungry at the time and don't think of it.

    Tess: They were filled with something similar to pie-filling. I bet Jarmila could give me a recipe, even though these particular ones were not homemade.