Thursday, December 22, 2011

Real Pigs, Fake Cows, and Homemade Cheese

If you take anything away from this post, it should be this simple lesson: “Holy shit, the Slovakian countryside is beautiful.” That’s what I learned, at least. 

A side note for some context, this was the same day as this encounter so we were already a bit tipsy from all those welcoming shots as we drove from the old couple’s cute cottage to an even cuter farm. There were animals in every freaking nook and cranny.

[Jenna Klein once captioned on a similar picture, "Art kids first encounter with nature," which I enjoyed]

Not only that, we explored some sort of homemade playground as well. Damn, climbing ropes is fun.

After spending some time in the gorgeous fall weather in the gorgeous countryside farm place, we were ushered inside for lunch. Perhaps I should say Lunch because this was intense.
The first course was soup. Two kinds of very heavy soup plus many bread baskets. One must soak in the bread baskets here because they are not complementary at restaurants, not even Italian ones. I know, right? We once asked for one at a restaurant and caused a lot of confusion and possibly even resentment from the Czech tender. (Tender being short for bartender. You got that, right?)

After the soup, there was a main course: potatoes, meat, lots of very filling things. I was honestly going to explode when they brought out the two desserts. I forgot to take pictures until they gave us pickled beets, so this is the only representation you will get of the food at the epic Lunch. 

After lunch: more animals!

As our class wandered around staring at the beasts, our teacher Sarah had an epiphany, "Wow, these pigs are so REAL!" The most real of the real pigs she had ever seen, I guess. (Don't worry, we didn't let her live it down.)

[First line of a real life high school paper, written by a friend: "The spirit of the wild horses will never be broken." So hilariously terrible, and yet when we told Aidan, she defended the horse-loving writer. You can see it in her face here.]

 [Side note: The "spirit" was all over this place.]

 Soon enough our translator offered to take some of us on a walk. As we ventured out, we asked her how far we'd be going. 

"Ten miles."

"Ten miles? That's a really long way--nearly 20 kilometers!" We argued, but she insisted, pointing to some distant hill as our destination. (SPOILER ALERT: We didn't really go ten miles.)

But what a photogenic walk this was! We ended up stopping in this fantastic sunny field and taking some photos. And a nap.

Soon enough, it was decided that Joe was dressed like "a Sears model" and needed to pose for his cover shoot in the field. 

Oh, and don't think I forgot about the nap.

[Photo by Danielle Lashley]

 We stayed in the field too long and had to take a short cut across the field for more food.

This resulted in my left foot getting sucked into a giant mud puddle. 

[Ne, ale dekuju. ("No, but thank you.")]

 The return was worth it though, as we were introduced to unlimited homemade cheese and given a demonstration on how it is made. 

[He is wearing these pants that every Czech person seems to own, but few in our American group have been able to find in stores.]

I was so pleasantly full from the cheese, the perfect light dinner after a long day. Then we went to the hotel and were pretty much force-fed more food for dinner. On this day I decided never to eat again. 

p.s. More farmage.


  1. This is such a fun post! A good story with good pictures! Can't wait for the next one...

  2. AMAZING. Except for the muddy shoe and horsey cliche.

  3. This is the most jealous I've been. HOMEMADE CHEESE?? WHAT THE HELL!!

    I'm glad you're back, though. You probably could have brought back some of that cheese...just saying.

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