Friday, June 25, 2010

Preparing for craziness

You know those perfect evenings? The ones filled with cool summer evening breezes, birds singing, Louis Armstrong jazz playing and brilliantly colored sunsets? Well I just had one of those. And personally, I think evening like that can do more to restore your spirit than whole weeks on vacation.

This one came at just the perfect time. My next two weeks will be wonderfully chaotic. First is a going away party most of sunday for two of my friends. Then I work all day monday before meeting my friend Maria at the airport. She's coming over from the UK for two days to see Prague for the first time and I volunteered to be the tour guide :)

She leaves wednesday afternoon after which i'm going straight to work and then to a tennis match that evening with a very good player I met. The next morning I work for the last time in Kutna Hora (sadness) and then that night at 9pm I catch the overnight bus to switzerland. 5 days and 4 nights of breathtaking scenery will hopefully ensue :D

And to finish it off, I return wednesday the 7th at 5:30am and teach from 7:30-6 that day. I'm probably a little crazy but its all so fun that I can't pass any of it up. I can rest when i'm old. Besides, after that I have about 1/3 my current amount of work and a month and a half here with virtually no solid plans except explore and enjoy.

It's gonna be a good summer :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Next stop the Swiss Alps

The seasons of Prague (as shown by the entrance to Divoka Sarka park)




And a bonus spring picture :)

This week has been a wonderful week. Tim's parents have been visiting for the last 5 days and its been delightful having them here. They are two of the interesting and kind people I know and I'm sad they have to leave here so soon. The weather has even done its part, staying between warm (66) to blisteringly hot for Prague (85). During this time, I've pretty well worked out what my last two months here will look like and prepared myself well for the coming weeks of teaching.

But the best part of the week was saturday when I figured out the details of a 5 day holiday I will be taking in the Swiss Alps from July 2nd-6th. I'll be staying in the region near Interlaken. My plans are to go canyoning 1 day (video here) and hiking and exploring the rest. I'll stay two night near Interlaken and two nights in a tiny village (130 people) called Gimmelwald that is located on the edge of a 1000 ft cliff :) I won't put up any preview pics because its freaking Switzerland. And if you don't know what it looks like, i don't want to spoil the surprise ;)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My next home

Several updates this time around. The first is that the weather has finally changed! It had been in the 50s and raining the past 2 weeks. Now its finally June weather outside (June weather for Prague means mid 70s and sunny). I went to my park yesterday to celebrate the change. You can see the results in the pictures above and below.

Second is that i've learned what my schedule will look like between now and september. I will teach like normal this month, with one exception. My only monday class has decided they would rather learn wednesday evening. So I now work 7 to 7 tuesday-thursday and have a permanent 4 day weekend!!! I find this almost too wonderful for words :D

Then for July and the first half of August I will be working about half the time I am now. I will be losing 12 of my 15 classes because they take a break during the summer. Fortunately I've worked hard and saved some money, so losing the work doesn't really hurt me. Plus I will be covering some classes for people who go on long vacations. The great part of this is that it will give me plenty of time to further explore Prague and the surrounding Czech towns :)

Around mid-August I will be flying back to Texas for a couple weeks. That will of course be a blast!!

The big news is where i'm going after that. I'm about 99% sure that i'm going to the island of Jeju, South Korea. Here is its location on a map of South Korea (hint: Jeju is the pink island and North Korea is the grey part at the top)

Jeju is a resort island for Koreans. Its nickname is the Korean Hawaii. It has a more tropical, temperate climate that the mainland and is apparently extremely well suited to active outdoors types (ie ME!). It is a highly coveted teaching spot but fortunately my experience in Prague and my qualifications make finding a job there no problem. I will also probably be bringing my friend Ted that I met in grad school.

I see this as a great opportunity to experience a culture that is VERY different from my native one, save some money and have a great time. I expect strong culture shock, language barriers and who knows what other problems. But despite this, or maybe because of it, I relish the opportunity to go. I'm aware that this choice of countries will worry some of you (especially with the North being stupid as usual), so if you wish to say something about it, please do so now or forever hold your peace ;)

In the mean time, enjoy a couple pictures of the island that I will probably soon call home