Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

I deserve an award. An award for drinking from a glass tainted with a tiny fly inside, magically drinking most of the juice while keeping the fly far from my mouth. Because it only just fell onto the top of the juice, and it's maracuja juice and i'm not throwing the rest of that out because it's too damn tasty. but i didn't have anything to wipe him on, if i did fish him out.

THINGS YOU NEEDED TO KNOW.

anyways, it's christmas in canada right now. it's christmas here, too, but we celebrated on the eve, and it was actually really good fun. i'm glad i stayed here. it felt like a glorified, fanci-fied picnic, though: fancy dishes, candles, classical music, mulled wine, dressing up, more wine . . . while we ate fried chicken, potato salad, and pea soup. not to say that it wasn't tasty! i had no idea that chicken and potato salad could be so enormously filling.

jan's mother kept trying to make me eat more, and i realised i was taking itty bitty portions only because i'm used to caufield christmas dinner, where there's SO much food and SO many dishes and you want to save room in your stomach for everything. but that was really all we ate. oh, and homemade apple strudel and cookies.

best part, though, was trying to communicate with jan's mother. he speaks english fine, but she doesn't speak any english (fluent in german, though). so she would speak czech and he would translate between us, but! but! i realised that i had a pretty good grasp of what she was saying before jan translated. i still can't speak it much at all, but apparently i know a lot more than i thought i did. it made me happy. and i could understand most everything matt said in german as well. i don't know if that's something to be proud of on my part or something he should work on, though.

jan and i are planning to go hiking next week, so i'm gonna convince him to speak to me in czech half the time, see how it goes. and i'm excited, because it'll prolly mean catching the train south. yay! trains!

oh, and before dinner, we went to a church service (well, part of it) for the sole purpose of hearing the music. it was a tiny...well...not huge church, out in the outskirts of prague, in a largely-residential area, and yet they had a relatively complete orchestra and choir. i have no idea how large it was, the place was far too crowded for us to get in past the entrance, but their sound was pretty full. it was beautiful music, too. but the decor in the church was the best. the church itself isn't that old, from the 20s or 30s apparently, and the artwork inside all had this sketchy, morose, brutal look to it, little sculptures affixed to the walls, but not of your usual happy stuff. there was jesus on the cross, reaching out and looking so grief-stricken, there were giant hands with marks on the palms, there were a few traditional church-y things. but one wall was full of art depicting people in concentration camps, skeleton-like figures, barbed wire... nothing i've ever seen in a church before. made for an interesting time in there, when i got bored of trying to understand czech.

so that was my first czech christmas. how was yours?

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