31 May 2011

Sicilia, Italia

I've just gotten back from a whirlwind trip to Palermo, Sicily. This was my first time back to Italy since I studied abroad there in 2008. I was excited, anxious, nervous, a bit intimidated,
after spending so much time in the Czech Republic,
which is the complete opposite of Italy--in so many ways.

Sicily is much different than mainland Italy.
Where do I even begin...
chaotic. loud. aggressive. but hospitable. dusty. dirty. 
Italian architecture with a Middle Eastern flair. 
with a North African flair.
with a Norman flair.
(let's just say everyone and their brother has lived or conquered or built up Sicily)

In Palermo we wandered the streets eating too much gelato in a brioche
(it's gelato inside a bun, a specialty of Sicily)
drinking too many cappuccinos and finding too much food for our bellies to hold.
On Friday, we took a bus outside of the city to Mondello,
 a small beach village with clear water,
three different shades of blue, and powder white sand.
We lounged for hours among tanned bodies 
and seductive calls in Italian.
It was paradise.

The rest of the weekend held numerous events with the couchsurfing group.
This was the main reason we went, 
because we knew we'd know some people from Prague and meet some new Italian friends. 
Welcome dinner, dancing at a club, city tour, market treats, tour of the Cappuccini Catacombs
tour of a church and village on a hill, Sunday indoor "picnic" because of the rain.
Many memories. Many new friends, not only from Italy, but more from Prague 
and some from Copenhagen, Denmark.

It was a glorious few days in the sun, 
away from my city-life and a certain land-locked country.

Italy still holds my heart.

27 May 2011

My wanderings around Prague lead me to deliciously glorious findings.

a little French Kavarna
with a cute French decor shop.
Located in Prague 3

 This place has no wi-fi, which is wonderful
because it's a secret spot
only for chatting with friends or reading good books
while munching on quiches and sweets
and sipping on lattes and cappuccinos. 

I wonder what next week's wanderings will bring me to?


17 May 2011

Home is where the heart is...it's cliche, but true.

These gorgeous images remind me of home.
And this fact makes me happy.
I love Europe
and I love Prague,
but I will always be a Florida girl
content to be on a serene lake
eating loads of oranges
or drinking their fresh juice!

a tribute to home.
looking forward to it!

16 May 2011

Hmmm....what do I want to do after June 2012? Museum Studies!

This Master's program looks absolutely enticing!
I don't want to teach in a TEFL classroom forever
and it's my dream to work with a museum of some sort
in any part of the world.
So, I am seriously contemplating this as my next move in about a year's time.
It looks like a really solid program, not too expensive, a required internship, and Italian must be mastered by its end.

I'll be praying about this decision for a while...
and for its funding. ;)

What do you think?

15 May 2011

Stereotypes from the mouths of my Students

While teaching a lesson about fashion and trends, the idea of stereotypes came up, so we talked about what stereotypes are, if they're positive or negative, and how they shape us and the people we come in contact with.

Here are some common ones by Czechs about Americans:

1. Americans are hamburger lovers.
2. Americans are fat.
3. Americans are naive and/or stupid.
4. Americans hate Muslims.

Here are some common ones by Czechs about Czechs:

1. Czechs love beer.
2. Czechs steal.
3. Czechs are jealous (of others).
4. Czech women are beautiful.

To be honest, I loathe the hamburger stereotype. I cannot tell you how many times I've been faced with this or asked about this or overheard it being talked about. 
I have not had a hamburger in over nine months. And I have not had a McDonald's hamburger in years!
As for the other stereotypes, hopefully, we can agree that all the American ones are, in fact, negative. And untrue. It's so dangerous to clump a group of people into a category and put a name on it. I hope my students took away something from this lesson to think about. Some inner questioning is a good thing.

My May

Hello dear readers,
welcome to my May,
what I've seen and done and ate.
On Wednesday I leave for Palermo, Sicily,
so come back later to hear about my trip.
 Spring dinners: a Czech fruity girly spritzer and a salad, complete with avocados, orange peppers, chicken, and mango poppyseed dressing. Yum!
 Brunch with the roomies. Our last month together before Liva leaves us. :(
On the menu: mimosas, coffee, crepes with cottage cheese, strawberries, pears, and grapes and 
french toast with hot apples and maple syrup and powdered sugar.
We lounged in our pajamas for hours.

 Springtime in Prague. 
Clear skies, lots of flowering trees and plants and weeds, shirtless Czechs attempting to get a tan, and lots of students and tourists enjoying Petrin hill.
 I enjoyed a picnic lunch and some good reads
in this park while I killed time
until my next tutoring lesson with my Korean kids.

 Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Czech!
Margaritas and Mexican food.
Then Belgian beer afterwards. ;)
Hoegaarden, it's a good one. Try it.

 Saturday walks through secret gardens hidden in the city.
The scent of outside is vastly different than it was in winter.
So fresh, and clean, and floral, and lush.
 And it's also mating season for the resident peacocks of Mala Strana.

Ahoj! (Goodbye)


08 May 2011

::Amsterdam::in pictures::

frolicking through fields of tulips in Holland. Paradise. 

preparing for Queen's Day (the Queen's birthday)
*see the crown

springtime bliss entails leaves throwing

city scape
bikes. boats. bridges.
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