This summer, to be honest, has been a bit of a whirlwind. Hence the silence, here at Crazyjaneski.
In June, we left the house we'd lived in for nearly 12 years, and both my monkey and I hit the road - he to do his yearly summertime Tour de Grandparents, and me to Washington D.C., London, and finally Prague at the end of July. It's only been three weeks since we've been reunited and the first two were still a bit crazy because they combined my first two weeks in a new job, and the very lovely visit we had from the monkey's Papa, his wife, and her mother. Because of all that, this past week was really our first that felt like a normal week.
My job, involves roughly 23 hours of teaching per week, and lots of running all around Prague. I teach two to three classes per week in a classroom at the school, and the rest are in-company classes, where I visit my students in their offices, and teach small groups or individual students in a more informal environment. It's nice, because every day is different, and even though I have a couple of more difficult days, I also have a couple of absolutely painless days, and I am totally finished for the weekend by 9am on Friday mornings. Not too bad.
Monkeyboy, meanwhile, has started his French class, which is held on Monday and Wednesday evenings. It's a bit of a challenge for him, since the teacher speaks French and Czech, but not English, and the other students are all adults - but he will rise to it, I believe. He returned from his first lesson flushed with nervous energy, but holding down a little monkey-ish smile. He missed two lessons at the start of the semester, so he's been playing catch up in his book, but I have faith in that clever little creature.
Last week, it turned very cold, suddenly, at night and in the early mornings. I asked the school to schedule me in the mornings, rather than in the evenings (last classes end as late as 8:30pm), because I wanted to be able to be home to make dinner and not leave monkey alone at that time. As a result, all my days start very early, with shivering at the bus stop. Chilliness aside, I really like the feeling of swimming into the flow of early morning Prague foot traffic, and riding the subway to work with all the other people here in my beautiful adopted city. I listen to music, and read sometimes. But, yeah; the cold weather is bracing, especially since I am not sartorially prepared for it. I left all my warm clothes in the US. Brilliant!
On the bright side, we had a taste of how wonderful a beautiful day can be, after you've been fighting the cold, when we woke up to a perfect, warm and sunny morning with a perfect blue sky today. Monkey slept late, so I spent about an hour and a half cleaning my house, after which it looked perfect, because it's new, and when he woke up, we washed all the sheets so that we could take advantage of the sunny day to dry them on the terrace. We also took a cue from all of our neighboors and put our pillows and duvets out for some air, along with all out little house plants.
It's such a nice feeling to take care of things. I had forgotten.
Then, I sent my monkey off to the store around the corner to get some fresh bread, but they were out, so he went a bit farther afield and found one a few blocks down the street and wrangled with the non-English-speaking shopkeepers with admirable courage and self-possession, as always, and returned with a lovely baguette. We transformed it into french toast, and ate it with yogurt and fresh raspberries.
We decided to spend the day doing things for our flat, so we went out to Bauhaus, a Czech equivalent of Home Depot, and got some potting soil and a good window-box shaped planter for out kitchen garden. We planted bazil, thyme and coriander, and will go back to the store for some tarragon and parsley, I think, tomorrow.
Tomorrow, we are going to see a chamber choir performance in a beautiful palace on an island in the Vltava River. One of my students is a member of it, and she got us tickets. We have to dress up in out best for it, so it will be an especially nice way to spend Sunday evening.
Next weekend, we are going mushroom hunting in the forest.
So, yeah. We are extremely miserable. Please send help!
Know what? So far, I haven't sold my monkey the the gypsies, and moreover, he has a blog now. Everyone should go read it, and leave him lots of comments.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to commend that horrible child on his intrepid dealings with Czech shopkeepers. There's nothing cooler than sending your boy out to the corner store, armed only with 50 crowns and the Czech word for "eggs" and having him return with the necessary items moments later, and announce "I'm going to have to learn to count in Czech."
Tuesday, Halliburton received a $110 million no-bid government contract
to pry the gold fillings from the mouths of deceased disaster victims
in the New Orleans-Gulf Coast area. "We are proud to serve the
government in this time of crisis by recovering valuable resources from
the wreckage of this deadly storm," said David J. Lesar, Halliburton's
president. "The gold we recover from the human rubble of Katrina can be
used to make fighter-jet electronics, supercomputer chips,
inflation-proof A-grade investments, and luxury yachting watches."
It's a book of letters written compulsively, over a three year period, by a suicidally depressed teenaged girl to Kevin Ogilvie, otherwise known as Nivek Ogre, the singer of seminal 80's industrial band Skinny Puppy.
I know it sounds freaky, but I really, really loved it.
Apparently, I haven't got much to say, lately. Sorry, my friends!
I am still in Prague, as you must know, and I still love it to absolute pieces. I still ride the nightbus sometimes, and the sky is still magnificent. Recent developments include the arrival of my monkey, his father, his step-mother and her mother, and coinciding with that, the commencement of my new job as a teacher of English to Czechs. My schedule has overwelmed my desire to write clever blog posts, of late, I'm afraid, so don't expect much entertainment from this one.
My new job is going well. It's still a bit rocky in places, but as the dust settles, I feel certain that it will be very manageable and pleasant to make my living in this way. It's been lovely having Jakey's father and family here, but the downside to all the special visitor-ness is that I don't think he's really had a chance to get his bearings yet, and we need to work hard to establish a schedule and purpose for the hours and minutes of his young life. We have a lot of work to do here, and right now, I am just looking forward to getting on with it.
Jakey and I went to Ikea the other day and bought a couple of little plants and a second chair, so that we can both sit when we eat dinner on our kitchen counter, so the camping continues apace, and it does have its charms.
I've made a few new friends here. Some of my students, too, are especially lovely. It's going well.
You shall all hear that story, and many others besides as soon as I come up for air in the super intense "induction" schedule I am currently facing in preparation for my new job as a teacher of English in Prague.
I also took about a million pictures of how hard they rocked:
But, I must edit them, and it will not be until this weekend that I achieve that.
Patience, my dears.
There are a very few pictures up on my Flickr from that weekend, and you can see them by clicking the image above.