I don't want to boast, people, but this past weekend, we went to Slovakia, to the very feet of the High Tatras, to see one of my students get married, and then party on, Slovak-style, in beautiful Poprad.
Our journey there was the most horrible train journey ever, during which we waited on the tracks for about three hours starting at 2am while police cleaned up the aftermath of an incident between a train and an individual, while we kicked it in a horribly uncomfortable shared compartment with a truly uncouth, massive underbite-having lady, her cross-eyed, over-bite having daughter, and a sullen metalhead who spent all 11+ hours working on ONE WORDSEARCH PUZZLE. On the bright side, I read the entirity of Alexander Dumas's The Man in the Iron Mask, and it ruled, natch. As a consequence, though, we arrived in Poprad dreadfully sleep-deprived, and with brains so addled that we really and truly went to the WRONG CHURCH, thereby missing the actual ceremony. Very uncool, and very frustrating, baby.
Once the "Oh my God, I can't believe how lame we are!" nightmare ended, we found ourselves staying in a 600 year old building -- now a charming pension -- in Spišská Sobota, the most historic part of the town. The square our hotel was on had a beautiful shady park and late gothic church with a magnificent golden altar, and was lined with charmingly multi-colored rennaissance houses. The pension was one of them, and also hosted the devastatingly brilliant wedding party, complete as it was with a mind-boggling array of beautiful little homemade Czech and Slovak wedding sweets, and old ladies and men dancing traditional dances and singing Czech and Slovak folk songs.
My student was the groom, and sometime around midnight, he waltzed me drunkenly all around the hall, alternately bellowing and translating the songs. The best one he sketched out for me contained the following exchange: "I love my girl because she brings water to my horse" to which the girl replies, "I don't like your horse, I'm afraid of him!" and her swain counters that she needn't fear his horse, because his horse knows that she is his girl.
Is this place GREAT, or what?
The next day, Jack, Monkey and I kicked it in the park, joked around, ate in Slovak restaurants, and then hit up another all night train journey sans couchette -- NOT the way to travel -- and got back into Praha at about 5am, after which we went directly home, blocked out the sun, and slept our heads off.
And that, my friends, is that.