last week was a week of firsts. not just any firsts, mind you, but firsts that really only come with living overseas as a foreigner. so here they are, in no specific order of preference or entertainment potential:
1. i saw my first nude sunbather. thankfully, they were on the other side of the riverbank. though i will say that my first thought was something akin to, "toto, we're not in kansas anymore."
2. i visited a grocery store that i'd always wondered about but had never set foot inside of, called lidl. if you've experienced aldi's in the states, then you've basically been to lidl. i was fortunate enough to make my visit during 'asian week,' aka hello cheap teriyaki sauce, sweet & sour sauce, and chow mein noodles week. yay!
3. i baked for the first time in the 9 months that i've lived overseas, which sounds like an eternity. i mean, really, that's enough time for a baby to bake in a belly oven. i made a delicious batch of m&m cookies. only they weren't really m&m cookies, seeing as i substituted the cheaper and more widely available czech version known as lentilky. and i'll let you in on a secret...though the peanut butter and almond varieties of m&ms will always hold a special place in my heart, i think lentilky are actually better than plain m&ms. the candy shell is just a smidge bit thicker, which creates quite a satisfying crunch. and there i go again, being the typical american and talking non-stop about food...the point of the story is that the cookies were quickly gobbled up by a room full of hungry teens at younglife klub, so i dare say that they were a success. next stop on the baking train is muffins. and heck, maybe i'll even go crazy and bake another batch of cookies before another 9 months goes by.
4. i went to another new place all by myself (twice in one week, i know!). this time, it was a local cafe right at one of the tram stops by my flat. i'd always wanted to go in, but trying out a new cafe just didn't seem like the thing to do alone. however, this day was especially sunshiney, i didn't have any obligations for hours, and i had a copy of jane austen's northanger abbey with me. so you see, there wasn't any good reason to delay my cafe adventure any longer. well, it turned out to be quite an adventure. i'd heard that they had chai tea, which isn't something you often find here, as the czech word for tea is pronounced exactly like chai, so if you ask for chai, you're basically asking for plain old tea. needless to say, i was brimming with excitement for real chai tea. however, i couldn't find it on the menu. instead of simply (though is it ever truly simple when you don't fluently speak the language?) asking if they had chai tea, i thought maybe it was called something else on their menu. i found another item with tea in the name, and the price looked to be what i'd imagine, so i ordered it. i should have known that something wasn't quite right when the waitress asked me if i wanted it warm or normal, but i didn't want to seem like the ignorant foreigner, so i said normal and went back to my book. but as i looked over to watch her make it and saw her reach for a bottle of alcohol, i knew that i'd made a huge mistake. not that tea with alcohol would necessarily be awful, but it wasn't what i wanted, especially at 10am. of course, when i'm under stress, the tiny amount of czech i do know goes completely out the window. i should have been able to say something like, "i'm sorry, that isn't what i wanted. do you have chai tea? yes? i'd like that, please. thank you." however, what actually came out was more like, "no, no, no. ugh...i'm sorry, ugh, but no. ugh, do you have chai tea?" in other words, i totally failed in not looking like an ignorant foreigner. but never fear, in the end, i was able to get the chai tea that i'd been looking forward to. though i will admit, i think i'll wait a few weeks before showing my face there again.
5. i had american bacon for the first time since...august? boy oh boy, it was delicious. bacon is the number one reason why i could never become a permanent vegetarian. on this oh so special day, i also had homemade biscuits and gravy and waffles (courtesy of lidl) with peanut butter and syrup. it was a good day for my stomach.
6. i got my first mosquito bites of the season. not just one of course...more like ten. and let me tell you, czech mosquitos are vicious. i'm truly convinced they are some sort of evolved, mutant machine of evil. the bites are huge and red, and they stick around for ages. yay summer!
so there you have it. a seemingly normal week of my life in ostrava, but with a few more firsts than usual. i hope they brought you a chuckle or two :)