Monday, May 25, 2009

So I am mobile again

Hello avid readers

Finally after almost a year of no bicycle I have acquired a new chariot to take me around town. It helps that my lovely wife teaches english at a bike manufacturer, and that one of the students is the Czech beach CEO. This allowed a little discount to come our way.

Now, after all my talk about the 'scary' Czech roads you'll be pleased to know that the cyclists apparrently knew this and have successfully lobbied govt for a good cycle way system. As a result I can ride from my work to home, a distance of about 17km and only have to ride on the road for about 700m of the journey (and thats through a small hick village). The rest of the way is designated cycle way and simply a pleasure to ride on.

For me to get to or from work takes about 55 minutes on crowded metros but on the bike it takes about 55 minutes in scenic valleys, past childrens play areas and of course through the small hick village.

How's the serenity

A few of my footy mates also have bikes and we are now in the early stages of organising a nice ride to Karlstejn Castle. Its about 32km each way and we are looking to do this shortly. Should be fun.
I am hoping that I will be able to ride from work a few times a week to maintain the limited fitness levels and enjoy the warmer months

Until next time

Gatesy

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life on the land

In 2 respects, firstly because I feel i live 2,000 light years from salt water and also because Tonda (FIL) has a little paddock where he grows the family vegies etc. Sure I call it a small paddock but it big enough that you need a tractor. As an aside, with all these tractors and heavy farm equipment laying around it comes as no surprise to me that Czech and Hungarian women are sooo damn good at the hammer throw. Some of them damn well have forearms bigger then my thighs - hahahaha

Anyway since I can't speak bugger all Czech I have turned to farming to assist in developing a relationship with the father in law. He says "dig" and I ask "how deep?"No no thats a lie but i have been assisting in planting all the tomato's, potatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, pumpkin as well as feeding the rabbits. Oh did i mention the potatoes? Last August Michaela, myself, Tonda (brother in law) and Eliska (sister in law) had to pick these potatoes and it was REALLY REALLY fun ....................... for the first 50 kg's. After 4 hours and 950kg of potatoes later I was a little over it. This year I have a problem!!!! Michaela and Eliska are both pregnant and will be unable to assist in this task so it seems Tonda and I will have 8 hours of potato picking. Tonda senior doesn't see the problem but perhaps thats because he will be driving the tractor, probably sitting back sipping on a pina colada with straws and an umbrella in it...........GRRRRRRRRR.

I know I sound like an old woman blabbering on about this stuff but in actual fact it is really fun and quite relaxing. Tonda (FIL) and I normally take a few hours to feed the rabbits, chooks and pigeons (they are a disgusting animal) while the ladies go for a walk then we sit back with a beer attempt to have a chat, which basically means we sit in silence staring at each other with the occassional manly head nod and a deep gutteral grunt.. MALE BONDING AT ITS BEST.

So i will endevour to keep you all up to date with my gardening/farming prowess. As an addition to this i am pleased to announce that Michaela and I are the very proud owners of the best weed garden in our apartment complex - Who says my thumbs aren't green

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ultra sound video

Well since the video is too large for me to forward around to people who might want to see i will try and post it here
video

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Who says ice hockey is only for winter?


I know you've heard this before but really it is soooo much fun to play. I took a day off work on Tuesday and headed to a town called Slany (translation = Salty) to play hockey with the airline mechanics from Czech Airlines. They get all angry when i call them mechanics instead of aeronautical engineers but i call a spade a spade.


Lets me assure you there is a significant difference between 5 on 5 hockey on a full size rink and the tiny rink i usually play on. After going one end to another 4 times you are buggered and HAVE to sub off.


The mate i played with, lets call him Greg, is a terrible skater but after 20 years of field hockey experience he had great stick skills. If we could combine my skating and his stick skills be would be 1/2 OK. But as it stands we were rubbish.


After 1.5 hours of hockey you're totally stuffed and ready to get off the ice. We had a great time

The tourist are here, its time to make some money

This was what I experienced on the weekend when I took a friend to a favored drinking hole last Friday. My friend, lets call him Tom, made the journey with a few friends to Prague and I agreed to meet up and have a quiet beer. I took him to a nice beer hall near the tourist centre of town and we all sat down for a beer and a meal.


We enjoyed a nice meal and experienced the standard Czech Republic non existent service. When we asked for the bill the waiter came over and explained the total food and beer cost 1,800 ck (about $20 each for a meal and beers) and then he told us we HAD to pay him 300ck on top for his service.

Obviously this guy did not realise I am a 'local' (perhaps 'resident' is a better word) because I quickly explained when he left that this is not standard and under no circumstances do you have to pay a tip if you're not happy with the service (what service?). If the guy had shut up and just given us the bill we would have left 2000ck as it’s a nice easy round number, but because he demanded we decided this guy can get stuffed so we left 100ck. We then got treated to a magnificent performance as he came over and counted the cash in front of us and then started BEGGING for more money.

"PLEASE PLEASE I MUST HAVE MORE, OH PLEASE. OH THE HUMANITY!!! HOW WILL I LIVE"


I was outraged and we asked him to explain the situation? Does he get no wage or what? He refused to answer and said don't worry about it then.

So it made me wonder, how could this guy embarrass himself like that so publicly? Then it clicked! Light bulb! He assumes we were tourists and he'd never see us again so he didn't care and if it works on 1/2 the tables then he ends up with a very comfortable living in Prague. After this moment of insight, I had conflicting thoughts.
1. This man is an entrepreneur and making the most of the situation granted to him
2. What a dickhead, and if my glass wasn't full of precious beer I would have thrown it at him (mmmmmm precious beer)

Enough of that. Since then I have told all my Czech friends about this (yep both of them) and they were all outraged and embarrassed that this happened in their town.

Moral: None but just be careful of dickheads trying to fleece you in tourist hubs