Tuesday, January 24, 2017

a drinking tour of Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Any visit to Czech Republic isn’t complete without a visit to Cesky Krumlov. I’ve certainly mentioned this before and have gone over more of the cultural affairs. Before, as I knew it as some sort of sleepy touristic town, this past weekend I’ve discovered that it’s also not a bad place to party and that it can potentially go on all night long. For my friend’s birthday, I decided to make the trek again, naturally using the Student Agency bus, which is the cheapest, quickest and most direct route to town, and it also has individual televisions and free coffee.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

what to do in London for a night

Covent Gardens tourist knick-knack bazaar

It was a pain in the rectum finally getting to London, but we had at last made it. Through the last minute visa pickup at the DHL office, to the speeding drive to the airport, and finally the sigh of relief sailing through the air. There was also of course the fear about transit, especially due to the lack of it on Christmas Day, but that would sort itself out. When we got to the Z Hotel on the Strand, entering our room with glasses of complimentary mulled wine in hand, we knew that it would be all right. But then I do usually get that feeling with mulled wine in hand.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

the madness of Czech New Years

Prague during New Years was utter madness.

I’ve been to my fair share of mad New Year celebrations.

There was one in the small Georgian town of Bolnisi. Georgians are a bit on the insane side with fireworks, in that kids’ favorite hobby there through the month of December is to shoot people with Roman candles and lob around M80s like they're dubloons at Mardi Gras.



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

a facetious guide to London transit

Arriving to any city can lead one into a flying fluster of fun trying to figure out the details of transit. Each city works entirely differently, as it seems each model was developed quite independently, not caring about what works and doesn't work in other cities.

I remember in Kiev, it was normal to pay for the transit on the bus, but in Lwow, I got a fine for trying to pay for the ticket the same way—though perhaps that wasn’t a fine and was rather a bribe, I’m not overly certain to this day. But the point is, it all goes down differently from city to city, and London is no exception to that. Especially on Christmas Day, but more on that later.


The Tower Bridge during Christmas in London


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

the UK visa fandango

Big Ben and the home of the British Parliament behind it
Us Americans take our passports for granted. We can travel to most countries of the world without a visa, and oftentimes without even filling in a form about where we’re staying or why we’re there. It’s probably the main reason I’d rather not give up my citizenship, even though I haven’t lived Stateside for 8 years. Granted, with citizenship also comes a constant fear of the IRS and wondering how much I should care about Obamacare requiring me to buy American insurance—and then not caring after my umpteenth Czech beer and impending liver failure.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

5 weird Christmas facts you probably didn't know

At a Christmas Market in Prague
The Christmas season is here and about to round third base as it comes in to home this coming Sunday. People across the planet celebrate the day—or some day at least—celebrating the birth of Christ, while other people look on at all the strange things that have come to define the season. So, whether you’re possibly a Communist Chinese guy who has to ramp up his factory production to meet the 5-Christmas Season Plan, or you’re Pat’s grandma who is in charge of whipping up the egg nog, you’re going to be a part of Christmas somehow. The globalized economy demands it.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Did you make Santa's naughty list?

Nothing says Christmas like mulled wine with raisins and tangerines, laughing children, a 20-foot tall fir tree, a parade of woolly-haired demons, and a band thrashing to heavy metal. But that’s how the Czechs in Kaplice carry on the season, along with a few other villages across the Alpine and sub-Alpine lands.