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April 13th 2008
Published: April 13th 2008
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Okay so this is a little late, but just pretend like I wrote this 2 weeks ago.

Martin picked me up from the train station and after apologizing a million times for his “bad English” we drove to his apartment. I was so tired that I felt like I was floating. We got to his apartment and I immediately took a shower. Not only was the train not very comfortable… it wasn’t the cleanest thing either. Martin’s wife, Natalia, had left us breakfast which was a meat plate, a veggie plate, and bread. Interesting what other cultures consider breakfast. On their behalf, the other mornings were eggs, etc. I didn’t even care at that point. About the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. So I told Martin that I was going to have to take a nap before anything else. I laid down in the extremely comfortable bed they set up for me and that’s the last thing I remember for about 2 ½ hours. I made myself get up so I wouldn’t miss out on the day and Martin took me out to do a little shopping and for lunch. We went out to this lake about 30 minutes from the city where he and his friends go during the summer to drink and play. We had a traditional lunch of gnocci with some kind of ewe cheese that they only have in Slovakia. And of course, beer. That is their form of water.

We went to pick up his wife Natalia, who speaks absolutely no English, from work, and then dropped off Martin at a business dinner he had to go to. Natalia and I drove in silence to another location that I had no idea what we were doing and we picked up Martin’s brother Peter. Peter worked in London for quite a while and had great English. The three of us went to the city center to see the church and then go for, yes, more beer. We had a really great time and ended the night with Martin, Natalia, and I out to dinner by another lake outside of the city.

Saturday and Sunday were both spent exploring Slovakia. Saturday we went to the mountains where it was snowing too hard to do or see much of anything, and went to a castle. The first castle we went to was very old and was deteriorating pretty badly. However, the castle we went to on Sunday was newer and kept up. We had a tour in Slovak, so I got a little English booklet and read along with the guide (may as well have worn a bright yellow shirt with the word foreigner on it). After that castle we went to one of the hundreds of caves in Slovakia and had yet another tour. The cave put Mammoth to shame. Unfortunately it was the only cave we had time for that day. After the cave we drove to Hungary just so I could say that I had been to Hungary, then headed back to Kosice. The scenery was beautiful and reminded me a little of Pennsylvania with the rolling hills. A major difference, though, was the huge mountainous background. You can hike the hills in a t-shirt and shorts, then go up to the mountains to ski until May. Sunday night we met up with Ondrej, the other guy that Peggy tutored, for dinner. It was pretty entertaining when he would pull out his little Slovak to English dictionary during the meal.

I was again floored by the hospitality of Martin and his wife. American’s definition of “hospitality” is completely different, and I must say a lot worse, than European’s. I paid for nothing, was driven around wherever I wanted to go, and they dropped everything to spend time with me.

I cannot believe I have less than one month until I leave. The time has flown. I will admit that I am getting antsy for American things and to see my friends and family again.

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and it snowed a lotand it snowed a lot
and it snowed a lot

my first and only snow of the year! be jealous
this is for jeremy this is for jeremy
this is for jeremy

i'm not the only one with funny ski gear

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