I have had a lot of time to think today, and I don’t know if it has been productive or not. I have had my fill of ups and downs today, and I don’t know if this will be a very pleasantly written article, but I feel like it is my obligation to write, so here it is.
I woke up today, and in all honesty, I had a lot of fun at school. I got to meet the rest of my teachers today, and I was able to meet my new English teacher and have a little bit of a conversation with him. He was very fun to talk to, and he had exceptional English. If I would not have known better, I would have thought he was British. I am excited to be able to have his class again, because that was the only one that I was not bored in.
All of my other classes I am sure that they are fun and interesting, it is just that I cannot understand a single word what they are saying. The worst I think will be German, because I will have to be learning German… In Slovak. But, I have quite a few of my friends in that class, and everyone is super helpful so I think that I will be alright. I am a little jealous of all the Slovak kids; they have been learning languages for years, and are dual/trilingual. It would be very convenient and useful if I was the same in something like Mandarin or Spanish. Or both.
Now here is the interesting part of my day. I don’t know if I will be able to explain it properly but I hope that you will be able to understand it. Once school got it, I went to go wait for the bus with my new friend Martin. Now to understand the story, I must explain the bus. The bus has three doors, and the front two you are able to pay with. The rear door you are not supposed to enter, only exit. Martin and I go into the 3rd door, or the rear one, and he tells me he will buy my ticket today, just save him a seat. By the time he comes back, there is quite a large line to go and buy the ticket. Martin walked through the bus to the second door to buy the ticket (this is important later). When he came back, he told me that he couldn’t buy a ticket for some reason or another, and I would have to go get my own. I had no issue with this, so I went to go buy my ticket. Now the bus had filled up quite a bit, so I had to exit the bus and go wait in line at the second door to buy my ticket. There was my mistake.
I was the very last one on the bus, just barely squeezing on. I went up to go and scan my bus card to buy the ticket and it gave me a big red X. At the same time this was happening, the doors closed and the bus started rolling. Right after the machine says no to my card, the receipt checker on the bus, who was watching the whole ordeal, asks me if I have a receipt in Slovak. I didn’t know if he was joking or not, because I obviously couldn’t scan my card. I tell him no, he takes my bus card, and tells me to get off at the next stop with him.
The next stop rolls around, and he gets off with another receipt checker that was stationed at the very front of the bus. They try to tell me in their broken Slovak/English that I will have to pay a fine or they will call the Police. I think that was what they were saying, I am not too sure. They told me the reason that my card got declined was that I had entered and exited at the same stop and it messed with the machine? They could have been telling me something completely different I wouldn’t know. All this time they are talking to me I was betting Martin was wondering where I went.
Eventually they communicate to me that I need to pay them 20.70 Euros, or they will call the Police. I am astounded at this point, although I do not try to show it. I pay them, and they tell me that I need to walk to the next stop and I can’t take this station. At this point I just told myself I wouldn’t take any chances and would just walk the rest of the way home. I was thoroughly pissed that I just had to pay 20 Euros for something that I would say was out of my control.
I get home, and I was exhausted. I explain to my host dad what happened, and he tells me Martin will come to our house to help translate better. I tell myself that I need a break and go take a nap.
I wake up to a choking noise, and I look down next to me and Jessica, one of our dogs, is vomiting all over my rug next to my bed. I didn’t really care at that point, I just asked my host mom for help cleaning it up and that was that. But that dog is getting on my nerves, it keeps coming into my room at night and waking me up.
I might have mentioned that I was supposed to go to CrossFit today, but that didn’t happen. Me and my host dad walked over to the crossfit place, waited about half an hour, and then got a call saying it was canceled and that there would be practice on Friday. And then it rained on us on the way back, all while I was wearing short running shorts and a tank top.
I just broke a thousand words, and I haven’t even finished what I wanted to write. I guess this will be a longer one.
Once Martin came over, he cleared any miscommunications up with my host parents, and apparently my host dad is sending a letter to someone. I don’t know who, could be the Prime Minister for all I know. But, a letter is being sent as a complaint and request for my 20.70 Euros back.
Beside my day, I did a lot of thinking. I have very mixed feelings about Slovakia right now. I love the country and the people, I do think that they are fantastic and I want to be able to learn more about them. But I feel like the people that are in Slovakia for Rotary are the people that were not able to get their first choices and were needed to be thrown somewhere. I have not met or talked to someone that Slovakia was their first choice. In fact, most people make it very clear that it was not their first choice. I am going to have to look into this some more, and interview some of the other exchange students about how they feel about it. Although I might be thinking this, let me make this clear; I love this country, the buildings, the people, food, and so much more. It is just frustrating that it seems like I was just the leftover scraps that nowhere else really wanted so they decided to throw me in some eastern european country. I keep on getting people asking me why I would want to come to Slovakia. I tell them a whole list of excuses, but a very few I tell them that it was luck of the draw that I came here. They seem to think fairly poorly of their own country, and couldn’t imagine why someone would want to come here. Where I was going with this last paragraph, I don’t know. I hope that what was on my mind was expressed, and if someone is going to comment about this, please do not make an excuse for the country. I am genuinely interested in the real reason all of us are in Slovakia. Was it really based on our “personality” and compatibility with the country? I have my doubts their because if I was really having my personality matched, then they probably wouldn’t send the kid who has never drank, smoked, or partied in his life to the country where just about any high schooler could walk into a pub and order a few beers without a second thought.
I am going to finish this off with of course, the word of the day.
štyri – four
The š makes the sh sound, and the y makes a sound like an e. I choose four, because I find it funny that in my class II.D, we have štyri Peter’s in our class. And that is out of about 15 students!
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