Slovakia Day 14 – Baptism, Radvanský Jarmok, and a Graveyard

I am very tired at the moment, and I have had a crazy day. I am not even sure where to begin, whether it be the baptism that I attended, or the crazy festival that I went to. Either way today I am going to have to write a lot, and I only have about 45 minutes to do it, as I am coming close to midnight. (Wow, I just realised this, but it has been two weeks already! Very hard to believe!)

I woke up today at about 10:05, with a knock at my door. My host dad tells me that we will be leaving soon, and I need to get up. I vaguely remember being told that we were going to a baptism, but I did not really know when or where it was. I quickly put some pants on and grabbed my sweatshirt and thought I was ready to go. When we got to the church I realised that I was somewhat in the wrong attire. I was wearing some dinky old jacket, while everyone else was wearing very nice suits and ties. I did not really know how to feel about that, but I pretended that I did not notice the people staring at me and tried to enjoy the service that was provided. I am frustrated that I was not able to take pictures, because I had forgotten my memory card AGAIN.  I keep meaning to buy another one, but I just haven’t quite found the right time.

After the service, we ran a quick shopping spree, dropped our groceries off at home, and walked off to lunch. Either no one really knew where we were going, or they didn’t want to tell me. Either way I was surprised when I got to the restaurant, and I was even more surprised when I saw the same people from the baptism. Although I was surprised, it did make sense in the end, that the whole family was going to eat lunch together on an important day. While I was at the restaurant, I got educated on an important part of Slovak culture, although I don’t know if I can share it. I met some fantastic people that all told me I had to visit them. I definitely will take up on guys offer, he and his family currently live in Bratislava, and they offered to take me all around the city. I hope that I will be able to travel around the country and see all the amazing sites that SLovakia has to offer.

After I got back from lunch today, I almost immediately was dropped off at the mall for what I will consider the most exciting (and expensive) part of my day. I had made plans with some of my classmates to go to a huge festival in the city, called Radvanský jarmok. A brief history on the festival, how true this is, I don’t know. The one man that lives in Bratislava that I was talking about explained it to me, but he was slightly “out of it” so to say, so I don’t know how correct this information is. Anyway, the festival has been a yearly tradition in Banska Bystrica culture for over 350 years. Radvanský, which was once its own town, now part of Banska Bystrica, had a large church. This church’s “patron spirit” was Mary, which somehow ties into a yearly festival. How it does, I don’t know, that was not explained to me. Originally, this festival was used just as a practical gathering to trade goods, but over the years it was turned into a fantastic event with many different types of food, drinks, and entertainment.

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I plan on going back tomorrow, which is why I really didn’t take any pictures today. I wanted to be able to enjoy myself today, and not worry about having to take tons of pictures for the blog. I got to try many different foods, candies and drinks, which I loved. I have not had food that I have disliked yet, and I hope that doesn’t change. My favorite food that I had the privilege to try today was this fantastic cylinder of dough and cinnamon. I didn’t try to remember the name, because I was trying to enjoy myself and try all the foods. Sorry, I will get the name of it tomorrow!

I wasted plenty of money on rides today, but I have to ask myself, were they worth the price? The cost to me: 5 Euros ish per ride. What I get out of it? I get to spend 5-10 minutes getting a crazy adrenaline rush and being able to enjoy it with my friends. I don’t know about you, but I think that is definitely worth it. I am probably going to forgot some people, and if I did, sorry, but I want to thank Ke, Laura, Sophia and her cousin, Veronica, Richard, Thomas, Igor, and so many others. I was able to have one of the best times of my life because you guys were awesome tonight. Thank you!

I walked alone on the way home, and not going to lie, I was pretty spooked. It’s like the graveyard I  had to walk through was trying to spook you. There were no lights in the graveyard, except for the candles that were lit by the graves. And those were pretty spooky, because they looked like eyes, and I was being watched the entire way through. It takes a lot to spook a big guy like me, but this graveyard was pretty close.

That’s all I am wanting to write tonight, I am closing in on midnight and I am tired and sore. Crossfit really did a number on this out of shape guy. But, I can’t end today without the very special word of the day! Todays word of the day is:

Slavnost – festival

I believe it is pronounced like you would in english, but I might be wrong. I think it should be pretty obvious why I choose this word for the fantastic festival I attended today.

Tomorrow I WILL have a much more in-depth post! Look forward to it!

All of these pictures were taken on a Sony A6000. If you are looking for a great light weight camera that takes fantastic pictures, I would definitively recommend this setup here.

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens


7 Comments

  • Chlohemian

    September 10, 2017

    hey there Alex, i found your blog through Linda (unicorn on the road). it’s interesting for me to read your experiences as an American in school in Slovakia; i’m an American teaching English in Czech Republic. i feel your pain about a lot of stuff, including the police 🙂 hang in there – enjoy the great moments! there’s a lot to experience and learn.

    Reply
    • Alex

      September 10, 2017

      Thank you for the comment, and I am glad you enjoy the blog! How long have you been teaching in CZR?

      Reply
  • Alex

    September 10, 2017

    Wow. Are you fluent in Czech/any tips on learning the language?

    Reply
    • Chlohemian

      September 10, 2017

      i’m intermediate. it’s harder than slovak, though they are similar! so you’re lucky 🙂 main tips: spend a lot of time in the supermarket. eavesdrop constantly. don’t be ashamed to try out your beginner sentences. everyone will be impressed!

      Reply
      • Alex

        September 10, 2017

        I try my best with sentences, I do struggle though! It is a pretty tough language either way, but I think that after going to an only Slovak speaking school for a couple months I might get the hang of it.

        Reply
        • Chlohemian

          September 11, 2017

          for sure, it is not easy. but you’ve only been there for about two weeks, right? give it time. for sure being in an only-slovak environment will help a lot!

          Reply
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