Slovakia Update #79 – Police Station, Thanksgiving Feast, & Vinyl Shop

I wanted to be able to write this post last night, but after about 30 minutes of just staring at a blank screen, I decided that I was much too tired to try and write anything. Over the past three days, I have been to the police station (making that 4 times now), I had an excellent Thanksgiving feast with the other Americans in Slovakia, and I have visited a unique vinyl record shop in the Banska Bystrica town center.  

On Wednesday, as I walk in the door, I hear shouting that we need to go. My host dad hastily told me that he had called me 30 times (actually 18, but at that point who’s counting), and that we needed to hurry to the police station. I was very confused, frustrated, and just completely overrun with information. Why is it so urgent? Why do I need to go? I had so many questions, but so few answers. We hurried out to the car, and on the way to the station I gathered a little more information. I needed to pay a fee, for some reason that I wouldn’t really find out until later. When we arrived at the police station, we were thankfully quickly admitted into the office, where I handed over 20 Euros. I found out afterwards, that there is a certain time period that it is allowed to turn in your medical examination, and because I had to have a retake of my blood test performed, it was delayed. How is this my fault, and why I specifically was the one to pay the fine is beyond me. I am hoping to be able to get some kind of compensation. I was so frustrated with what had happened, that I shut myself up in my room and began to read one of my books.

While sitting on my bed in my pajamas, I got a call from Ashley; the other American exchange student here in Banska Bystrica with me. She told me that her and Nicole had found somewhere really cool, and that I should come by. I said that I would be there in 20 minutes, and that she needed to send me her location so I would know how to get there. When I was about half way there, I thought to myself: I have no idea what it is I am going to. I then called Ashley, because I wasn’t quite sure where I needed to go, as my phone’s SIM card is broken and won’t let me use my data. After some brief directions, but still no idea where I was going, I finally found my destination. It appeared to be some kind of… Something. I wasn’t quite sure what I should classify it as. While we were there, Ashley, Nicole and I all had different Thai, Indian, and Taiwanese tea, but I don’t quite know if I would call it a cafe. We stayed there until Nicole’s train left, and then Ashley and I headed home for the day. 

Thursday came, with school going by like a breeze. Unfortunately, there was some kind of school event that I couldn’t attend, as I needed to get ready for the wonderful Rotary Thanksgiving held in Martin. I rode to Martin with my councillor, and when we arrived the food was nearly ready. It was nice to be able to see all of my dear American friends, which I hadn’t seen in nearly two months. During this time, I spent a large portion talking to my friend Andrew, who you can find more about him here in his blog. We talked about all sorts of things, ranging from history, to games, to the recent debate on Net Neutrality (which you should definitely support here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/). We sat and talked for hours, I almost forgot to savor the fantastic food that was prepared for us. Some American exchange students came early to help prepare the food, to ensure that it would be as American as possible. The food was fantastic, with the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes being almost good enough to convince me I was home (although no one makes a Thanksgiving meal like my mom). We left in the early evening, taking Ashley home with us. She had come early to help prepare some food, which is why we would only be taking her back. And like that my Thanksgiving was over.

 

I didn’t get home until around 10:45, and once I got home I put some pajamas on, brushed my teeth, and generally prepared myself for bed. I was exhausted, talking, laughing, and having a good time with all of my American friends really drew the energy out of me. I climbed into bed, laid there for a minute, and then thought to myself: I didn’t write my blog today. Knowing that I hadn’t written anything yesterday either, the pressure to crawl out of bed was too great, and I found myself at my computer, with a blank word document open. I sat there for a good half an hour, sitting, hoping something would come to mind. Eventually, I looked at the time, and it was just after midnight. I was too tired to write a competent post, so I decided to put it off until tomorrow (today), so that I wouldn’t have some kind of half baked post on my website. 

I woke up this morning with my host dad coming into my room, telling me that I needed to get up for school. I rolled over, and found that I had slept through my alarm: it was 7:45. The bus that I take to school only comes at X:26 of every hour, and because I already missed the bus, I took my time getting ready this morning. I organized some of the clothes I just ripped off last night, and I made my bed extra neat. It’s the little things like that, that will start your day off positively. 

School went by very slowly, as my book supply had run out. A snoozefest might be the best way to put it. Wait no, rotary reads this. I spent my day learning Slovak and trying my absolute best to study in school never taking a breather. There, that should make them happy. Anyway, after school got out, I met up with Ashley and we spent all afternoon walking around exploring the city. We went into a vinyl shop that I had found the other day, and were promised by the “librarian” there that he would show us some kind of interesting places if we stopped by next week. After that we visited a cafe, getting tea and coffee respectively. What we found out during the time we staying in the cafe was something that I didn’t want to admit before hand, although I had an idea that it might be the case: Banska Bystrica is a boring town.

Now hear me out, I do know that in the past I have said before that there is an abundance to do here. Let me reason a bit, and then you can make up your mind whether we were just being snobby Americans, or if there was really nothing to do. The city of Banska Bystrica is a beautiful city, with many interesting buildings to see. There are many museums to visit, and many mountains with excellent views. What there is a lack of however, are things for the underage to do. Sure, if you are able to drink here, there is an abundance of bars, clubs, and other establishments designed to make you experience the base of Slovak culture: alcohol. However, the city does not have things that someone like myself might find interesting for just a fun night out, such as: no open ice skating rink, no roller blading rink, no trampoline park,  etc. Really the only options that are available in Banska Bystrica, are bowling, and lazer tag, although even I might back out of this as I am a bit old for it. I don’t want to sound like a child, but there is just a lack of fun things to do. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post, although I doubt many made it through as it is a bit longer. Today’s word of the day is:

kava – coffee

Pronounced like kava in English, it is surprisingly not as popular here. Tea is the dominant beverage (without alcohol of course, vodka might take its place otherwise). 


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