Score One For Bumbling

Looks like my bumbling about really works.  So after I left you, I did go try and see the gig that I had bought a ticket for.  I went to the theatre where I had bought tickets and looked for someone who may point me in the right direction.  At the cloakroom I try and ask the elderly lady where I need to go – I couldn’t find anyone else – she takes my ticket with a WTF look on her face and hands it to a studenty looking girl next to me in a ‘YOU deal with this’ sort of way.  Fortunately this girl and her friend are really very lovely and they walk me to the student union.  They hang around too and we all listen to the band – who were brilliant.  I was a little disappointed to not see the accordion I was hoping for, but they were great all the same!

We stay after to listen to the DJs and to my delight, I discover they serve grog here.  Actual grog.  Not, this-is-a-pirate-themed-party grog but real bonefide how-many-sugars-in-your-grog grog.  As a wannabe pirate I can safely say this is the cherry on top of my visit so far!

As I walked home with one of my new friends, the lead singer from the band stopped us to ask for directions to her hotel.  We walk a little of the way with her and she says she made an ‘English escape’ leaving her friends and band mates behind, not wanting to disturb them.  An English Escape…  She tells me it means to sneak out without anyone noticing.  I thought this hilarious!  I had no idea that phrase existed!  I gave her my map to help her on her way, I knew where I was going.  It was nice to know that even though I am a stranger here, I can still help someone out.  I almost offered her one of the spare beds in my room but figured she would probably prefer her nice lovely hotel.

The dance show was interesting, the dancers were fabulously beautiful and move so gracefully but there was no way I could figure out what the show was about.

I am about to go see this Polish band, which is fitting really, as that is where I am headed tomorrow.

Bumbling along in Olomouc

Well, after my cliffhanger, turns out that I can wing it after all.  Although that being said, the hostel I am staying at is a little bit odd, but hey, that makes the story a little more interesting and beggars can’t be choosers…

I eventually find the tourist information in Olomouc, it is a sunny day and I walk past a beautiful park thinking I will have to revisit it.  The info centre find me a room, and pack me off with directions to the local swimming pool.  I turn up at the pool, wait in a queue with others holding gym kits and goggles and feel a little out of place.  To be honest, it is  a feeling that is getting more and more prevailent…  At the desk I ask if they speak English – in Czech of course – one girl does, a little, and confirms that this is a hostel. I have a triple room all to myself, which at first was a bit lonely, it’s clinically white and smells of disinfectant.  And showering was an interesting game this morning.  The little curtain to pull across the door was about three quarters the width.  Fortunately I am not too bothered about this kind of thing but as it happens no one came in, so phew…  This is what you get for winging it but at least I am not in the train station with my sleeping bag. I head out, it is now raining and Olomouc is practically dead.  So much for student town.  Saturday night and nothing is going on.

It seems hardly anyone speaks English here, already I can tell it is going to feel weird coming back home and be understood without hand signals and pointing at my phrasebook.

So after a quiet and a little depressing start in Olomouc, I have been able to sleep well – aside from people banging the heavy bathroom door – and got free entry to the art museum and one other because it is Sunday – hooray – enter exclamation mark here, I cannot find it on the kezboard.

There is a theatre here, I am going to see a Slovak – I think – band tonight, I saw the word accordion and was sold.  I am also going to see a dance performance and more music from a polish band tomorrow.  So my evening entertainment is sorted for Olomouc, I am quite excited, especially as all the tickets were so freakin’ cheap.

So more duh moments, I was walking back to the hostel and there were a group of three scruffy rowdy men walking up a side road towards me.  As I turned down the road to pass them one said something to me.  I shrugged and said in English ‘I do not understand’.  Then the buggar knew how to ask me for money in English.  I ignored him and confidently strode down the road.  The confidence was short lived as it turned out I was walking into a cul-de-sac.  Nuts, wrong road.  The guys had carried on walking but could see one keep turning round to look at me.  So I hung back, waited for them to round the corner and carried on in the correct direction, pretending that I wasn’t so stupid…

I got chatting to a nice American couple on the train to Olomouc and I said that I felt very much like I was bumbling my way along.  They said that was what they had been doing for the last 40 odd years.  I guess bumbling can work…