Today is Sunday in Brno, and I have officially been here for a week. Saturday morning I took a bus to Vienna to practice with the Vienna Roller Girls. Trying to catch the bus leaving Brno, I had been given directions to use the tram, well the tram doesn’t run at 6am, luckily someone else was going to the same location I was and helped me get to the bus stop. I was able to make it to Vienna just fine, but one I was there, things got interesting. I tried to get on the “U2” the name of their subway, but realized I needed to buy a Ticket. The Czech currency is the Czech Korun, and Austria requires the Euro. I knew this before I left but didn’t have time to find an ATM or exchange money. The card reader for the subway station wasn’t working so I had to try to find a bank. I eventually did and was able to buy a ticket and find my way to the place where we would practice.
Once at the practice location, I waited for about an hour to see any other roller girls. I went in and started the 3 hour practice. I thought the off skates section was great and felt like I got a really good workout. The second section was skills and then scrimmage. Neither of these seemed to go well for me. I play by a different rule set than this group and it definitely showed. We have very different play styles and there is definitely a disadvantage there. Afterwords, I went home with one girl so that I could shower and then she was going to show me the city. About 3 roller girls took me around the city and then we met another 7 at a restaurant for dinner. We stayed out all day and I carried all of my gear in a backpack, not the brightest idea. Overall it was a great experience though.
How do I feel about Brno? Well, I am finally figuring out how all of the trams, busses, and trolley cars work. The food is rather bland for my taste, but that’s just because things are made differently here. I am able to read some signs and ask essential questions. The people are interesting. They are not overly friendly, and very few people over 30 speak english.
All in all, I’m having a good time.
Today was my first full day in Brno and it was amazing. I would firstly like to say that I did arrive safely after almost 24 hours of travel time. I was exhausted when I got here last night but decided to unpack and talk some with the roommate and meet a few new people. I then promptly fell asleep until about 10am.
Today I got ready and went to the lobby of Vinarska. There was a scheduled “Brno City Game” and I decided I should go to meet new people and to explore the city so that I am not totally lost. I had an absolute blast. I met so many new people and had such good conversations. The city game was to find certain things and ask questions of the locals. We found everything and learned what a lot of things were called. I also realized that you can ask most people under the age of 30 a question in English and they can usually give you some sort of answer either in English or with gestures.
It snowed as we all left for the game, but it was a pretty snow and lasted pretty much all day! I am loving meeting new people, exploring the city, and just having fun. I ate dinner with a large group and had Risotto with smoked goats cheese on top. I had never liked any goat cheese in the states, but this was super yummy. I may eat this again sometime I enjoyed it so much.
Michelle Bartels– Signing off.
I leave tomorrow morning for the airport. I have been busy packing, making sure my mom has all of my contact information, extra copies of everything, and knows what is going to happen. I have packed all of my items in a back pack, small suit case to be carried on to the plane and a very large suitcase that will be checked luggage. This seemed like quite the accomplishment to me because I had originally planned on taking two bags to be checked. I still have room in the bag for souvenirs, but also have things that I will trash before I come home which will free up some space. I have always felt that rolling all clothing into little bundles makes more room in the suitcase, I have no idea if this is true or not, but I was able to fit quite a bit in those few bags.
My feelings of excitement and nervousness have tripled, but I’m so ready to finally leave. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been waiting for tomorrow for about 5 months and it’s finally here. I’ve laid out my outfit that will be my travel clothes so that I have a tank top if I’m hot, and a Cardigan and coat if I’m freezing. I’m also wearing my boots because I’m pretty sure there will be snow on the ground when I get to Brno. My roller derby gear is all safely packed in my carry on. It seems silly that I’m so protective of it, but this way I know it made it safely!
I will be in transit a total of about 20 hours. I fly from KC to Ft. Worth, to London, to Vienna. From Vienna I have to take a bus that will take me to Brno. The bus is sort of an issue at this point because I don’t know if I should buy a ticket for the 3:30 or the 5:30 bus. I get in to Vienna at 2:15 but I’m not sure how long baggage and customs will take. I have to check the available seats from London to make sure they both have enough spaces that I don’t need to purchase a ticket beforehand.
This is Michelle B, Signing off.