Cross Country Skiing is Good for you!

Ahoj and Happy New Year everyone!

I am sitting here in my nice cozy new apartment. I moved in a last weekend and spent the first few days cleaning the place and shopping for household essentials.

I am now nicely set up in my little centrally located nest/bachelor pad and trying to enjoy two feet of really slushy snow outside.

My New Year break was really wonderful. Imagine a small picturesque village in the Czech mountains blanketed by snow, and days spent as follows:

  • Get out of bed

  • Eat “yummy” Czech breakfast (usually cheese and pate or something similar)
  • Ski for four hours to small pub which is literally in the middle of nowhere, and eat a monster lunch of goulash and dumplings (by this stage you are starving)
  • Ski for a bit longer (ie until it gets dark at 3.30 pm)
  • Go to another pub and drink huge amounts of beer
  • Go to sleep
  • Get out of bed
  • Eat “yummy” Czech breakfast . . . etc etc – you get the idea.

Actually I found that I really enjoyed the skiing and although it's very physically demanding (I could hardly walk after the third day) it's actually quite easy to do passably well. Apparently I have “good style and tempo”. Coming from a local who has been skiing since birth I took this as a real complement!

The other benefit is that you can consume huge amounts of food and beer and not feel in the least bit guilty.

Spending a week living with 15 mostly non-English speaking Czechs was also a lot of fun. New Years Eve is a whole different experience. People don't sing Auld Lang Syne, or at least they didn't use to. I had a fun time teaching them all the words and having practice sessions so that they could get it right on the night (they all did very well).

Instead what they do is let off fireworks.

“So what?” you might say?

OK, imagine Guy Fawkes night, but with a difference. Everyone lets off all their fireworks at exactly the same time (midnight obviously). There are no namby pamby rules banning all the fun stuff like sky rockets, and of course by that stage everyone is totally pissed. It was very very impressive – even in a small village in the middle of nowhere. Dangerous? Yes, but still very impressive!

So anyway, I'm back in town now, still alive, still having a good time, and not at all bored.



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