Monday, July 24, 2006

We witnessed a defenestration!

How could I forget? In the city that put defenestration on the map of possibility, Patrick and I were fortunate enough to witness a real, live defenestration. As we drove into the city, we began following another team who we thought might lead us to the party. Instead, they drove to their hotel. While we were waiting for them to check in, we saw a man apparently being kicked out of his girlfriend's apartment. He was on the street trying to make a call, while she slowly threw all his clothes of her 8th story balcony. Fascinating. The defenestration has yet to spread into a larger political conflict, but we're keeping an eye on it.

I found it interesting how similar the Czech republic was to Croatia. This is perhaps not surprising, but so much of the language was extremely close. My croatian numbers were functional, as were a number of other basic words and phrases that seem to have similar variations throughout eastern europe. I blanked on the word for water when trying to get a bottle from the pizza stand. I kept saying water and the lady didn't understand. I thought it was funny, because she then began naming all their beverages. When she said 'still water', I said yes. Somehow it had been learned as one word to her she couldn't pick up what I was saying. That or I was babbling incoherently. Poland is much more challenging, but there are still similarities. You could also found burek in Prague.

And most importantly I want to clarify that the geldwechseln/autobahnvignetten girl at the Czech border only warmed up to Parick when he started pulling crisp $20 bills out of his wallet.

We're in Krakow now, using the internet of Melody's friend Chris, who is very generously putting us up for the night.


Blogger Kim said...

allegro provides for comfort the world over!

you guys have covered a lot of territory - while you're a good 9? hours ahead of here, you're reminding me that europe is really not a big place.

please remember to take a photo if you find a "foot-long dogs" sign.

4:03 PM  
Blogger ICMT said...

We're glad you made it to Krakow, also we think we have figured out text-messaging on our cell phones. Hopefully, you will continue to be able to post!


4:58 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

omg an actual defenstration in prague! That kicks ass.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Rod Farva said...

ICMT, identify yourself!

And don't worry, Kim. We're on a mission, but still waiting for the sign. It might help to have Uzbek and Kazakh translations, but I think we can count on friendly locals pointing it out once they see us.

2:36 AM  
Blogger ICMT said...

I thought Patrick might figure that out...IC stands for Iowa City, MT is my initials. BTW, Newyorkistan made it to the Continent as of 7/25, reported to be speeding toward Berlin. Thanks for posting the "leaving Krakow" message on the MR site. I check it frequently!!

11:39 AM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

BTW your text messages ARE getting through -- and EVERYONE is being asked for thousands, if you see this tonight wait until morning or shift change, someone's trying to make a buck

5:50 PM  
Blogger William Kennedy said...

Many others are stuck on Ukrainian border. US State Dept. says no visa reqd for American tourists per Ukrainian Presidential Decree #1008, effective 30 June 2005. Maybe that will impress them. Concur with advice to leave border and return after guard shift change. Offer less $?

8:45 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Angela said that, not William. :)

Sorry, we're blogoneophytes.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Father Kansas said...

Other teams reported getting through border around midnight local. One reported temporary visa granted.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Latest post on the MR website asked for the Ukrainian Embassy phone number -- I think I texted it to them but am not sure if it went through successfully or not.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

I called with embassy number last night at 11:50pm (Seattle)& talked REALLY fast. Wasn't sure if our text message made it either. Ramrod made it through after 19 hr wait. Can't wait to hear the story! They sounded in good spirits and not really stressed. Amazing, considering the situation. Hope Russian border isn't more interesting! Posts on MR site indicate $50 is doing the trick there.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

Stillwater, huh? or vodu - without gas. In the Czech republic, everyone is really weirded out by people who drink water without gas- or carbonation bubbles. Which is why the woman was probably so confused. My host family was shocked and saddened at my requests until the last week of my stay.

how do you get the text messages? do come to peoples phones?

9:41 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Caitlin, if you haven't figured it out yet -- go to and look up "Team Ramrod" in the list on the 'teams' page. There should be a list of all of our text messageses there.

3:03 AM  

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