Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Buying a Bird at the Mall

This weekend my mom and I met our friend Leona for lunch, at noon, which quickly turned into going to the mall and staying there for nine hours as they perused the many Czech clothing and shoe stores. Boring! The upside though, was that we talked Leona into buying a pet; specifically, a bird. We didn't have to talk her into it too much, because she had already been considering the posibility of buying one.

When we went to the pet store and started looking at the birds they had, Leona noticed a small cockatiel with sort of a dappled pattern on its wings, and she couldn't stop looking at it. We went to lunch at a fast food thai place so that she could think about if she wanted to get the bird she had seen in the shop, she decided she had to have it.

When we went back to the pet shop and told the person in charge of the birds which one we wanted the "expert" put on a large black leather glove -- let me note that the bird had been hand raised and would probably gone to her readily -- and proceeded to chase both the birds in the cage around in circles with the terrifying glove and a net until they were both panting, and the one we weren't getting had cut its wing on the side of the cage from thrashing, so that there was blood all over the place. Obviously, she just didn't know how to handle a bird that well.

After that fiasco we bought the poor bird and carried it back to Leona's flat. On the way, we picked up some thin branches to set up the little bird's cage. The little bird, whom Leona had named Monkey, had calmed down by then, and was quietly waiting in his box to be let out and into his cage. when he did get into his cage he flew up to the highest branch we had set up for him, sat up completely straight, and watched the entire room for the rest of the time we were there.

Birds are such awesome pets and I think Leona's going to be very happy with the one she's got.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mushroom Hunting

On Saturday, my mom and I went looking for mushrooms in the forest with her student Pavel, his wife lucy, their daughter Hannah and her boyfriend from Spain, Diego.

In the Czech Republic it is a tradition for the parents to teach their children how to find edible mushrooms and to stay away from the poisonous ones. While we were driving to the forest I asked Pavel if he thought we would find a many mushrooms, he laughed and said that we would be lucky if we found two. Well, apparently he was wrong because we found so many of them! Seriously, the basket we brought to put our mushrooms in was so full that we had to carry some of them in our hands because they wouldn't fit!

Here's a picture of our harvest:

A Full Basket of Mushroomy Goodness

Here are some pictures of the mushrooms we found. This majestic specimen is good for eating:

Awww Yeah!

This one, not so much, but it's still nice to look at:

Poison! Danger!

The forest was beautiful, and we spent a really nice afternoon there. Afterwards, we went back to Pavel and Lucy's house and she made us a delicious mushroom soup!

We ate it, and survived.

Monday, October 03, 2005

IKEA-land/Our Flat

First of all you have to know that our flat is like an IKEA showroom that's been put in a building and called a flat. I'm not joking. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is from there: all the floors, all the counter tops, tiling, the entire bathroom, the cupboards, the lights, and the doors. Thus when we started furnishing it we went to IKEA, and now the wide range of furniture my mom and I have are chairs, beds, and kitchen ware, though we will get a rug soon (so exciting!).


Today my mom went to teach her one of her favorite students, Pavel, and he asked her if she wanted to or needed to go shopping for things to go in our flat, she did and they went to guess where.... IKEA, and bought one more chair, now we have three, and the foot rest that went with it. It's the first padded thing we've had in our flat, other than our beds. Needless to say we fought over who had the right to sit in it first, she won *sniff*, but I got her off of it by saying "What's that? I think you got an e-mail!" and then I got to sit on it and read.... and read... and read... etc.

I love IKEA.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

It's Getting Colder in Prague, But It's Nice Here

It's October already and it's getting much colder than when I first flew here. The other day it must have dropped to some where in the low forties (fahrenheit) because for once we actually needed something warm to wear. On the upside though we have had some nice warm (mid seventies) weekends where we would acually be able to do something.

The sky in Prague is amzing, there isn't much smog and it's almost always clear, except when it isn't. So even when it's cold out we don't notice as much because the sky is so nice.

When it's warmer, we have a lot of birds in the garden outside our flat. Some are big dun colored birds with blue and black stripes on their wings, others are tiny with a yellow breast and a blackcapped, white face. The former glides through the trees and never walks but hops around on the ground like the sparrows in Southern California. The latter flits through the bushes and sometimes lands on the window sill. We're thinking of getting some birdseed to encourage them to land there more often.

I miss my family and friends back in L.A., even though it's so nice out here.