The smell of coal

I am finally in Kostelec Nad Cernymi Lesy and I didn’t get here by the means of transportation I thought I would. I was supposed to be coming by train and bus but I was too tired and wasn’t feeling too well. My chauffeur picked me up at the hotel in a mini Mercedes Benz van. It was a little treat! My suitcase felt like a ton of bricks again. My body is not happy with me. I would have stayed in Hotel 16 for a whole week doing nothing but drink peppermint and fennel tea, watching the smurfs translated in Czech!

My hosts in Kostelec n.c.l.  only speak Czech. Thank goodness their daughter does all the translation! She was very patient. She said she could understand everything I was saying but was finding it hard to speak English. They have this cute mini toy poodle and I asked if I could borrow it for the weekend and they didn’t want to! I forgot her name but I looked in my phrase book for something to say to make conversation and I asked the dog if I could take a picture of her, and the woman looked at me and mimed wait a minute and she came back with a diamond necklace for the dog and she put it on! It was so cute!

After I checked in, I switched bags and took my backpack to go do some grocery shopping. I took my time along the isles carrying my translated list of IC foods, and  I thought I was followed by a strange man. While waiting in line at the check-out, I couldn’t find my wallet and started panicking; I remembered quite well holding it in my hands and putting it my bag in the room. I looked and looked and couldn’t find it. The man was there, looking at me with a suspicious smile on his face and I got paranoid. I left my cart right in the store, and I left thinking those thieves were pretty good, they must work in groups and I didn’t feel anybody taking my wallet from me. As I came back to my hotel, and went straight to the owners and tried to explain what had happened. I found the word thief in my phrasebook and right away, they were responsive and they called their daughter and I said I would go to the room to make sure it wasn’t there, and it was still in my purse! I was relieved but so embarrassed and when I got back to the owner’s shop, they were already on the phone with the police! Now I had to tell them it was OK and I felt so bad for worrying them like that for a false alarm.

A woman came in the store understanding I was in distress and she could speak perfect English so she did some translation and she told me not to worry, everything was OK. She told me where I could go eat and showed me the way to a few stores. Once in the vegetable shop, People were so eager to try to understand and help: I was starving, and nervous. A super nice woman, called Blanka, who hadn’t spoken English in 11 years was so nice and helped me choose some rice crackers without soy. Changing shifts, another employee came who spoke French and so we started speaking a little French but I am not sure she understood everything I said. Blanka’s eyes almost popped out when I told her I was from Canada! She started telling me about her trip 11 years ago and it brought back so many memories. Before leaving she put her hand on my cheek and wished me a good weekend and a nice day at my friend’s wedding.

The owner’s daughter laughed when I told her I never smelled coal! That oh yes I did, but it was in a museum! She couldn’t believe it! The museum was actually a historical site in Nova Scotia… the smoke is everywhere and I had to close my window.

So now, I am exhausted and need to rest to be in shape and have my brain back! Let’s hope my body will be happy with my supper consisting of sardines, corn, peas, rice cakes and kiri cream cheese!

I am watching a Czech channel and there’s a short animated film with farting mosquitoes!

OK, so I will now get ready for tomorrow!