And now I am… Bach.
I only added that one because I was having trouble deciding between it and the featured photo. It’s just so… PUNNY 🙂
Hey y’all. Life has been stressful and exhausting recently. Lots of planning, grading (/marking, gotta add British English for good measure), learning Czech, and generally running around being my over-ambitious self. I’ve just been too busy and tired for blogging, but I’m trying to catch up on old drafts.
So let me start with an interesting encounter almost a month ago now! I had just finished a dinner of pho (it’s a Vietnamese soup for the uninitiated) in Brno, as is my personal tradition after Czech class, when someone asked me if I was the Chlohemian blogger.
“How do you know that?” I asked.
It turns out that this fellow pho-eater is one of my readers, and had recognized me from a photo! I was really surprised (it’s flustering to be recognized after eating pho, since it’s a lot of hot liquid and it makes you really red-faced and sweaty), but I guess I shouldn’t be. The Internet (doesn’t really) work(s) in mysterious ways.
Thanks for saying hi, Lukáš! 🙂 It’s really cool to know that people enjoy the small portion of what I put out into this big universe.
So how can one relax in Czech Republic? I’ve found two cool ways recently in the forms of Czech board games!
After a lunch in honor of the hody in Borač, where my Czech Grandma displayed her decorating ingenuity in the form of a tomato-egg toadstool in the potato salad, we drowsily started a game of Scrabble.
Full disclosure: I did not actually play this game. I watched with an amused look on my face from a safe distance. Why? Czech Scrabble uses letters with diacritics.
Words with čárky (accent marks): á í é ý ú
Words with háčky (caron / inverted circumflex): ě š č ř ž ň
I’m a self-proclaimed English-language Scrabble champion. I beat my babysitter every time when I was younger and we played every week (oh… wait). Unlike her, I take no mercy on children, fellow native English speakers, or Ondra. But I am not ready to get my ass kicked in return by playing Scrabble in Czech.
I love Scrabble because you have to have a really flexible mind. You have to look at a set of random letters and be able to make the strongest word from your options. Native speakers have a huge advantage in this sense – it’s effortless for us to scramble letters in our minds. I think I could play Czech Scrabble if we ignored the diacritics, but definitely not with them.
Still, it was really fun to watch! It’s challenging even for native Czech speakers.
After a stressful week in Czech class where we watched Václav Havel’s play “Audience” (I actually missed it, but I’ve seen it in real life), our teacher wanted to have a more lighthearted lesson in which we played this game, which could be called “Word Ride” in English.
I can’t find the origin of this game; maybe it really is Czech. On the board are five lanes. On the one in the middle are all the consonants in the alphabet (except, I think, ‘X’ and ‘Q’). Your team flips a card, which says something like, “something you can find in a supermarket.” Your job is to get eight consonants for your team to win. If you say, for example, “banán,” you move “b” one space towards you and “n” two spaces towards you. The other team can move the letters back towards them until you officially “claim” them by moving them three spaces towards your team.
It was super fun and competitive. And I realized my Czech vocabulary is better than I thought it was!
You can look forward (I hope) to posts about my awesome trip to Warsaw and Lublin, Poland soon (I hope). 🙂