My Boring Blog

Hello all. This is my blog which I will be using primarily to show pictures that I have taken while I am in Bulgaria. Any thoughts or opinions are strictly my own and no one elses.

Location: Washington, D.C., United States

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sooo Sore

This ski trip was my first in about two years. I love skiing but have been unable to ski the past two winters because of surgery and working. When I went skiing two weekends ago it was amazing, great, and incredibly painful. I was helping my friend Maegen ski when I showed her how to do a snowplow. When I demonstrated a snowplow my hips immediately cried out in pain, it felt like my hips were going to explode and my legs would fall off. A bit later my hips were fine as they got used to ski movements again.
Getting old has never bothered me, everyone and everything gets old so why worry about it... unless your dead but then you have a whole series of other more important problems. But what I hate is how my body is falling apart in front of my eyes. I really think that you should be able to stay as healthy as you are when you are say about 21 and then just die one day suddenly. That would be a much better system. I wonder who I can complain to about that?

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Here is a site that my Dad showed me. It is called It has de-motivation sayings and phrases to bring down your day. I think it's great. Here is a link to one of my favorite phrases (which is also bitingly true for many of us PCV's).


Last weekend I went skiing for the first time in two years with some friends. We went to the town of Bansko which is about an hour north of my town. Bansko is one of the most popular tourist locations in Bulgaria, especially during the winter. It is located at the base of the Pirin mountains and is a very popular ski town. In order to get to the ski slope you have to take a gondola through the mountains for a bit to the base of a mountain. From there you take two chair lifts to the summit. The rides on both of the lifts was breath taking.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


While in Prague we went to a museum called the Green Room (or something like that). It was a fascinating museum that had some incredibly beautiful pieces. Some of my favorites we ornate clocks that were hundreds of years old. Many of these clocks had animated figures in them and were bejewled with diamonds, rubies, and other precious stones. It was fascinating to look at a clock that was 300 years old but still in incredible condition.
I absolutely love museums and have since I was a child. One of my favorite things about museums is that I am able to see objects that are very old and in many cases one of a kind. I think about what an object has gone through and of the stories it could tell. But the biggest reason I love museums is because for the most part they never change. Sections may come and go, displays may change but for the most part they provide a static snapshot of time.
My favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, he expresses what I feel far better then I ever could. "The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and the pretty skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you'd be much older or anything. It wouldn't be that exactly. You'd just be different, that's all. You'd have on an overcoat this time. Or that kid that was your partner in line the last time had got scarlet fever and you'd have a new partner. Or you'd have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. Or you'd heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom. Or you'd passed by one of those puddles in the street with those gasoline rainbows in them. I mean you'd be different in some way-I can't explain what I mean. And if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Beer Hall?

When I think of Germany the first thing I think of is... invading Poland. The second is beer halls. When I first found out that I would be going to Dresden Germany I immediately though that I would have a pint of lager in a century old smoky wooden beer hall. There would be a group of German's arguing over football or politics in the corner becoming ever more inebriated. I would be sitting at a table with a huge stein of beer eating authentic German sausage. Well the reality was a bit different.
Apparently Dresden doesn't have any beer halls, or at least doesn't have any near the train station and downtown area that we visited. As we walked around seeing the sites we couldn't find any beer halls whatsoever. The only thing we found was an Irish pub. After a day of site seeing we abandoned our search for a beer hall and went reluctantly to the Irish pub. I don't remember the pub's name but it wasn't anything special to tell you the truth, and not nearly as nice as Rocky O'Reilly's in Prague. I had a beer at this pub and fish and chips, the pub didn't have German food.
So I can now say that I have been to an Irish pub in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Germany. I am hoping to go to Ireland this summer, I wonder if I will be able to find an Irish pub there? Although I imagine it would just be called a pub. One final note I did manage to have a German sausage at the train station in Dresden. It was ok but not nearly as good as the ones I have had at home in Milwaukee.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


During one day of my week long stay in Prague me and my fellow travelers took a day trip to Dresden. Dresden and Prague are very close, only about a two and a half hour long train ride, to one another. The train ride was very beautiful. We traveled through villages in Germany and the Czech Republic that were literally cut out of the mountains and rocks. A hill would have a section of it cut out like a birthday or wedding cake might, and in its place there would be a house. In many cases this would occur running along the hill horizontally as well as up the hill vertically, creating a layered effect. I had never seen anything like it before; it was amazing to see how people could change their surroundings to suit their needs.
Another interesting thing that occurred on the train involved a man from the Czech Republic and a German Boarder guard. The German Boarder guard was going through the train checking peoples passports and stamping them. The Czech man had gotten up just before the checks started and was moving around. When he encountered the German boarder guard he did not have his passport with him, needless to say this was not a good thing as far as the German was concerned. The Czech man started talking to the German guard in German but the guard was speaking English. After a few seconds of this the Guard yelled at the man "Only English!" The man then spoke perfect English somewhat dejectedly and I chuckled to myself.
Occasionally teaching English I am frustrated by my students lack of understanding about how important it is to learn English. If the students learn English they will be able to get a much better and higher paying job then they would otherwise. They will also be able to communicate with people from the rest of the world. But I can't get too upset, they are only kids after all, most around 15 or 16 years old. And when I was there age I didn't care about what was going to happen three or four years in the future, an eternity it seemed then.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Once more into...

The most two famous land marks in Prague are the Celestial clock and the St. Charles Bridge, my pictures of both have been previously posted. The St. Charles bridge was built in 1342 across the Vltava river. Later about 30 statues were added to the bridge, which you can see in some of my pictures. Most of the statues portray scenes from the bible. One of the statues however has a tradition of granting wishes to those who wish on it. I of course am always on the look out for easy wish fulfillment and got in line with the rest of the tourists. The way the statue works is you touch one part of the metal statue with your right hand and put your thumb on a small post at the base of the statue. You then make your wish. After that you put your left hand on another part of the statue and your right thumb on the small post, wish again for the same thing. The metal glimmered and shown from the many people placing their hands on it. It was very interesting and fun to do something that thousands, if not millions, of people have done before. Finally don't bother asking me what I wished for, it hasn't come true yet so I can't tell anyone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Prague Castle

In several of the pictures that I have posted so far you can see a rather large cathedral in the background. That cathedral is part of Prague Castle. The castle is one of the most singularly beautiful buildings I have ever seen in my life. It is huge and very old. I went there twice, once during the night and again during the day. At night the castle is light up with many lights that make it look both spooky and elegant. When I returned to the castle is was on a Sunday and there was a mass in service. As I walked around the Cathedral I could here the organ playing music and people singing hymns. The scene was very moving. I can only imagine how a larger cathedral like Notre Dame in Paris must be like... until I go there.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Just pics

Friday, January 13, 2006


Only pictures today. Although if you know where the title of this post is from I will be very impressed.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Well as you might have guessed one of my favorite things, probably my favorite thing, about Prague was its architecture. Many of the buildings are very old, including churches and cathedrals that have existed for centuries. One aspect of the buildings in Prague that impressed me was how well maintained they were. This is in complete contrast to Bulgaria where there are also many old buildings, but they are not well maintained. The main reason for this is not money, which is the reason most Bulgarians would give, but rather will. The Czech people believe that it is important to maintain their buildings. They see the value of having a beautiful city for economic reasons, such as tourism, and national pride. This is a viewpoint that very few Bulgarians have. Bulgarians may be proud of what they have and where they have come from (as they should be), but they do not seem to see the value in improving it.
I recently taught a lesson that concerned architecture being the mother of all art forms. Through architecture it is possible to read a culture and its achievements like a book. When you look at the great pyramids of Egypt you are able to understand ancient Egypt's culture and scientific knowledge. This principle definitely applies to Bulgaria. If you want to understand Bulgarian people and their culture look at the buildings in the cities and villages.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


One of the most popular sites in Prague is an astronomical clock. The clock is on the side of a church and is very old. It has two main dials, one of which shows the time, the other shows the month. Every hour there are animated apostles that go past windows on the clock along with other animated figures. The whole thing is very beautiful and impressive, especially considering how old the clock is.