Thursday, May 18, 2006

Summer Comes to Presov

After almost eight months of snow, wind, rain, snow, rain, and unpleasantness, the summer has finally arrived. Today it is sunny and mild, which I've been told only lasts for a couple of days before it becomes unbearably hot and humid, so I should be outside right now, but I have a duty to you, the reader (AKA Grandma).

The big symbol of summer's arrival in the east is the opening of the outdoor cafes on the main street:

These cafes are pretty cool, and people just basically sit in them and drink beer from lunchtime until they pass out and are unceremoniously dumped onto the street. I don't know if this ever happens, but it certainly adds to the narrative theme I am trying to fabricate here.

If I had to choose a favorite outdoor cafe, or "terrace" as the locals say, I would go with this one:

This place is really no different than the others except for the fact that its name clearly suggests that it serves some type of food, perhaps even steak, but when you go there during lunch they tell you that they don't serve food, while a group of people eat steak right in front of you. So basically, they offer superior service.

Another seasonal event is the graduation of the high school ("gymnazium") students. When their classes come to an end, before their big exams, they get into suits and dresses and walk around the city center, banging on cowbells and asking people on the street for money. It basically looks like this:

Also, the kids go into different stores and try to get the owners to give them cash. If the store forks it over, they become something like the financial patron saint of the class, and get to put these nifty signs in the window:

I don't actually know if this is what happens, I just pieced a theory together from the observations I made while eating ice cream. If someone wants to write in with a comment correcting my facts and telling me that I'm a lazy internet user, please don't, as it will cripple my e-self esteem.

And of course people are eating lots of ice cream. People of all ages, sexes, races and political orientations eat ice cream here all day, every day, all the time:

I realize that this last lady is clearly not eating ice cream, but I'm trying to illustrate a point, so back up off my proverbial e-grill.

I've eaten more ice cream here than I have in the last ten years, and I don't even like ice cream. Pretend that you lived in a society where everyone walking down the street, at all times, is holding an ice cream cone. First, you don't want to be the only one not holding a cone, which would expose you to public scorn (and a possible trip to the Shame Cage). Also, when everyone is eating ice cream, and most people don't seem to be suffering from morbid obesity, you start to believe that you too can eat ice cream every day, all day, and not end up in the ground at the age of 38.

I've fallen victim to this line of thinking, and am therefore getting very tired of ice cream. I've considered inventing a fake ice cream cone which I could carry on the street, but that would be dishonesty, which is not my policy.

And there are people! People are now everywhere, all the time, in the center. It's like Grand Central Station, but with ice cream and in Slovak. Here's people pictures:

There was even a person who looked exactly like David Cross of "Mr. Show" fame, which was exciting:

And of course, someone kicked in the telephone booth again. 2 Wycked!:

So, typically, once the weather finally starts getting nice, and the fun really begins, I have to leave. I've only got about another week here before I'm basically gone for good, so I will try to post one more thingy, chock-full of sentimentality, with some of it even possibly being sincere. And after that, I will have blogged myself to death, and can rest. Enjoy the weather!

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