Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fire is neat

Hey all!

I had a feeling this was going to happen. Because I haven’t written about stuff in a while, I am forgetting things. I am missing whole days of my adventure! I promise when they come back to me, I will write about them. In the mean time, here are some awesome days which have transpired recently and I remember quite well.

Hokay. So last week on Tuesday, the RIT kids were all invited to the Dean’s list reception. It’s this fancy dinner thing at a hotel. It was sweet. Really good food. Radiohead was there too! Well, not really, but there was this really good cover band there. When they started singing “Creep”, I felt like I was playing “Rock Band”. I guess that’s kind of a bad thing. So this ACMT chick was totally flirting with me on the line to get food. =D. She said I fit in and looked European. I felt cool.

After the dinner we heading over to the club “Cultro” for the after party. It was a quite a scene. I am proud to say that I danced. Not proud to say that I danced horribly. Suzanna commented at one point, “you really have no rhythm do you?” Regrettably, no. Didn’t stop me though! =) Everyone had a good time. Something I noticed which I had never seen in the states, was that they were showing naked women on the TV in the bar. I pondered this for a while, then I pondered it a little more, upon my third ponder, I concluded, yes it was quite different.

On the course of our journey, we stumbled upon my good friend Friday. That was the day we visited Ston (pronounced “Stone”). It is a small little village about an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik. An exquisitely beautiful place. The locals were very friendly in the small village. We came to the general consensus that the villagers were probably not used to tourists and in turn had a very different attitude than natives from Dubrovnik. There was this nice old lady who came over to talk to Stacy and I, for instance. I have no idea what she said, but she said it with a smile and I imagine it was something like this: “This place kicks some serious ass, huh?”. And it did.

Car ride there

Now before we got to Ston, we made a pit stop over at this place that looked like a labyrinth. There was this crazy fountain and some really cool artifacts and plants and stuff. Mad cool.

The Maze

After we arrived in Ston we had a lot of time to kill before the festival were they set sawdust on fire throughout the streets and along the wall of the town. Naturally we went exploring, but not before eating of course. Brad, Kyle, Teo, Tom, and I went to this seafood restaurant. Ston is supposed to have the best oysters in the world. We didn’t get any. The meals we did get were amazing though. I got spaghetti and seafood. The clams and everything were about 10 times better than the stuff I get at the local place at home (red moon). The best part of it all was that the meal was mad cheap. We had some awesome service too. I was happy, and so was my stomach.

Ston Part 1

We went to check out the salt mines around the town. That was fun. Then we met up with Axel and some of the rest of the crew for coffee and a hike up the wall there. Now, this wall was nothing like the wall around Dubrovnik. It was a lot narrower. Also, those things called “steps”, yeah, they don’t exist. There were friggin ramps up this thing. It was quite a journey. The view from the top was worth the trip though. =)

Ston Part 2

Now the real scary part was when we made the trip down. We traveled a different route. The steps… now actual steps if you want to call them that… were about half the length of my foot and the distance between each step was about the length of my leg. Now, being the tall strapping young lad that I am, I was a tad freaked out. Axel did lend a helping hand and we all made it down safely. Catastrophe avoided.

Ston Part 3

In our meandering, we also spied a church. This thing was seriously crazy. It was old a really cool. We walked up to the outside of the door and were all very quiet. We didn’t know if we should go in or not. We spoke in whisper, very gently. I peaked inside, “hey, there’s someone in there,” I said. “It looks like they are taking pictures… it’s Lori!” I guess I was so surprised my voice went above the comfort level at the time, and I was promptly shooshed. I thought it was cool that she found the cool places and was scoping them out as well. Dad says she has an eye for photography. I say she has two.

After finding the best place to scope our the fire on the wall. We waited. After nothing happened, we waited some more. Still nothing so we went for coffee. Before I could sip the first bit, we heard singing. Damn. I quickly gulped down the cup and laid the kuna on the table and was out the door. It was quite a sight to behold. At one point when everyone was walking away, I was reminded of an old Zombie movie. The fire on the ground only solidified my suspicions of a zombie apocalypse. This was not the case however, and no one of the group was bitten or eaten, at least not to my knowledge.

Dark part 1 - Waiting... and fire

Dark part 2

Dark part 3

Saturday. Assassin began. This has been fun. In case you are not familiar with the rules you can check them out here. I suggested the game so we could have something to do in down time. We did wind up having a lot of that this past weekend because it was raining pretty hard. Here is a quick break down of how we played for those of you at home.

Everyone gets a card with someone else’s name on it. Then discreetly and without anyone else seeing, you “kill” that person by touching them with the card. This has to be done in a sneaky way in which they would not be expecting. You then get any cards they have accumulated from killing others and inherit their current assassination mission The game lasts until the last person is alive. This has led to some healthy paranoia within the group as you can imagine. Fun =D. Also, I feel I should mention too, that being CS majors, we discussed how we would set up the game for quite a while. Since everyone wanted to play, there could be no one to assign assassins and we couldn’t just have people pick out of a hat because the rotation couldn’t have any loops. Ian solved the problem by writing a program that would spam e-mail everyone their assignment. We all felt a little more at home. *sniff*. Now all we need is a creed.

So Monday, school was closed! A holiday. Amazing thing! Very different from RIT, where we start school ON labor day. We get no days off there. Only catch is that we are making up the social change class this Saturday. It’s not a big deal though. It’s at 4:00. Anyway, it was a fun day. I used it to finish up some work that needed to get done.

Tuesday, yesterday, we had our long day of classes. I had my first presentation in a while. It felt good to stretch my spokesman’s legs. The presentation was on Upcast/Downcast for XML. Everyone said I was very into it. I was glad. I have another presentation coming up in Social Change on the “American Dream and Pacification of everyday life”. It has turned out to be a very interesting topic, and I am looking forward to presenting on it and seeing how I can do in front of an audience of Croatians. This will be an interesting first, and hopefully not a last.

Today, Kyle, Tom, and I headed out to ACMT at around noon to get a head start on some work. Tom needed it more than us because his hard drive on his laptop died. He is a CS major without a computer. He is sad. I empathize. I was in a similar situation my freshman year. There is a little difference this time though, because we are on the other side of the world. He said he’ll attempt to find a new HDD. We will see what happens.

Man oh man, there was some crazy PDA (public display of affection – for you lingo newbies), around the lounge today. I was reading on one of the couches and all of a sudden, I hear this sucking noise. I look around for the source and I see these two Croatians eating each other’s faces. At first, I thought some zombie may have followed us home from Ston, but alas, it was just some trendy kids.

Later we went to Social Change. It was a normal day like all the others, until the professor mention the quiz schedule for next class. Half the class was to report there at 4:00 to take the quiz, the other half was to come at 4:30 to take the quiz while the first group hung around for a half an hour. Then the whole class would regroup at 5:00 for the rest of class. Being the computer scientist that I am, I was a bit confused by the overall inefficiency of this whole arrangement and expressed my concerns to the professor. He said this was to prevent cheating. I shrugged. “Okay”. When in Hrvatska, do as the Hrvatskans do.

By the way, USA calls this place “Croatia”, but natives say “Hrvatska”. The “h” is pronounced by hawking up a loogey like you would be you say “Chanukah”. I guess “Croatia” is easier for most Americans to say.

Now for an update on the apartment situation. Zoran made this awesome powerpoint presentation for us on some cool apartments within the area with actual washing machines. Woohoo! I will be living with Kyle, Ian, Stacy, and Leah in the five person apartment labeled number 1. It has a piano. How sweet is that. We need to go check it out, but the landlords of all the apartments seem to be a lot better than this dude.

Map of apartments

Pics of apartment

I leave you with a few words from Kyle Marcotte, of the Kyle Marcotte Show.

The Kyle Marcotte Show - Episode 1: Living Life on the Edge


P.S. Ian posted pics of "The Matterror", an epic meal involving 9 eggs and everything in the fridge. Here they are:

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