Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Bicycles and Black Death (part two)
Sara picked me up from Nina's around 10 and we headed to her dorm in Ljubljana. After picking up Eva, Hana's sister, we were on our way, eager to begin another adventure in the capital city. Her dorm is very nice, built in 2006. She shares a room with Tine who is studying to be a pediatrician. They share a bathroom and kitchen with Sara's boyfriend, Matjaj, his roommate Marko. We had a cappuccino and talked about religion, science, relationships. Finally Hana called to say she was done with her exam and ready to meet in the city for the adventure. We took the bikes and headed off into downtown. Sara came prepared with a plan, aka "cheat sheet" with information about historical sights from around the city. There is a famous architect (Plečnik) responsible for most buildings in LJ, a famous poet (Prešern) who points to his secret lover Julija. The tripod (Mikie, Julie, and myself) is well represented by the triple bridge called Tromostovje. I bought postcards for the gang from the city. Hopefully they will get them before I am home.
We headed up this killer mountain to see the Ljubljana Castle; and pushed our bikes the whole way. Once to the top we took a quick moment to lock the bikes and then head into the castle, where we were first greeted by the LJ symbol: a dragon. Hana pointed out a sign that we knew deserved a picture. Trouble followed: in an attempt to hand me my camera after documenting this sign, hana and I fumbled the pass as the camera string was stuck on her finger. It was slow motion as we watched my new birthday camera plunge towards it doom, crashing into the stairs below. "it's ok no worries" was a slight understatement. The Nikon screen flashed "lens error!" and made a horrible beeping noise. It was over for my camera. DOA.
Luckily I have a warranty.... Now that we have no way of visually remembering my time with the girls in LJ, my writing must step up it's game.
After the now somber adventure in the castle, we headed to Eva's for a drink and then to the student center so they could get their meal coupons (similar to meal exchanges) so we could enjoy a pizza before the BBQ tonight. It must have appeared that we were poor starving college students (which isn't too far from the truth) as we all shared one bowl of soup and one pizza; each with our own juice only costing €.80. We rode back to drop off Hana's borrowed bike before stopping at Merkator to buy some essentials for the nights festivities. We picked up three 1.5L sangria, and one bottle of Puschkin Black Sun (a favorite from my trip here two years ago).
Finally we made it to Saras dorm where we were greeted by her roommate Tine, and suitemates Matjaj (boyfriend) and Marko. Marko's girlfriend/Sara's best friend Katja and Sara's brother Nil also joined. We immediately poured glasses of sangria; we had no juice and were thirsty from biking all around town, and the BBQ began: A feast of potatoes, grilled veggies, čivipčiči, chicken wings with special sauce made by Matjaj.
Questions were rapidly fired in my direction by everyone about foods and life in America. Topics included: macaroni and cheese (introduced to Matjaj by Sara after her visit to FL), grilled cheese (not similar to their toast, even though they think so), pb&j, s'mores (Tine has had this so I had some help explaining). After every answer and description Katja said "wow you are like watching a movie, so very American!" to which I reminded her that I was born and raised red white and blue. The sangria began to dissipate and we began drinking black sun. Asher Roth made a grand appearance, and after listening to "I love college" I was asked to explain many ideas from his lyrics. Matjaj made me say the pledge, to which three cell phones were pulled out and recorded my every English word. I was asked to follow this up with the national anthem, which I butchered with a voice far from American idol worthy. Katja wrote out Zdravljica, the Slovejne national anthem, handed it to me and made me say out loud. They laughed and clapped at my pronunciation of these somewhat difficult words. Marko failed at getting Tine to drink so he passed the job off to me. With an innocent look and a few kind and convincing words, I was successful. Peer pressure much? A little after midnight the purchased drinks were gone, and Matjaj brought out homemade berry schnapps.
With open windows and the lights on, we had a fine collection of gnats on the ceiling. Matjaj and Marko showed off their flame throwing skills and torched the little suckers, killing them instantly with firery hairspray. Where did they fall? On the table. Luckily the drinks were all well protected. We finished the schnapps in record time, each person passing the glass to their left after taking their turn. Once we got to the end of the glass and you were subjected to the alcohol-full berries, Tine and I decided to call it quits and headed off to their room and get ready for bed. I checked my email and facebook and chatted with Julie and Marion for a while, catching them up on my life from the past few weeks and discussing future plans to hang out as soon as I get back to the states. I bid everyone good night, jumped into the shower, which flooded the whole room, squeegied the floor once I realized there was a water problem, then headed off to sleep.