Sunday, September 9, 2007
Wait... This isn't Disney World?
While Steph was here visiting, we had the chance to visit a castle here in Bojnice. There are tons of castles throughout Slovakia, but most of them are just ruins. This one has been restored, so I was pretty excited to check it out. We didn't have a ton of time to hang out there, due to the fact we had caught a ride with Paige who had business there. Initially we thought we'd just walk around the grounds and appreciate the beauty from there, but we soon changed our mind when we saw people coming from inside the castle. We thought, we're here, so we might as well check it out.
So, we quickly go up to the ticket window, get ourselves 2 tickets, and start heading inside. Until we look around and see there isn't a clear entrance. I go back up to the window to ask where the tickets permit us to go, when I find out its actually for a tour. "Ok, great!" I say, turn around to go tell Steph, and then I realize it. The tour will be in Slovak of course.
Now, I don't know exactly what I was thinking when I bought those tickets. As if we could just skip around this huge castle, or that the tour would be in English. I think that part of me forgot I was in Slovakia since Steph was with me. And it probably didn't help that Steph kept saying at random points (and especially when we were in Prague), "I feel like this place isn't real, like we are in the international part of Disney World or something!" That made me laugh every time.
So, I go back to the window and ask if they have any English material to go with the tour. Thankfully they did. I go back and tell Steph the news, we share a good laugh, and then we head with the rest of the people for the tour.
Now, what happened next is a good picture of what life is like for me here most of the time.
As we head into the first room of the castle, Steph and I try to hug the back of the group in hopes that we won't stand out, since we'll be reading a little brochure instead of listening to the tour. So, as the tour guide starts talking, Steph and I start reading about the room. Well, after a few moments I look up to see that everyone else in the room has turned around to look at something right above our heads... while we are still just standing there reading our little handout. I try to slowly, and hopefully somewhat inconspicuously, turn around as if I knew what was going on, but it was too late. We had already been outed as foreigners, and I couldn't stop laughing at how absurd we looked.
And such is everyday life for me here in SK. I try so hard to just blend in, but then something happens which everyone else understands, and I'm stuck looking in the wrong direction. I can't do anything but laugh when this happens. Sometimes I cry, but, thankfully, most times I just laugh.