circus(Vsetín, Zlinsky Kraj, Czech Republic)-Sunday. It’s another Sunday here in Vsetín and with the church bells going off in the background and a hot cup of coffee staving off the cold from my old fingers I realize it is November…already. Maybe it’s routine, maybe it’s something else but the days and weeks seem to be speeding up. It’s Monday then, all of a sudden it’s Friday again. I can only imagine that when they eventually put me in the “home” (after I start wearing my underwear outside my pants) that time will start to slow down again. The week itself was a light one because most of the students had their autumn break so many of the classes were cancelled. That gave me time to clean the apartment and get things ship shape and sparkly. Well the end result was more ship shape than sparkly. I was planning on a side trip to Zlin on Friday just to look around but decided to pick up a wireless router instead. Since I connected to the internet I have had to schlep around an ether net cable attached to my computer everywhere I go. It’s a long cable so tripping over it was a daily occurrence. Since I am too cheap to turn on lights, tripping over the cable has been a given.

So, November first became “switch to wireless” day. Simple enough. You just open the box plug it in and bingo you’re connected. Since I am on a Mac it shouldn’t be too difficult, after all Apple is plug-and-play. Well…it turned out to be an adventure complete with exercise. Everything worked out when my friend programed the network name and password on his Windows machine into the router (my MacBook Air has no CD slot). I fired up the computer and saw the network, entered my password and tried to connect to Facebook so I could read quotable-quotes or see pictures of what people were eating that day, hour, minute… Nada. I stalled. So I went to the internet office on the other side of town and was told that since the router (r-ow-tr in American English and r-oo-tr if you are from Scotland) is a new device with a new IP number it had to entered into their system. Done deal, or so I thought. Went home, plugged in and still the same problem (and I was missing those food pictures). Two more trips and the problem was solved. My new best friends at the internet company figured out they had missed the router address by one digit. Now I’m cookin’ and everything is cool.The good parts of this rambling story is that I got my exercise regimen in for at least all of November and maybe a week in December by walking back and forth, got to see the inside of an old building and made some new friends in the process.

Speaking of new friends, Susan and I went to see the Carini Circus here in town. They had set up an almost big top by the hockey stadium. My 13 year old mentality wanted to see a circus. As you probably know, my Czech is abysmal so I read the signs on the street to mean the show costs 80 kč (Czech crowns or $4.00). I saw the 80 and assumed that was the price. Turns out it was 240 kč (about $12.50). Ok, I can

thehorsesdo this so we did. The signs advertising the show were full of colorful pictures of lions, and llamas and all sorts of exotic things. The show, which lasted for all of 40 minutes consisted of 2 monkeys, 2 dogs and four ponies. There were clowns (2) a ring-mistress and a woman who balanced herself on chairs stacked to the roof of the tent. Although the popcorn tasted like it was popped when the circus was in the last town they played it added to the scene.  It was fun to go with the locals, mostly kids and watch the magic. I think we were told not to take photos but I did anyway, just because. After the show the audience could have their picture taken with one of the monkeys but there were too many kids ahead of me so I opted out. Outside the tent I spied two youngsters with their mom who did have their picture taken. I asked to see the picture and they showed me. Being the usual wise ass that I am I asked pointing to the picture, “which one is the monkey?” They didn’t get it. The language barrier again. So I just smiled and moved on.

UPDATE (MONDAY)—We left at the 40 minute mark. I found out this morning that that was just the intermission!!! (NOTE TO SELF) I  must learn more Czech!

While walking to coffee after the show, Susan and I were on the same page when it came to “trained” circus animals thinking that it was probably a good thing that there weren’t any lions in cages and stuff. The animals we saw looked well fed and cared for. Not that that is an indicator for humane treatment or an endorsement for circus’ in general. So, yeah I got snookered into paying for a show that didn’t live up to its advertisement hype but I did get to spend some time with with new friends and trained monkeys. Another Saturday afternoon in Vsetín.

and so it goes…