Well, it’s very weak, watery gravy but there’s no granules out here. I have a whopping 8 hours of teaching spread over a stressful 2 day working week. So, I haven’t earned a penny for 8 weeks, I’ve spent a fortune and now I’m earning Slovenian peanuts. Hmmmm, I wonder what I’m doing sometimes.
However, my eternal optimism hasn’t been dented yet and I can hardly complain about the last two weeks here. Since we got back from Skiing, I’ve moved to my new room, climbed two big hills, drank a lot of coffee and had the odd night out in between.
My room is in a shared flat, 5 floors up an apartment building with a balcony but no lift. I’m sharing with Dave (another northerner) and his girlfriend Neja and it’s really cool to have people to talk to, news on the telly and an oven in the kitchen. I’m still mildly disturbed by the balcony but I’m coming to terms with the 300ft drop.
Hill number 1 was called Smanjska Gora (or something similar) and gives you a stunning view over the whole of Ljubljana and the surrounding valley. Unlike most Slovenes – I’m not built for 700 ft, almost vertical climbs on a Saturday morning however I felt good for the exercise …kind of.
Hill number 2 was more ambitious but less strenuous. This one was set in the northern Alps but, despite being told 73 times – I cant remember the name. Anyway, this was a full family outing and involved a trip to Celje to pick up Matt who’s from …yes, he’s from Oxford. Actually, He lives in Bicester and works for TVP in Abingdon. I’m starting to think that I didn’t come here out of choice – it seems to be a collective mindset that’s taken hold in Oxfordshire. Anyway, we had a good day and my legs took another good beating.
Hill number 3. OK, there is no hill number 3 however, high on recent achievements we’ve all agreed to climb Mt Triglav in the summer. This 3000ft hill is the highest in Slovenia and climbing it pretty much makes you a citizen.
I’m sure I’ve been doing lots of other stuff but, as always, the memories run to the darkest corner of my brain (they are pretty dark) and hide whenever I sit in front of a PC. I have learnt the odd thing or two. Firstly, it’s traditional in Slovenia to remove your shoes indoors and don some fancy slippers. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pair with you – you’ll be given the guest pair. Secondly, all Slovenes wear pajamas and thirdly, the Slovene word for brother is ‘brat’. Very apt in my case. Oh, and ‘Jedi’ means ‘for the bbq’ but I challenge any Slovene to bbq Joda.
I guess I should record this as I had my first ever lesson yesterday and they might ask me about it when I’m famous. I was teaching at 3pm at the Institute of Health for Slovenia and had a 1.5 hour conversation class with the director of the department for compulsory health care. The offices are modern, huge, well equipped and damn fancy. My student was very friendly, very experienced and she was happy to ignore complicated grammar rules in favour of a good long chat. It went well. Next up was a session for a large software company called Hermes Softlab and with the addition of 1 extra student – the description above applies. I like this job.
Thanks to you lot (or those of you who pay tax) – The British Council in Slovenia has books, DVD’s, The Guardian and free Internet. Don’t worry though – we’re saving money on the Embassy – it’s floor 5 of a tower bloc.