How to spend a perfect summer
Saturday, August 30, 2008 3:05:59 PM
When i first discussed an opportunity to participate in BridgeTheWorld program, i bore in mind only Prague...no doubts, all the Opera's offices have something unique to offer, but for me, the eastern Europe is the most attractive region at this time, and i have absolutely zero regrets that i won this chance and got here :).
Speaking about office - it is relatively small, comparing to Oslo HQ or e.g. Poland, but it's really cozy and charming - actually it is situated in a medieval building, on the last floor, and my room resembles attic-room with its tilt wall and small window to the tile roof, facing famous Charles Square - very romantic, indeed, hehe ;). Thanks to Jozef Kosoru and all the guys from Opera's Prague's team - they make my stay here absolutely smooth and comfortable, feels like home :) And the work being done here is in turn quite challenging hence attractive to me - the projects are kinda unique, nothing like i dealt with in Oslo, and the devices are...hm...very special...well i guess i shouldn't reveal more on it in public blog ;p - anyhow i am usually really proud of myself when i find interesting or weird bugs reproducible only in our branches :) and persuade our developers to fix them! ;)
And outside office - well, it's Prague - absolutely unique city, i guess you all can read about it everywhere in the Web and guides, so i'll just briefly mention what hooks me personally :) The main thing is probably atmosphere - again it's very hard to explain, but it reminds me my childhood/youth city - Moscow, that no longer exists, i mean *my* Moscow - its view, architecture, trams, metro and so on and so on - something that makes the spirit of the city... Just the appearance of Tatra trams in "proper" color (red! :)) immediately tugs me many years back to my past...some kind of time machine if you like ;) Another thing is Czech language - being also Slavic, it resembles my mother tongue Russian, though it sounds really funny to me sometimes. So far my favorite phrases are: POZOR DETI! (would mean in Russian "Shame on you, children!" while originally meaning "Beware of the children" - road sign for drivers), HERNA NON-STOP (i do not dare to provide what that would mean in Russian, but originally it's just 24h-working gambling place) and EBANKA (same here for Russian, while it is just a eBank ;p). As for the architecture - i surely enjoy the medieval city center with its astonishing Gothic churches (not only Gothic, btw - unique Prague's heritage preserved all the classic arch. evolution styles) - but the most attractive for me are actually...outskirts with all that communistic-times living buildings blocks - i know, it's weird, and probably most Czechs hate look of those buildings, but again, for me - it's something from my youth, something that i miss living long time in the West countries :)
Ahh, and last but not the least - FOOD and PRICES - can you imagine delicious stuffing dinner with best-in-the-world beer, that you can barely finish since it is HUGE for just ~EUR 8 (NOK 64)??? What a relieve from ridiculously excessive Norwegian prices! And sorry Norway, but for me, the Czech cuisine is just unbeatable - the "proper stuff" with food i used to and like (BEEF! POTATOES! CHEAP VEGETABLES! SOUPS! CHEESES! KNEDLIKI (dumplings)!!!) :) i guess i'll have to seriously exercise in SATS after return to get to my proper "battle" weight! ;)
Also worth to mention - is Prague's location - it's really a central Europe with just a few-hours-by-train access to e.g. Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Wien, Krakow, etc... i travel almost every weekend and still cannot get enough of it :)
So to summarize this blog post - if you're considering participation in BridgeTheWorld program - definitely think about this gem - Opera Prague's office, and i'm sure guys here would love to host
PRAGUE IS A PLACE TO BE FOR YOU AND ME AND EVERYBODY!!!
(and if i didn't persuade you - ask Morten Stenshorne or Wilhelm Joys Andersen who visited us this summer as well ;))
Trdlo - Czech and Slovak national delicacy (TOO SWEET!!!)
hanging out near Křivoklát Castle
excursion to Plzeň brewery. These are all beer taps!!!
Regular (delicious) lunch in the pub close to office ;)
Morten Stenshorne and Pavel Studeny enjoying their lunch