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A weekend in Kosice - The Lyorn's Den

Sun Mar. 11th, 2012

09:08 pm - A weekend in Kosice

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As I had hoped, we left work halfway early on Friday, so I could wander through the town in daylight and admire the multicoloured roof of the cathedral in the evening sun, and the painted houses and palaces, have coffee and buy some cake for dinner.

I have given up on attempting to eat "reasonably", and now eat for high stress, meaning, as much chocolate and pastries as I need to be at full mental and emotional strength. This has led to three long evenings of writing, in which I have finally ironed out a tricky problem in timing and emotional development in the story I am currently working on (the one I did the meme for, which I stopped doing after part 15 because writing about writing became unsatisfying). The problem consists of, the character needs to get to enjoy the sensation of winning, what Miles Vorkosigan calls an "acquired taste", acquired at first taste, that is. So there needs to be a moment of complete triumph. But I cannot write triumph when I'm tired and hungry, and timing conspired against me, the best moment always passed while the ship still needed to be brought into a safe orbit. But I think I have got it now. That leaves only about two chapters and (I very much hope) no more complicated problems between me and the finishing of the first draft -- I do not dare to think about how many years that took!

Meanwhile flederkatz has started with some illustrations.

Saturday the hotel was really empty, because all the business travellers had gone home. The breakfast buffet was limited to cereals, bread and jam, but one could order different preparations of eggs from a menu.

I was in town too early. According to notes posted, most of the places open at 9, but actually it's more like ten. I got to see the cathedral from the inside -- it impresses mostly but its size, light (the sun was shining brightly) and gothicness. An hour later the guide's office was open and I got a ticket to climb up the North Tower, which is 59 metres high, 160 steep, very narrow, and occasionally unlit steps, but these things have never stopped me. The view was more than worth it. I bought a few pretty things, just because, had cake and coffee and heavenly ice-cream, and went back to the hotel some time in between to change from coat and sweater into T-Shirt and hoodie, as the sun was shining with considerable strength. I also wrote a bunch of post cards and used my five words of Slovak (yes, no, good morning, please, thank you). I was back at the hotel around three, washed my hair, ate chocolates and read The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The chatty style and some very obvious instances of fail made me roll my eyes, but there is some good in the way it shows the math and epistemology of the already immortal truths of "Shit happens" and "Everything that can go wrong will go wrong." Though the author seems to feel that he came up with theses. One feels that he has never in his life encountered a nerd, though he obviously believes differently. Also, his nodding acceptance towards "knowledge accumulating in systems" sounds to me like unreflected romanticism.

Sunday (today) I went to the zoo, just as planned. Zoos are simple outings, no complicated planning or navigation involved, and little to no language skills, and that was exactly what I needed. Unfortunately, the weather had taken a turn for the worse, there was sleet when I walked to the bus station. The zoo is 7 km from the town, up in the hills, and the sleet turned to snow. I envied the alpacas and the bears. A lot.

The good thing about the weather was that the place was, except for the animals, pretty quiet. Two red deer were fighting with noises like dry twigs beating together. The harbour seals grunted and snored when they came up for breath. The parrots spoke Slovak. There was a wood stove burning in the zoo restaurant, and I had chicken soup which did a lot to warm me up. All in all I spent about four hours in the zoo, despite the cold and the paths being short for the size of the place.

Back in town, I had a hot chocolate which was good enough to lift me off my seat, and then went back to the hotel to cuddle up under a blanket and read "Through the Language Glass", which is a lot more fun then "The Black Swan". I might write a review later, when I have finished it.

This evening I had planned to have dinner in the hotel restaurant, as the menu sounds utterly mouth-watering. But it was not open. Seems that the cook has the weekend off, sigh.

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