The plan was to get up early (7 am) and go skating, so I would be back before it starts raining – according to the Norwegian service that I consider highly accurate and very reliable, it was supposed to happen at 11 am. But it was so cloudy and when I looked out of the window I got a feeling that the rain can come any time and without much of a warning. Call me pampered, if you want, but I really was not up for being out somewhere on the trail with no place to hide when the pouring – or even worse a storm – would break out. At the same time, the overnight cleared the air – it felt so fresh, and for the first time since my arrival I felt comfortable. I thought it would be pity to stay inside.
So I decided to go to the grocery store and kill two birds with one stone – get rid of this weekly duty and enjoy a nice morning walk. I was fully satisfied with both aspects. As for the groceries, I decided that I should enter the third week in Raleigh with a bit better food than I have been surviving on so far. The major component of my diet, i.e. pasta, was on discount which I took advantage of. The time also came to get some better bread than this American honey-wheat “something”. And finally, I was pleased to find out that bananas are not terribly expensive here, thus deciding to make them a stable part of my breakfast menu starting on Monday. The walk to Food Lion was as enjoyable as what I hoped for and moreover, the city of Raleigh had two surprises for me: a snake on the sidewalk-forest border and at least half a dozen squirrels in the very same area. I thought that squirrels were singles – either I was wrong all the time or this cute North Carolinian rodents are an exception. I took bus from the grocery store back to my place and surprisingly enough, the ride went smooth this time.
My Saturday was a bit slow until about 1 pm when my parents called and I got updated on situation back home. Right after the call, I joined the girls for a lunch that got somehow prepared in the meantime. As an appetizer, I had the first shrimp of my life. It was by far not as bad as I imagined but I nevertheless, was pleased to have a chicken option as well. It was a very good meal. Hot of course, but not as much as usually. Either, S reduced her usual dosage of chili and other stuff because of me or my taste-buds got burned out so fast.
While we were having lunch and chatting about politics in India versus Czech Republic (the issues worth a big improvement are unbelievably similar), it finally started to rain. It did not last for too long and unfortunately did not bring much of a climate improvement. S and me anyway walked to the Main Campus – S took care of some duties there and I went to the lab to take pictures of “my” plants. I could not allow anything important being missed over the weekend! S went to the lab with me and I was glad to walk her around a bit and answer her questions. She truly is interested in what I do here and as she is a very smart girls, it is always very gratifying to talk about science/research with her. Since her major is very different from mine, oftentimes, this talks help me to see things in a little different light. This I consider very enriching and it is a very positive side-effect of my stay here which I had never thought about.
Once our duties were taken care of, we stopped at the Talley Student Union and each of us had a scoop of ice-cream. I went for the safe option of “cream-and-cookie” flavor. It was a good decision. While busy with ice-cream, another portion of rain arrived. This pretty much eliminated any chances for some nice pictures taken at the campus but I was not too upset about it.
I was genuinely surprised about the speed of time flow. Believe it or not we returned back home at 7.30 pm! Busy with some computer work, I postponed my supper to almost 9 pm. Neither the time nor the two sausages were extremely healthy but I tried to balance for that with a big bowl of vegetable salad. I decided that it was the right time to give a try to my “new” bread. It definitely does not resemble Czech bread but it was so good. Frankly, it would be rather sad if I had not liked it as might had well been the most expensive bread of my life. We will see how I feel about it in a week from now but the immediate comment is as follows: I do not want to return back to the bread we had before.
Although, today developed in a very different way than planned, I cannot really complain about the final schedule. I enjoyed my time in Raleigh significantly more than a week ago and cannot wait to see (and experience!) what tomorrow will bring to me and my roommates.