… Raleigh. Just Hanging around on Saturday

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.

Snake of an Unknown Name and Unknown Level of Threat to By-passing Czech Girls

Snake of an Unknown Name and Unknown Level of Threat to By-passing Czech Girls

Do We Need Shopping Carts Requiring a Coin in order to Be Used? Yes, We Do. If It Does Not Work Like That, This Is the Result (bus stop at least a minute walk from the grocery store).

Do We Need Shopping Carts Requiring a Coin in order to Be Used? Yes, We Do. If It Does Not Work Like That, This Is the Result (bus stop at least a minute walk from the grocery store).

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.

Hidding from the Rain at the Talley...

Hidding from the Rain at the Talley…

... with Such a View

… with Such a View

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.

Flax and Sunflower Seeds. They also claim sesame to be there but I know how sesame tastes like and I also know what the taste of millet grains is. That definitely is millet on that bread!

Flax and Sunflower Seeds. They also claim sesame to be there but I know how sesame tastes like and I also know what the taste of millet grains is. That definitely is millet on that bread!

Fast and Tasty. Nothing More to Ask for.

Fast and Tasty. Nothing More to Ask for.

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.

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