Czechlist

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, but I seem to have survived – and here are 10 random things I have learned about the Czech Republic along the way.

  • Practically everyone is named Jana, Ivanna, or Tomáš. Like the Koreans all having the surname Kim or Lee, or the Irish naming 90% of the population Paddy, Seamus, and Sinead.
  • The Czechs are not – contrary to my initial fear – all about the beer, although it’s certainly the drink of choice. They also have a variety of  national beverages that are drunk as shots. Most taste like undiluted death with a side of heartburn, with the exception of becherovka, a cinnamon flavoured drink which tastes exactly like bottled Christmas and – in my experience thus far – promotes somewhat extreme feelings of love, peace, and harmony.
  • Czech people who speak English well do so with an inexplicable Welsh accent.
  • It is extremely rude not to greet strangers when entering a lift, shop, or other enclosed space. We have been reminded multiple times that when we go to our schools next week we must say “dobrý den” to every adult we meet upon entering the building, or we will instantly earn a reputation for being extremely ill-mannered. In the past, the school has received multiple complaints about new teachers for this reason.
  • Conversely, there’s no concept of meaningless polite questions like “How are you?”. If you ask a stranger this question, they will have no idea how to respond in the expected manner, i.e. with an equally polite, meaningless “fine, thanks”. If you ask someone you already know, they will possibly take you literally and proceed to give you detailed account of whatever currently ails them.
  • Most bars operate a table service system, and Czech people are generally unused to the practice of paying for every drink as you receive it. I am not sure how I feel about this, as it results in a huge group bill at the end of the night and you have to remember to go to the bar before you leave and pay for your own drinks. How do you remember which drinks were yours, when you’ve been there for 5 hours and the afore-mentioned shots have been playing a role?! One of my Czech friends had the following sage advice for me: make sure you are never the last one to leave.
  • No means yes and yes means no. Honestly, I am living in a state of perpetual confusion and misunderstanding. The Czech word for “yes” is “ano”, so you’ll very often see someone nodding in agreement and going “ano… no, no, no…”. To add to my confusion, the word for “no” is “ne” – which I’ve spent the past 4 years hearing as an emphatic “yes” in Korean.
  • There are bugs here that I’ve never seen before in my life. They look like ladybirds at first glance, but have different black-on-red patterns rather than spots, and are a little longer and flatter. As you probably know, I really don’t like insects, but these ones don’t bother me – they’re quite cute. Just as well, as they’re everywhere. In swarms. I was having a coffee and reading at the picnic table outside the school restaurant the other day, when I became distracted by a loud gnawing, munching sound. I kept looking up, expecting to see some wild animal, until eventually the librarian – who was sitting at the next table – laughed. It’s the red bugs, she said, pointing. They sit on the fence and eat the wood. Blimey. The world is not a safe place.
  • Czech dumplings are not what I imagined them to be. I’m familiar with British ones, which are balls of dough, and Asian ones, which are thin parcels with hot fillings, but Czech ones look more like slices of chewy bread. They’re quite strange. I’ll no doubt be writing in more detail about Czech foods when I’ve been here a bit longer, so for now I’ll just leave it at that. Czech dumplings are quite strange.
  • Your toilet at home is in its own little tiny room, separate from the bathroom – meaning you then have to go to the bathroom afterwards to wash your hands. To the new foreigners here, this is a very weird concept, and each of us thought we’d got a dodgy flat until a Czech colleague shook her head and told us they’re all like that, uttering a phrase with which I am sure to become very familiar over the next year:

It’s a Czech thing.

 

I’m here to stay, Happy Chef!

It felt completely surreal to be walking into school to start a new job less than 24 hours after I’d been adrift, floundering, and thinking I’d probably just procrastinate for a while by taking off around the Balkans with a backpack.

The first induction day was overwhelming, to say the least. Mazes of corridors, staff rooms, copiers, libraries. Handbooks and schedules, contracts and paperwork. Accommodation forms, locker keys, tours, seminars. And all coated with the bizarre feeling of “I’m still not entirely sure how I ended up here”!

My colleagues and employers seem fantastic, though, and I’ve got to say I find the Czech people to be generally lovely, so far. Stern personnel lady from yesterday has turned out to be no-nonsense but kind-hearted.

I know it’s all a bit much to take in right now, she told her shell-shocked new recruits about halfway through the day, as we sat there, panic-stricken, amidst an ever-growing pile of papers. But please, please, come and ask any of us if you need help. I know Czech people look very unfriendly and unapproachable most of the time, to foreigners, but we’re honestly not. We’re just not smiley people. It’s not grumpiness… it’s relaxed facial muscles. 

Relaxed facial muscles. I like it.

Everyone was very helpful, and huge efforts were made to make us feel welcome and reassured. And look, I really can’t fault a nation whose people can’t fathom the idea of an employee induction week without the words “pub night” appearing on the schedule. Twice. The first such event was immediately after the last session today, and I found myself in what will most likely be my new “local” – a modern yet cosy bar just down the street from the school – sitting at a long table laden with the infamous Czech beer and traditional Czech food, with a dozen or so faces that are no doubt going to become very familiar to me in a very short space of time.

However, the highlight of the day was lunch time.

On Friday, when CELTA ended, Happy Chef had given us a bottle of champagne and – in a fittingly childish but adorable move – a big bag of Kinder Surprise Eggs, which were a total hit with everyone as we had our celebratory drinks that evening. Nothing beats the sight of 18 newly qualified teachers and their tutors drinking tequila and playing enthusiastically with toy cars and model Smurfs. I was feeling extremely sad about the loss of Happy Chef from my life.

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Well. The school provided us with a free lunch today, and to my great delight I found that it was being prepared for us by Happy Chef. I almost danced into the restaurant, where I saw him in his clown trousers (I really don’t know. He truly is a most eccentric little guy.), looking stressed and Possibly Insane, but smiling excitedly at the sight of all these new teachers to impress with his food.

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Better not disturb him when he’s busy, I thought reluctantly, my gaze drifting nervously to the fist-shaped hole in the kitchen door. I took a seat with my new colleagues and employers, and looked up to smile quietly at him as he proudly brought over the first tray of deliciousness.

Oh my kaaaaaad!! he shrieked suddenly as he spotted me, and I grinned at him. Hey ________! [I can just about pronounce his name now, but I still can’t spell it.] I’m back!

He didn’t quite know what to do, then, so he hopped from foot to foot for a second before ruffling my hair like I was a five-year-old, and then running back to the kitchen at the sound of a plate being dropped. Everyone at my table stared curiously at me.

Erm… I drink a lot of coffee, I said by way of explanation. He got me through the CELTA, and I probably paid his rent for the month. 

We didn’t get to have our usual nonsensical conversation because he was so busy, and I felt a little sad when the boss lady brought the post-lunch coffees over to our table and all the identical, tiny cups were distributed among us. No more Hayley Special Coffee, alack, alas! I put on an admirably brave face, though, and picked up my cup – and then almost spilled it all over the person next to me when an indignant yell went up.

No no no no! Hayley! What are you DOING?! I would never give you this tiny cup, never! Happy Chef was stretched out across the counter, practically horizontal, an agonised “STEP AWAY FROM THE TINY CUP” expression on his face. I started to make your coffee first, look – see? It takes longer because it is your special giant coffee.

I waited meekly, but I really couldn’t hide the half-amused, half-smug grin. Pretty sure everyone else hated me, sat there with their minuscule coffee cups, but I didn’t care.

As I was leaving, I glanced into the kitchen to shout my usual thank you, and he waved at me with a typically stressed but zany smile. See you later, I called, the kindergarten teacher in me pausing out of habit for his reply. Alligator! he sang. In a while, I added, over my shoulder, as I started climbing the stairs. Crocodiiiiiiiiile! he sang back happily.

He’s like an overgrown toddler. I left, then, laughing happily to myself despite the strange looks it attracted from the strangers I passed. All of a sudden, I have a new job, a new home, a whole bunch of cool new colleagues and potential friends, a new country to explore, new children to teach. That was actually confirmed by my Surfside Realtor pal when I spoke to him last time. .. but best of all, the Happy Chef is now a permanent fixture in my life.

I’d say that, once again, by complete ridiculous happy accident, it’s all worked out rather well in the Life of Hails. :)

Shopping list: ham, washing powder, job, onions, cereal.

Hayley! It’s over! How did you do?! cried the lovely accommodation lady as I poked my head around her door.

Pass B, I said with a broad grin and an accompanying little victory dance. She clapped in delight.

I’d called in at the school on my way back from the supermarket, to give her some money in order to extend my stay in the flat for a few more days. I basically have no idea what I’m doing, I told her as she organised the money and wrote me a receipt. I suppose I should, I dunno, look for a job somewhere… or…. something. 

Honestly, I’m not getting any less clueless as the years go by.

Are you going to teach adults now that you have CELTA? she asked, rummaging through a pile of accommodation forms. I sighed. Maybe… but I realised while I was doing the course that I really miss teaching kids. I have no idea what I want to do next. 

You should ask the woman in charge of teachers here, she said idly, giving me my receipt and my change and steering me out into the corridor. Wait here, I’m going to ask if your CELTA certificate is ready for you to pick up. 

I stood in the somewhat chaotic corridor, swinging my Lidl bag and looking at the postcards on the wall. Another woman appeared. You want a job? she asked, apropos of nothing.

Erm… have you got any? I asked, somewhat taken aback.

Actually, yes. You got a Pass B, yes? I have a vacancy. But it’s not teaching adults… I need a teacher for young learners. 

I sort of gaped at her, not entirely sure what was going on. Well… um… I’d certainly be interested in hearing about it. I’m a kindergarten teacher, actually. 

She looked me up and down, slightly disapproving. If I take you to a computer now, can you print out your CV and have an interview? 

Now?! I almost yelped. I really wasn’t prepared for this. I was wearing a baggy t-shirt, my hair was still damp from the shower, and I was carrying washing powder, ham, onions, and cereal in a shopping bag. I’d just been planning to go home and spend the rest of the day and night sending out job applications online.

Well, the job does start tomorrow, you know, she said matter-of-factly, as if I hadn’t just found out about said job approximately 15 seconds ago.

Well… um… I… the… I stammered dizzily, before catching a grip on myself. I would need to go home and find my CV, actually… and update it, you know… and I’m not exactly dressed for an interview, sorry – I was only calling in to pay my rent on the way home from the shop… 

Right, yes. Come back in 2 hours for your interview, said no-nonsense personnel woman. Bring your CV. I’ll get your CELTA report from your tutor. Induction starts tomorrow, teaching starts next week. 

She bustled off, leaving me standing there petrified, gazing blankly at the spot where she had been standing.

What the heck just happened?

I went home in a daze, touched up my CV, changed my clothes, and went back to the school.

Did an interview (rather more thorough than the Korean “Can you speak English? Great, do you want a job?” kind).

Got the job.

Start work tomorrow.

Genuinely bewildered.

Welcome to the next chapter, I guess…

It finally happened…

…and I missed it.

I can’t believe it. I want to whine “It’s not fairrrrrrrrrrrr!!!”. If I could go back in time and do things differently, I would.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Happy Chef (who probably does now deserve to go back to his original title of Crazy Chef) finally Freaked Out.

And I. Missed. It.

Woe is me.

I have eaten lunch in the school restaurant every day of this friggin’ course. Every. Single. Day. Every day, come 1pm, there I am. Every day, there is Happy Chef, smiling and joking and being lovably zany. I wait for the freak-out… I wait, and I wait, and I wait. I begin to forget that it was even a possibility, so sweet and funny and entertaining is Happy Chef.

And then, today, after a teaching practice that fell so frustratingly short of what I needed it to be, I decide that I’m simply not hungry, and will maybe just grab a sandwich or something later on. I end up being kidnapped by a couple of classmates who refuse to let me mope, and insist I accompany them when they go out for lunch. I return, somewhat cheered, to find another classmate waving frantically at me from the classroom.

Hayley! Your favourite person… Crazy Chef-

-Happy Chef, I correct her. She shakes her head wildly, her eyes alarmingly wide.

No, no… CRAZY Chef. He is completely mental. You missed it. He freaked out- 

He WHAT?!!! I cry, devastated. I mean, come ON. I’ve waited for this moment, on tenterhooks, even, for the best part of a month. And it happens on the one day I’m not there to witness it? Seriously: devastated.

Marta looks half-frightened, half-amused. Which is exactly how I imagined I would feel on the glorious day when Happy/Crazy Chef finally freaked out. I envy Marta her frightened amusement and amused fright.

Cathy had asked him for a small portion today because she wasn’t very hungry, she explains in hushed, awed tones. She sounds like someone might sound if they were describing being held up at gunpoint in a convenience store (“It all happened so fast… I can’t quite take it in…”). But his wife brought her a normal sized portion… and he went insane. 

I stare at her, uncomprehending. So… wait, what do you mean, Cathy complained and there was a big scene?

No! says Marta, still apparently in a state of shock. His wife brought the food… Crazy Chef saw and… and…. FREAKED OUT. He started screaming and swearing and shouting and throwing stuff, and then he attacked the door. Like, attacked it. Beat it up. Seriously, Hayley – as in, there’s a hole in it now. 

Oh, oh, it is too much.

I scurry off to the restaurant to get my first afternoon coffee a little earlier than usual, and meet three people along the way, who are dying to tell me the same story with the same dazed expressions on their faces. I hate them all.

Hayley, hello, big coffee for you of course! sings Possibly Mentally Unbalanced Chef, looking as docile and charming as a Blue Peter presenter. I grin nervously at him, and then edge towards the kitchen door when he turns his back on me to make my coffee.

There is an Actual Hole in the door.

Enjoy your lessons, have a great day! says Insane Chef with a beaming smile, giving me a little chocolate biscuit for no reason other than the kindness of his heart. Were it not for my classmates’ collective state of shock, and the fist-shaped hole in the kitchen door, I would not believe anything out of the ordinary happened here today.

But it did, and I sodding well missed it.

[Names have been changed, as always]

My tutor wants to get me stoned.

I haven’t really written anything about the CELTA course, mainly because when you’re taking the CELTA course, there’s not actually an awful lot of time left over for luxuries like writing, and, y’know, sleeping and eating and stuff.

I’m really loving it, though. Loving the busyness, loving the studying, loving the chance for self-improvement and development, loving the learning, loving the pressure. Loving it… but totally fecking shattered. It’s the most intensive course I’ve ever been on in my life, and after just a few days I could see why it’s “only a month long” – you’d probably die from sheer exhaustion if you kept up this level of effort for any longer. As it is, I had a little quiet cry to myself last night when I realised at 1am that I was going to have to abandon my lesson planning (due to being too tired to even see the screen any more) and wake up at about 5.30am in order to have time to finish it, shower, go to the library to print and photocopy, drink 3 gallons of espresso, and be in school ready to start teaching at 9. Look, it was 1am, and I hadn’t even had any dinner. I am not ashamed to admit to that little tearful moment! Only a brief, exhaustion-driven weep, though. Then I went to sleep, got up a few hours later, overdosed on caffeine, and just got on with it.

It’s pretty gruelling. You could probably get away with doing less than I’m doing, but I’m determined to get a high grade. As are many of my fellow trainees, so we’re mostly in the same boat – which means that right now (at the halfway point in the course) there are people who were complete strangers 2 weeks ago feeling like soul mates because surely no one else on the entire planet can be feeling as insanely knackered as we are.

CELTA is an intensive teacher training course – relatively expensive to take, but worth it in terms of how it’s viewed by employers.  There’s no exam. Instead, you have regular observed, assessed teaching practice – and they throw you in at the deep end, teaching a bunch of adults from the second day of the course. I was beyond terrified last Tuesday, when I had my first teaching practice. Not only are you observed by a super-thorough, experienced, and highly critical tutor, but you’re in a group of 6 trainee teachers – so, while one of you is teaching, the other 5 are watching your every move and taking notes on all your mistakes, just like the tutor. There’s a feedback session after the class, where they basically tear your lesson to shreds.

Well, OK… it’s not as horrifying as I make it sound. But that’s how I felt last week, when I had to experience it for the first time! They do highlight all the positive things and improvements in your classes, as well as the mistakes – the tutors dole out encouragement and criticism in fairly equal doses. I’ve now taught 4 classes, and sat through dozens more, and I don’t feel like throwing up before them any more. I actually quite enjoy them, and I’ve been getting a lot out of the practice and the feedback.

But the planning… oh, the planning. As the course progresses and you learn more from feedback and tutorials and classes and assignments, you’re expected to produce more and more detailed lesson plans for each class that you teach. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I spent about 12 hours in total planning today’s class. Hence the exhausted weeping last night! You basically have to write a complete linguistic analysis of whatever grammar point or topic you’re teaching, complete with references, diagrams, anticipated problems and solutions, tables, methods, lesson stages, aims, materials, pronunciation clarification… the list goes on. It’s like a lengthy, end-of-term school assignment, but twice a week. On top of that, there are 4 actual assignments to be done and handed in throughout the course. Never mind the mornings being full of teaching practice, observing classes, feedback sessions and one-on-one tutorials, and then teacher training classes after lunch until 6pm. I staggered weakly into the final class today and promptly walked straight into a desk. Too tired to even say “ouch”, I just slid helplessly into the nearest chair, and was caught and steadied by Jake, who looked blankly at me. Is it morning or afternoon? he asked with the air of a slightly unstable person, his eyes bloodshot and glazed. Marta, on the other side of me, waved a piece of paper in the air. Hayley, this your is… I mean… thissssss your… oh, dear god, I can’t even… just… and just quietly gave up and put her poor tired head down on the desk.

Coffee is our best friend right now.

Apparently, though, I may soon have to lose even that reassuring lifeline. I’m with a new tutor now for my next few classes (it’s to ensure that assessment is fair, and also to give us feedback from another teacher’s perspective), and his style is a bit different from the one I’ve been with until now. A bit more of an encourager, but also surprisingly critical of the one thing that the previous tutor consistently listed as my main strength.

You have a lovely, friendly, effusive manner, said G sincerely after every lesson I taught, trying to soften the blow of the barrage of faults he’d just written all over the board. You know how to engage the students and form bonds with them. You’ve got a very energetic presence, and you keep their attention from start to finish. Keep it up!

Listen, great lesson, great planning, great activities, great classroom management and all that, but you really need to calm the hell down, said P after my lesson today. Seriously, smoke a joint or something before you come in. Have you got any valium? I actually thought you were going to break into song and perhaps treat us all to a brief tap dance routine at one point there.

I could only laugh. As did my 5 classmates. One of them pointed out that I’m the one who doesn’t even have to place an order at the cafe, since a large mug of strong black coffee just materialises in the time it takes for me to walk from the door to the counter. This needs to stop, said P, horrified. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like… like Tigger crossed with the Road Runner crossed with a group of sugar-high kids at a birthday party. Seriously. No more coffee.

Hmm. I highly doubt that that’s going to happen, especially as it took another 3 coffees after that just to get me to the end of the day.

So, as you can see, it’s quite the rollercoaster ride of experiences and emotions here in Praha! I have taken tonight off, simply to go to the supermarket, and treat myself to my first dinner in nearly a week, and go for a nice long walk, and lie down on my bed, and write, and rest, and watch a bit of Karl Pilkington (my comedic obsession of the last few months), and go to sleep while it’s still today. There comes a point where your brain just starts giving off sparks and threatening to shut down if you don’t give it some rest and humour and sleep.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the grindstone… and the coffee is non-negotiable. Just in case you were wondering.

[Names have been changed, as always.]

A big bowl of stress

I think today is the craziest I’ve seen him, so far, says one of my fellow trainees cautiously. She glances nervously in the direction of the kitchen, where we can hear the sound of Czech words being screamed over the clattering and clanging of various utensils. It’s not an angry kind of screaming. This is the thing about the Happy Chef. Maybe he has, on previous occasions, flipped his lid and gone on a furious rampage, but in general he just seems to be a bit excitable. Passionate. An artist, you know.

The odd thing is that his wife seems to be the most timid, quiet, delicate critter in the entire country. I’ve yet to hear her speak in anything louder than a whisper, and then she tends to scuttle away as quickly as she can, to hide in the kitchen. I dunno how that works. It’s like if a performing circus chimp married a field mouse.

The kitchen door bursts open and Happy Chef springs out like a giant colourful Czech jack-in-the-box. Ah, dobrý den, it’s 10.45, you are needing the second Hayley Coffee, yes?

Ano, prosím, I reply with a grin. That means “yes, please”, by the way. Confusingly, the Czech word for “yes” is pronounced “Ah, no!”, which has not been at all helpful, to be honest.

We switched tutors today, and I’ve just had my first experience of teaching in front of a tutor other than the one I’d become comfortable with. It could’ve gone better, and I give another frustrated growl as I finish talking about it to my friend. I’m a big giant ball of stress! I exclaim as my Hayley Coffee appears about 2 seconds after Happy Chef saw me. He waves away my money. Pay some other time, I have not the change. Here is a big wooden spoon.

I am somewhat bemused.

Is good for mixing! he exclaims impatiently, thrusting the wooden spoon at me.

Erm… OK…. I accept the proffered spoon somewhat tentatively, fearful that he might start whacking me with it if I hesitate any longer. Everyone is too polite to ask. People just accept that I am being given a big spoon.

Suddenly, Happy Chef snorts with laughter at his own wit. I hear you say you are big bowl of stress, he explains, looking delighted with himself. Mix it up! 

All CELTA students should have a Happy Chef to get them through the stressful times.

One of Happy Chef's thank you cards from previous students. :)

One of Happy Chef’s thank you cards from previous students. :)

Champagne, the Happy Chef, and sage leaves in Czech.

I regret to inform you that the moment we’ve all been waiting for has thus far failed to materialise, a third of the way into the CELTA course now. Yes, sadly the eccentric chef has yet to freak out, and the details of what that glorious and much anticipated event might entail remain sketchy and hypothetical at best.

In fact, I have to say that I have found him nothing if not friendly and amusing. Yes, I can picture him going a bit Gordon Ramsey if too many things go wrong all at once, but so far he’s proving to be quite a pleasant background character in this current short chapter of my life.

Every morning, a cheery “Dobrý den!” (hello) and a “Hayley Coffee” (extra strong, black, and in the most enormous mug he has) await me en route to the first class of the day. Eccentric Chef (who I’ve now renamed Happy Chef… and no, I still can’t pronounce his actual name) now refuses to accept my helpless gesture of paying by simply holding out the unfamiliar coins in my hand and letting him pick out what he needs, and so I have to go through a tutorial in Czech coinage every day before I’ve had my coffee. I stumble cluelessly through payment, ask what’s for lunch, and place my order for what is generally the only meal I have time /remember to eat each day. At least it’s a hearty, healthy one. The Happy Chef sure can cook! He’s extremely passionate about food and cooking. In his breaks, you’ll often see him sitting reading through recipe books and writing down ideas. You could be wandering past the kitchen on your way to the library and get a spoonful of something unknown but delicious shoved at you for sampling purposes.

Today, he served us the most divine pork medallions with veggies and walnut stuffing. And also there is a special game with today’s lunch, he said excitedly as he sat the steaming plates of joy in front of our group of 6 hungry teachers. This is my new recipe, this, this… this filling. It is quite amazing, he added, not short of confidence. If you can taste it and guess at least 7 of the ingredients, I will give you a bottle of champagne.

Apparently no one else had been successful, and we were the last people in for lunch. We quickly identified the problem – the others had been working individually, when this task was clearly more achievable as a group! (This training is working.) We decided to join together our collective taste buds and varied cooking abilities, and share the champers in the event that we were successful.

Well. I have no idea what the point of this game was (it wasn’t a promotion, it hadn’t been advertised, and we’d already paid for our food), other than the cheerful playfulness of a Happy Eccentric Chef, but it certainly made for an entertaining meal. At one point, a tutor came down the stairs and looked at our table in blank confusion. One person was poking suspiciously at an unidentified grain on someone else’s plate. Three others were holding their forks up to the light and squinting critically at the food on them, as if they’d just discovered insects in their lunch. Someone else was exclaiming “what the hell is a sage leaf in Czech?!”. It really must have looked rather confusing to the unsuspecting bystander, to be honest.

The Happy Chef and his son checking our answers. :)

The Happy Chef and his son checking our answers. :)

Finally, the Happy Chef finished up with the lunch rush, pulled up a chair and assessed our much-altered and scribbled upon list. He was visibly impressed. No one else thinks about the eggs! he said, rather profoundly, and took off to some secret room, removing a very large key from his pocket. I can only imagine that there is some sort of magical hidden bar at the back of the photocopying area, for he returned a few minutes later with a bottle of champagne.

Ta-daaaa!

Ta-daaaa!

Sadly, we were not allowed to drink our prize, for we had 4 more hours of school to go, and the Happy Chef seemed suddenly worried that he might get into trouble for filling us with alcohol and sending us off to class. Our champagne is now waiting for us in his fridge, to be enjoyed in celebration on the last day of the course.

Or this Friday after school, whatever.

I like this place. :)