I've wondered around downtown a bit more as the weather has been quite pleasant. Tried Air-Cafe Brno, a coffee (kava) and drink bar decorated to commemorate the Czech and Slovak pilots who flew for the RAF in World War 2. The owner's personal collection of photos, propaganda posters, artwork, and artifacts lines the walls of the cafe (kavarna). I ordered an espresso and a coffee (needed more caffeine). Afterwards I toured some of the shopping centers and eventually returned home.
Today I went back downtown to buy a new cell phone as my HTC Rezound breaks at regularly scheduled intervals of about once a month. The most recent problem is that it doesn't like batteries, so it overheats and damages the batteries, and they wont hold a charge anymore. I decided on the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. Has plenty of features, isn't an HTC, was reasonably affordable (5,000czk) and will still work when I get back in the states. I have to say the Vodafone store here has been very helpful in getting my phones to work. When I first arrived, an attendant set up the Czech network for me.
Still need to get out and try some authentic Czech food. I have been hesitant because I feel like a pain in the ass when I start ordering something in my broken Czech, then need to ask them to speak in English (Mluvite Anglicky?). Overall, the Czechs have been accomodating but I still feel like an ass. Today I stopped by the Lavazza Kavarna for some coffee and ordered the first thing that sounded recognizable, only for them to question me by mentioning that it was iced coffee (it was 34F at the time). Call it cognitive anchoring or just arrogance but I acted like I knew exactly what I had asked for and paid for the coffee. I'm pretty sure they were laughing at me when they handed the cup over. I just laughed; they clearly don't realize that I am quite accustomed to making an imbecile of myself, even in the states.
Next post I will talk about cooking and shopping to cook, as this has been another entertaining part of my stay so far.