Hey everybody,

   I havent been up to much lately, just school and the regular things.  The weather has been horrible the last two weeks.  Two saturdays ago it was amazing weather, and everybody though that spring had started but the last two weeks have been completely under clouds and hovering around freezing.  It would snow for 20 minutes and i would get stoked, and then to my disappointment, it would stop and all melt.  Then it proceeded to start again, then melt.  And its been like this for the last two weeks; its really bugging me because i cant do anything outdoors.  No skating, no skiing, no nothing really. 

    Other than that, the Czech have a very interesting way of celebrating Easter and that is why i am writing this blog.  I got to experience it first hand and well... oh, you'll see.. here's my story

   So around two weeks ago, at the dinner table, we were all conversing like we normally do at dinner and the subject of Easter came up.  Now here i live with a family who runs a church in our town.  The mother is a minister, both of her parents are ministers, her sister is a minister, the father was a minister and his mother is the head of some church organization where she lives, so to say the least, lots of religion goes down here.  The house is situated on church property and right next to the church.  Personally, i am not religious but for better or for worse i have gotten to "experience" going to church every Sunday and hearing a whole lot about religion and everything that goes with it.  So now back to the original topic, Easter.  When i heard that Easter was coming up, i thought to myself,  " Wow, great... another religious holiday where i get to sit in church three days in a row and spend several hours of my time listening to something i dont really agree with, let alone understand."  Then, they explained to me how everyone takes part in Easter here and my mood flipped 180 degrees completely.  For some odd reason, i have no clue why, every Easter, anyone under the age of 20 or around there, collects willow sticks and braids a type of beating stick used to "beat" women every Easter morning.  When i heard this, i thought to myself that there is no way something like this could be true and they are only messing with me but it really truly is a holiday tradition...to beat women with hand-braided sticks every Easter morning.  Oh, and the best part is that women have to give you eggs, or chocolate or a shot of some liqour or something along those lines.  "Beating" doesnt really occur, its really more like a few playful taps on the backside, but any woman, girl, female of any type is fair game to hit and you can collect all the sweets and whatnot that you like.  Needless to say, i was super stoked that i was lucky enough to take part in such an awesome holiday.

Disclaimer:  I do not dislike women.  In fact i love women. The only reason this holiday is so retardedly awesome is because it is rediculous and i HAD to experience it.  This blog is in no way against women or anything to do with women.  Ladies, i love you...

   Anyhow, my giddyness increased over the week and half that i had to wait until i would take part in this fantastic holiday, and as the weekend approached, my stoke was at an all time high.   Saturday approached and i knew that this day, this was the day that would lead me to the glorious Easter, and that this day i would go with Matt to collect my willow sticks in order to braid my beating stick.  I felt like that giddy little kid a few days before Christmas waiting for Santa to come and get presents.  During those few days before Christmas, it always feels like Christmas is just a few days too late you know?, and thats just how i felt.  Here is where it turns slightly downhill... Saturday was horrible in terms of weather (wow who'd have thought) and we had to bike like 2 miles to get to the only spot that has willow sticks around here.  So it was raining and freezing cold out, well almost freezing and windy too as we made our way through the elements to get to our willows.  We arrive at the spot, and for some reason, there almost werent any there.  We scrounged around for an hour and managed to find enough ok sticks for our beaters.  Then we ride home through the horrid conditions with like 40 wet five foot long sticks sticking out every which way our of our back packs.  It was pretty fun though because we managed to nail a few people with the sticks as we rode by them...  That was it for Saturday though.  We came home and put the sticks in water so they would soften up in order to be able to braid them into beater sticks.

   On Sunday, i sat through a few hours of church.  The only thing getting me through it was the idea that i would be able to braid my stick for the great holiday.  As the service ended, i got out of there and proceeded to make an idiot of myself trying to braid 8 willow sticks somehow into a shape of a stick. 

and matt

Anyhow, after about an hour, a few tries and the help of google i finally managed to get it right. The outcome was pretty good but i was curious to see how it would hold up to all the beatings it would endure.  Here is how it turned out.

(the little bow things are a tradition. dont ask me why...)

    Matt and i planned to get up at 5:30 to got out and start our beatings.  I was rediculously amped for it despite the set back we had Saturday on our adventure getting our sticks.  We stayed up until about 1:30 in the morning just chilling and listening to music and whatnot because we, mainly i, couldnt sleep with the excitement building up in me.  Eventually we managed to fall asleep with our alarm clocks set for 5:30.  That was our first mistake of the hours to follow.  5:30 is rediculously early, especially after falling asleep at 1:30.  I was determined, though, to live this holiday to the fullest so we managed to get up and out...

if you cant tell, it says 5:56...

morning face...

    So faithfully, we make our way out on the the streets at this rediculously earlier hour and everything proceeded to go quickly downhill.  As we stepped out, immediatly we were hit with freezing cold making our quest even harder to endure but nothing could stop me.  Once we started to ride around town, it dawned upon me that nobody was outside and this might not be such a good holiday after all.  Like a baby who is given a toy and had it snatched away, i felt betrayed and alone.  Normally this town is alive with hustle and bustle and this morning there isn't even anybody outside, AND its Beat a Female on Easter Day.  For three hours we rode faithfully around the entire town ringing doorbells and looking for girls.  Three people opened up for us.  And only two gave us anything.  As we went from doorbell to doorbell, my hope and faith in the holiday increased, only to be shattered at the next unopened door.  This went on for the entire morning, completely destroying my idea of how great a holiday it is.  In truth, it is nothing more than a silly tradition that isn't meant to be taken seriously.  I fell like a wounded soldier to the devilish mistress that is Beat a Female on Easter, and it is a mistake i deeply regret.  I have been taken advantage of, played with and teased by this holiday.  Writing this is like pouring salt on my wounds with every word reminding me of how happy i was before i fell into the arms of the Easter Witch.  And here is where i end my story only saying that though the holiday may possibly contain the best concept ever for a potentially awesome holiday, although in truth it is an old tradition that is sadly no longer taken too seriously.  RIP Beat a Female on Easter Day... i will remember you always...

here are some more pictures of the rest of the day...

so everybody.. see you next time and enjoy yourselves.

pavel


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