printf("So far, so good.\n");

This year’s summer holiday that followed the end of my first academic year at the university had come may have been long, quite long, in fact – more than a-quarter-of-a-year long, but these 100 (one hundred!) days, give or take, seem to have went by in almost no time at all; well, definitely in less than full one-hundred-days’ worth of time. I do not intend to be taken aback by it yet again this time, why should one keep wondering about it whatsoever… Such doing is doomed to be vain anyway.

To keep one’s self constantly reminded of the ease with which time flees our affected grip on it is in its very essence always predestined to lead to a mental process producing nothing but depressive conclusions in the end – then why not better just quite deliberately spare one’s self this philosophizing right away… Back to the beginning, to the initially intended course of writing (before this malign thinking gets out of hand and turn into some dubious stream of troubled conscientiousness): come September, the long holiday had almost got to its originally distant end, and then finally went by completely – why, Edinburgh, here we go again. Just not to the exactly same place in the previous academic year…

We (that is the former Open Gate School students currently studying in Edinburgh) have returned to the same city, but I (as well as two of my current present-day flatmates – also formerly studying at Open Gate) was not to come back the dormitory flat where I lived last year; I was to move to a new place instead. Second-year students are to seek their new dens by themselves, they no longer have the luxury of carefree life at a dorm – that is to be enjoyed by first-years exclusively. As of now, we live in a university-owned flat. It, that is the flat, came with certain disadvantages – but it naturally does have advantages, too! Well… alright, then: judging from the top of my head, the number of disadvantages with which I might come up would most probably be higher than that of advantages. For instance, the flat is not a flat in the strictest sense of the word, but rather a kind of an attic corridor with four doors gaping on its side. Thankfully, it does come with some sort of bathroom and a modest kitchen(ette).

In a way, the flat’s layout actually resembles the dormitory floors on which Open Gate’s last year students live – but that must be the sole resemblance there is, otherwise this place is noticeably less luxurious that what we used to have at Open Gate. To give you an example, it is not uncommon for the floor in our flat to forget all of a sudden that, as any good floor, it should be level, whereas ours chooses to warp and wave twist and simply just do whatever it pleases, but being level. It is especially in the kitchen where one becomes possessed by the feeling of standing on the deck of Titanic while about to sink any moment. We have also come to think that there must be a mouse living with us here. Or two. (But then again: if there really were one or two mice here, they certainly must have lived here for a considerably longer time than we have. So, who is the real intruder?) Apart from that, there seems to be nothing to complain about. (Though that does not necessarily mean that we do not. You know, from time to time. Perhaps only about something merely trifling.) The great advantage of this place is, on the other hand, that it is just below five minutes away from the main campus. Everything we unconditionally need is near and in our reach, lying not too distant, within a close diameter. We do live in the centre of the city, after all. In the busiest street of this part of the city. And our windows are facing it. (Of course.) — Well, one gets used to almost anything, it is but a matter of time – even the ambulances wailing through the street right under our windows in the middle of the night! Summa summarum: (dis)advantages even out; everything is, therefore, as it should be.

When it comes to the progress in the subjects of my degree, I do not wish to bore the tireless reader – the core of my courses remains essentially the same, only their expertise constantly intensifies. I would not want to repeat what I wrote before in one of my previous texts. But I do want to share the joy I have from the outside course that I chose for this semester: basic concepts of programming in C, see? (Ergo the queer title.) Until I began reading the course in September, this field had been absolutely Greek to me. Hopelessly surrounded by local Czech and Slovak programmers, I thought to myself that I might as well peek into their world. And it has been a fine and useful decision, I daresay. So far, I have not had trouble understanding and learning it, and have liked it very much (naturally, only time will show what impact it will bring upon m current enthusiasm when trouble does arrive).

I like the course, I do, very much… but being home, watching Popelka, Hrátky s čertem, Císařův pekař and Pekařův císař (and all the other Czech classic films which are so inseparable from our way of spending Christmas), and, while at it, stuffing my face with tons of potato salad – yes, that I probably live much, much more. At least for the last few days of the year. And that is why I already cannot help aiming my mind towards home and upcoming Christmas – the Czech kind of it is the only truly good one for me! Now, for the simple reason that I shall not meet my true reader before after New Year’s Eve, I should take the liberty to say the following right now when I have the chance, be it in a slight advance: merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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