Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I'm here. Man, that was a long trip. David picked me up at the airport and led me via bus and subway and foot to my hostel, Hostel Tyn (which he says is pronounced "hostel teen", but he's sure they're very mature). We were both very tired and neither of us hungry, but we still talked for a couple hours before we shuffled off to slumber.

This morning I have been trying to orient myself my usual way, by walking and getting lost. Choosing the perfect breakfast place quickly became less of a priority than getting some food--and kava (coffee)--in me right away. I woke with a bad headache. So far, I have walked to the river, around and around, back to the hostel, and to this internet cafe. I think I just accidentally said "thank you" to someone who said "hello". I can tell that I am going to have to be patient with myself and accept that I may look like an idiot. At least I feel less paralyzed than last night! I feel buoyed by a few positive interactions. A few phrases are sticking with me, even if they aren't necessarily the right phrases at the right time! David told me his first day here he accidentally asked for the street instead of the bill.

Prague is beautiful, and I haven't seen much of it yet. I am staying very close to the Old Town Square. The streets and the buildings look very European. I wish I knew more about what I was looking at. The architecture is lovely. And it is sunny today! How nice is that? David and I are meeting at 12:00 at the statue of Jan Huss in the Old Town Square.
I spent Tuesday orienting myself, wandering, strolling to the river and back, sitting in the sun with David, exploring the Jewish Quarter, practicing my Czech, strolling the Charles Bridge at dusk. The Spanish Synagogue was just beautiful. (We weren't allowed to take pictures inside.)
Here is a pic of the Jewish Cemetary, where Rabbi Loew is buried (he is associated with the legend of the Golem).

Ate a late supper of potato pancakes with cheese in a smoky pub. Tried a shot of the Czech liquor becharovka. Chatted with the international law students overflowing the pub (that's international students, not international law).

Check out the link to Flickr for more photos...


tamar said...

Thank goodness you made it! T'mar and The Wayward Cat

Anonymous said...

I echo Tamar. I evidently didn't stay up late enough,but then I'm not sure how late is enough - my map says it's 1pm in Czech when it's 4am in Seattle....anyhue I'm glad the Big Bird set you down safely.
luv, gupgod

Anonymous said...

Wee three are glad you landed safe and sound!
Hope you are having excellent adventures sans headaches!

Anonymous said...

Happy day day! Venture forth with ambition and grace. Let not the language be a barrier, rather a bridge. Take caution, however, that when asking about potatoes in restaurants that you use the proper verb tense and also allow the server to bring the tubers up first, for if these two language norms are violated it is likely that the server will mistake your inquiry for a rude comment about the Czech Republic's inferior potassium exports, which most Czech's are genuinely embarassed about. This could lead to you being asked in a polite, but firm tone of voice to vacate the premises with your own country's potassium inserted in a most unpleasant location.

Unduly Amplified said...

Thanks for the messages.

Dear Anonymous (3)--if that is your real name--you give strange and practical advice information. I only realized its wisdom upon reading "inferior potassium".

Samanta said...

My cursory and superficial exposure to the history of the Czech Republic leaves me with the impression that, because they were always being sort of in the middle of things they got buffeted about by warring factions a lot of the time. Think about it. Germanic and Slavic peoples, Catholics and Protestants and most recently the East and West in the Cold war all came at and through these folks. It seems to have left them a bit independent in their thinking and actions which helped them maintain their own identity and pride in their culture. There are so many beautiful buildings, streets and monuments here that it'll just win you over. And despite all the tourists it's not at all an expensive destination. Restaurants and Prague hotels are good value, as are tourist sights and museums and you can drink some of the finest beers in the world here for next to nothing.