Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Republic Can't Feel Your Pain

"Prague...You'll come back a bug."
Grover, Kicking & Screaming

On the train from Berlin to Prague, there was a very distinct point at which we realized we were no longer in Germany. It looked like this:

In our travels to London, Amsterdam and Berlin, we had seen McDonalds, Starbucks, H&M...all the same stuff we see at home. Things weren't really that different. You could usually find someone who spoke English.

Prague, on the other hand... Prague doesn't care about you. It doesn't care that you are lost or cold or hungry. It says, "You're in the Czech Republic now, fool. Deal with it."

And we loved that about it. But not at first.

When we arrived, it was a Sunday night around 8pm-ish. The train station was dirty and filled with sketchy-looking people. We were all creeped out. So we quickly jog-walked to the exit. Above ground, the streets were empty. There was an eerie calm in the city.

We wanted out immediately. But instead, we went to dinner. At a restaurant called "People." I thought perhaps we would be on the menu.

Alas, tasty tasty food at (what I think were) reasonable prices.

In Prague, the currency is Czech Crowns, which has to be the dumbest currency ever. Want an ice cream cone? That'll be 45 crowns. Wanna see a string quartet concert? 250 crowns. I about had a heart attack when I went to the ATM and withdrew 2000 crowns (approx $120). Of course, it all starts to make more sense after a couple days.

While we definitely felt we weren't in Kansas anymore, there were a couple modern blights to remind us of home:

Day 2. During the daylight, the city was much more beautiful, and much less sketchy.

Jaco, Candice, Jamie and I decided to make our own walking tour of the city. Spotting a castle on a far-of hillside, we decided to walk. It was up a very, very tall hill, of these:

Knee Pain, Just for You!

At the top, we toured the giant castle, as well as the cathedral next door.

Took 3 Whole Weeks to Build!

After that, we walked around the city, watching painters paint on the bridge, puppeteers puppeting in shops, and the aforementioned string quartet concert. A gorgeous day. By the end, nobody wanted to leave Prague. Except me. I was too psyched about Paris!

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1 comment:

  1. 3 whole weeks to build?! So that's where Samantha of 'Bewitched' came from...she just wiggled her nose for 3 weeks! What a beautiful place! Did you learn to speak any Czech words?