It’s some sort of mystery of physics…you can pack carefully for a trip, add nothing along the way, yet your belongings somehow experience some sort of dimensional expansion that makes each subsequent attempt to pack more and more difficult…
The bus driver today was my first female bus driver. SHE actually apologized to ME for not speaking English better (after I apologized for my Dutch). I pointed out that we were in Holland, soooo… Anyway, there seems to be an inverse correlation between chronological distance from the weekend and driver grumpiness.
Got to the airport very early. (I have come to the conclusion that the Germanic reputation for promptness is a result of dependence on public transportation…I can’t explain the Italians). It was already muggy by 9 am. I got breakfast at the airport (not expensive!) and waited.
Flying into Prague was beautiful. Clusters of red-roofed villages surrounded by patchworks of field in varying shades of green and yellow, interspersed with lush, almost black, forests.
Taking the bus then tram to my place was relatively easy. Except for the guy who told me “dvatzat shest” and pointed emphatically at the ground to let me know to wait here at the bus stop for 26. I waited until I saw a TRAM reading 26 across the street, and asked some people nearby in my lame Czech-Russian mashup if I was supposed to be over there. They said yes. (Thanks for nothing, old man…) Fortunately 26 comes every 8 minutes. Oh, except then I got off one stop too early, because Czech buses and trains announce both the current stop AND the next stop. Thank you, Costa Coffee barista, for getting me on track.
By the way, I’ll interject here that if you are someone who gets all panty-twisted when you hear foreigners speaking their native language in America, I’m here to tell you to stop that s***. I speak (rusty) Italian and Russian, some French, Spanish, and a few silly sounding sentences of Danish. I do not speak Czech or Dutch or any other number of languages. People are always very kind and helpful to me, and I’d like you to do the same for non-native English speakers. If you’ve ever travelled, it’s good karma (and I’m sure you’ve spoken English in public), and if you haven’t, well, use your imagination.
Back to my day.
My apartment is fantastic. $23/ night. Twenty. Three. Dollars. A. Night. And travellers…it has a washer. YOU know what I mean…
Found a killer (yuk yuk) vegan restaurant around the corner that not only had a beet-soy burger that knocked my socks off (ok, I wasn’t wearing any…please refer to: it’s hot), but they also employ formerly homeless or incarcerated people and buy from businesses that employ disabled people AND you can buy a lunch voucher that they keep for homeless or hungry people needing food. Damn.
Walked to Tesco, picked up more sh**** travel conditioner and lotion and laundry soap and diet Coke and a melted chocolate bar (did I mention it was hot?), and now I sit in front of the fan tapping on my phone, sitting on a futon in the living room of an apartment in an old Czech building.