Don’t cry for me Czechoslovakia

August 17th, 2013

For the first time in my traveling career, I broke down in tears—tears of fear and desperation. And even with this ultimate gesture, the man behind the desk couldn’t be persuaded to give me a room. Like Mary and Joseph before me, all I wanted was shelter.

“But there are men outside with machine guns. It’s 2am…and it’s pouring down rain,” I whimpered. “I can’t go back outside.”

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have shown up in foreign countries before without proper instructions…because, well…with all the excitement of a new destination, I don’t think about specifics. I just go.


Czech train

Czech train

Read the rest of this entry »

Central European culture with its sassy Bohemian cobblers

August 17th, 2009

It’s finally time for some central European culture. After two weeks dedicated to roaming the streets, finding the best grocery stores, and memorizing the city’s public transportation system (so I never have to pull out a map and look like a tourist), I’m ready to head indoors and see some of Prague’s outstanding cultural artifacts.

Prague City View

Read the rest of this entry »

Café Society

August 8th, 2009

Plush velvet, jewel-toned sofas; polished brass fixtures; long, elegant etched mirrors; women with fabulous floral hats, sipping tea next to men in dark suits, newspapers in hand; intellectuals in heated debates, with waiters in crisp, white aprons serving glasses of champagne is how I envision café society. Even though this scenario was more common a century ago, it’s still alive at the Café Savoy in Prague (well, minus the jeweled sofas and floral head-gear; the waiters, though, are right on cue).

I’ve always pictured myself in this environment, present and past life. I would spend my days, keeping up on current events and trends, while nibbling on delicate pastries, as well as large chunks of Germanic layer cake, oozing assorted cream fillings. All this would take place over endless cups of Viennese coffee poured into fine, bone-white china, before I would switch to a Moravian red, served in a thin, long-stemmed glass at a respectable hour. Seated beside fascinating individuals, I would pretend to read thought-provoking books while analyzing their footwear and topics of conversation with an enlightened, silent critique.

Savoy Pastry Case

Read the rest of this entry »

An Imaginary Life

August 2nd, 2009

A sharp metal trill awakes me, like church bells hidden inside the closet. It continues in short intervals as the street trolley bends around the corner with a high-pitched squeak and stops across the lawn from my bedroom window. Hordes of people get on and off, scurrying to work, as I pull the white lace curtain back and open the double pained antique windows. It’s the beginning of August, so the day is warm and the heat already intense. Out of the corner of my eye I notice a large group of tourists trekking across a cobblestone street, heading to the narrow lane, which leads to Prague Castle. The enormous complex, with its varied architecture, sits high on the hilltop in front of me, above the trolleys, in perfect view—the perfect view, from my new apartment, at least for the next month.

Trolley & Prague Castle

Read the rest of this entry »