Chou, Praha!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Prague and I had a romantic date yesterday. We spent the whole day together, with it impressing me with various beautiful sights and bouquets of snowflakes. It was being really sweet, which was good, since we'll have to have a long distance relationship as of Monday.

I had originally intended to go to Dresden, but an entire of packing and cleaning was hardly a fitting send-off for this city that has been my partner, through thick and thin for the last 4 months. Sure, we got into fights, I screamed I hated it and it shot back with sweltering days, dog poop on the sidewalks, and hordes of tourists. We took a necessary break though, went our separate ways, for a time, whilst I traversed Spain. When I came back things were much better. Finally I was able to accept it for what it was. It didn't quite return the favor, considering that it's been trying to change me since I got here. We're all supposed to grow in relationships though and this one is probably the closest I have ever come to being just myself--even if myself wasn't, at times, who I wanted to be. Most of the time I haven't known who I am, and it has supported my exploration through this as well.

I began the day buying the last couple of postcards and mailing them off. After that our date started. I got off the tram at Narodni Divadlo and walked along the Vltava towards Charles Bridge. The sky was hazy from all the snow falling, so I could barely make out the castle at the top of the hill. It was a fitting scene, with the treacherous Gothic Castle acting as a specter on top of the giant hill. I finally made it to Charles Bridge, a surprisingly long journey, considering that I had to deliberate over each of my footsteps as I made my way over the collecting snow.

Walking across the bridge was equally beautiful, as I looked out over each new scene, covered with a sheet of snow. My hands were beginning to freeze since I kept exposing them to the icy air while taking pictures. Taking pictures with film cameras, leaves for a definite element of surprise. But I don't mind.

I made my way to the Kafka Museum (one of the few museums I actually managed to visit here--lame). By the time I got there, I was crusted with a layer of snow that quickly began to drip off of me, upon entering the warm building. I took a look through this, since The Trial is one of my favorite books, but was soon done and (barely) ready to head back out into the cold. It's days like these, with the snow falling consistently for hours with fat snowflakes that makes me realize I have to live somewhere that has seasons--somewhere that requires one to where a hat occasionally, as a matter of necessity.

I walked to old town square to see Tyn Church covered with snow, but was getting too cold to tolerate much exploring in the weather. I made it back to my flat, where the romance continued. I remained tucked away from the cold, watching it snow outside through my giant Communist era windows and windowsills, whilst playing Chopin. Listening to the music made me realize there's something inherently Central European about his music. He is Polish, but listening to it almost makes me feel as though he too were couped up in a room, safe from the cold,looking at the snow falling outside, while contemplating some piece of music. It evokes a feeling that I have only felt here, something Central European. It doesn't surprise me that many of the great composers lived and worked in Vienna and Prague--there's something about this place.

After being distracted by the falling snow outside for an hour or so, I finally made my way to bed, marking the second to last night that I'll be spending in Prague. But now, I must continue learning French and live in a country where I can speak the language, if I'm to be in Europe.
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