The Monkey Effect

Trip Start Aug 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

There was an article on Stuff that we read after we started travelling that talked about something called The Monkey Effect. I can't find the article now but basically it went like this...

You are travelling through an area, lets say SE Asia. You see a monkey for the first time (outside a zoo). You go crazy, chase it with your camera, make the locals stare and generally act like a teen who has just spotted Justin Beiber or One Direction. The second time you see a monkey, you point, maybe take a picture. The third time, its like, meh. Seen one, seem 'em all.

At this point in time, this is how we are feeling about European cities. We may be in Prague, which is meant to be the pinacle of Eastern European cities climbing out of oppression, but...well....meh. Cobblestoned streets, old buildings and 80's fashion. They all seem the same unless they have a point of difference. We saw the Museum of Communism yesterday, which could be counted as a point of difference. But there are only so many museums we can see until our eyes glaze over. Also, its cold. So getting a drink (which seems really expensive here to us after coming from deeper within Eastern European territory where a Red Bull n Vodka costs $4-5) and watching the street life is generally out of the question.

So it was unanimously voted that today was to be a quiet day. And we would see a movie.

Since we had missed the most important feature in the main square yesterday - the astronomical clock - we decided to head there first. After a decent sleep-in and a toasted sandwich breakfast of course! The astronomical clock is not an ordinary clock - it shows the universe as it was in the 16th century with Earth at the middle. I could't work it out but apparently thats what it is. Somewhere in there is also the time, as the clock pulls out all the bells and whistles on the hour, every hour. So, we were waiting patiently for the show at 1150am, along with 50 other keen tourists. Right on  midday, the skeleton danced and the 12 apostles appeared one at a time in a window. Then a real person bugler at the top of the tower finished it off with a short song.

Having ticked that off on the to-do list we moved along to Wenceslas Square, which we had read about yesterday at the Museum of Communism. This was the site of the student protests during the Velvet Revolution. Of course today there is no way to tell what happened here and it is lined with shops. At one end was what a little food village, selling German style food. I bought a bratwurst hot dog but that was a mistake! I threw it away after finding that more than a little of the meat was actually large chunks of bone or cartiledge. Errrgh.

Now it was time for some non-touristy business! We had found a cinema a few blocks down from the Museum of Communism, which shows English movies with Czech subtitles! Perfect! So we got some tickets for Looper. Interesting movie, and Joesph Gordon Levitts was in it which always means it will be good. 3rd Rock From the Sun days are long gone.

So not a lot achieved today in terms of being a tourist but hey, got to take it easy every now and again!
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