I know you probably don’t care too much that you haven’t had me filling your inbox lately, but I still feel bad that I haven’t written in ten days. More for myself though, because with my horrible memory, I don’t know if I will remember what I did, and where I went. However, I can hopefully figure it out, but it probably will be some rough outlines. To je život... (That’s life)
The 29th of October... hmm. That was the first day returning to classes after fall break and I remember it was kind of difficult to have to follow a routine again. However, it is spectacular to be back in Czech class, because I was lost in that Germanic world. I missed working on a language in which I really feel like I’m making progress. After class. We tried to find Halloween costumes up the street sifting through thrift stores. I didn’t have much luck, but my roommate found a spectacular purple leather jacket for his Tyler Durden costume.
Tuesday was all about finding a Halloween costume. First I had to go to history class, however, which was fascinating, but a little boring. Jan tends to repeat himself a lot, unfortunately, so I ended up playing the scribble game to pass the time. You can make some interesting pictures when you are hearing a lecture on World War II and letting your mind wander... Afterwards, though, I headed down to a little shop near my old dormitory and looked for a Halloween costume. I found the perfect paruka (wig) to be Carol Channing as the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland. I also found Smetana’s score for Hubička at an Antikvariat, which was quite exciting. The music is really nice, and I was also surprised to find Dvořak’s Song of the Moon in the book as well! After all this fun shopping, I had to go to class. Poli-Sci class has been getting VERY interesting, but also very long. A three hour seminar can get quite tiring when it starts at 5 in the evening... The material fascinates me though, and I love learning about democratic revolutions. Our teacher is also very enthusiastic, and he gives me a lot of great thesis ideas.
Wednesday was all about resting up for the big Halloween party. I didn’t have class, so I just relaxed and waited for the big night. I decided to go to Aspects of Alice (kind of a preview of my costume), which is a black light theater show. Sarah and David had gone when we were in Prague last time, so I was really excited. Unfortunately, it ended up being quite kitschy. The first half was poorly done Cirque de Soleil, while the second half became very sexualized and seemed to replace Alice’s “growing-up” process with her sexual maturation. Black light theater could actually be very interesting if it was done well. They are able to use black lights to make, for example, Alice fly, objects float, and giant puppets come to life on the stage. I am not too disappointed that it was poorly done, however, because, as my mother told me, I will probably remember this experience forever because it was so bad, unique, and strange. After the show, it was time for our big Halloween party. I was shocked by how many people not only came, but actually dressed up. We had it in our dorm room, which isn’t the biggest place in the world, and probably some 50 people from our program showed up throughout the night.
It was really difficult to get up on Thursday morning early enough to get to my class, but I made it. The rest of the day, I explored Prague and went to some of my favorite parts (the tv tower, Café Erra, the ambassador’s residence homes, Vinohrady, etc). I also found a new and interesting sight at the Prumyslovy Palace; every night they have light shows at the fountains, for a kind of steep price, set to music. I saw one on Tuesday to music by Andrea Bocelli, and it was fantastic. Completely random, but also completely lovely. It is interesting how you can plan something and have such a letdown, like Aspects of Alice, while some sort of random event can completely take you by surprise and enthrall you. I hope I can go again before it gets too cold for water fountain shows...
Friday was the day of the arrival of my parents. I headed to the airport to meet them, and really surprised my sister with a gigantic hug. It is great, and odd, to see my relatives in Prague. It is the first time I have had visitors from Lindstrom since Robby Monson, but boy has it been fun. (I don’t know why I just used boy in that sentence, but I think I am going to keep it) Milena also came up with her grandson to great the fam, and since then I have been running around Prague, and the greater Czech Republic, living a more comfortable lifestyle. We headed immediately to their hotel, via car, which I haven’t been in for a while, but got lost. Their place is in Prague 3, but it was a little hard to find. It seems a good deal, however, and with my tram pass, I don’t mind traveling to the other side of Prague. That night, we all went out for dinner and enjoyed some Italian food (which wasn’t the greatest, but it was fantastic to go out to eat). I left them early and headed back home to get some sleep.
Saturday morning we headed to the norther part of the Czech Republic with my history Professor to visit this historical city of Lidice. We started by visiting a church in Prague where paratroopers had hidden from Nazis after they had assassinated Reinhard Heydrich (a really popular Nazi). Jan gave a great speech about the courage of these men, and the cowardice of the man that had betrayed them, and afterwards we watched a movie. It described the entire situation, and it was so strange to be in the same church that had been flooded and machine gunned 65 years ago. The entire story is fascinating... google it. Afterward, we headed to Lidice and saw the town that was destroyed in response to the assassination. The story of this small town was incredibly sad, and I suggest looking up the history of this city if you don’t already know it. It was completely destroyed, all the men were immediately assassinated, only a handful of children survived, and the women were sent to concentration camps. It was a perfect example of the terror and brutality of war.
On a lighter note, I was very hungry while in the city, and as there was no plan to stop for lunch, I went to a little vendor and, in Czech, told her I was quite hungry, but only had 10 korun and needed to buy some rolls or something. The lady, in the grumpiest manner possible, slipped a sausage into my bag of rolls without even cracking a smile. It was incredibly nice of her, and I think it kind of reflects the attitude of older people here in the Czech Republic. They may not be outwardly friendly, but they do have a good heart.
Goodness gravy, I am trying to remember what occurred after that, but I am having the hardest time. I’ll write another entry tomorrow, which will wrap up the rest of the week (if I find the time, my family is loving me too much)