Prague--- Czech ME Out!!
Prague was a dream. A frozen, chilly, snowy dream, but a dream nonetheless. We mostly stayed in all the touristy areas which was great because they were... dreamy! We wandered a lot soaking in a very medieval (no idea how to spell that word) atmosphere. Old Town Square had adorable stands selling trinkets, toys, sausage and hot alcohol. Poor stand workers, all bundled up in the freezing cold.
One night we went to this Mozart Ballet-Opera-Syphony thing at a big theater house. We bought the tickets from some guys in costumes, so you'd think it would have been in the big theater, but it turned out to be in the basement. It wasn't a bad show, just... not what we expected. The next day we went to the National Museum, which is housed in the hugest palace downtown. You can't avoid seeing the mansion so we thought the exhibition inside would be equally majestic. Turns out it was a lot of rocks, fossils and dead animals. Go figure.
The big palace made it all up though. It's one of those very European-Castle on the Hill-So grandeose and magnificent you can't even believe it's real places. It would have been nuts to live there, that's all I have to say. Totally nuts. The view was over the entire city and I took it in while warming myself up with some Turkish hot chocolate.
It didn't snow until the last day, about 15 minutes before we left for the airport. It was enough snow somehow still to delay our flight about 2 hours. I feel like I really know the Czech airport.
On 1st World Countries and Heat in General
The transition has been weird. I have to admit. Not hard really, just weird. Really very extremely weird. Here's some reasons why:
- It's 0 degree celsius here. I went from 90 degrees to snow in a matter of hours. My body doesn't quite know what's going on, I can tell. I think my mind still tells me that I'm going to be roasting everywhere I go, and then it's a supershock when I'm not just not roasting or regular temperature, but freezing cold. Plus side: I found myself 2 winter coats, both of which I am enamored with.
- Juice isn't juice. The hotel we stayed at in Prague (Hotel Clemintin btw, highly recommend it. Odd size blankets but lovely still) came with a full breakfast. The first day I had orange juice. It was delicious. The second morning I had this deep orangy-red juice. I sat there, rolling the juice around in my mouth - trying to decipher which fruit it was. Juice comes straight from fruit, right? and usually minutes befores it's served. I asked Christie what she thought and she gave me a funny look and said something to the effect of "It's probably some mango guava fruity mix" Right. Concentrate. Like not fresh squeezed.
- Even non-fast food comes fast. Just about every menu in Tanzania has a note that says "food takes 45 minutes to be prepared and served." This was generally true. If you wanted to eat at 8, you got there by 6:45, because service is slow and food is slower. They must have been butchering, curing, flavoring and preparing because here, even though the service is still slow (I'm convinced it's because tips aren't so earned as they are at home) the food comes, and it comes fast. It's not bad.
- $$$$ I'm surprised and astonished, as I'm sure you will be when I report that things in Africa are a heck of a lot cheaper than they are here. Even in Prague which was reportedly one of the cheapest European cities I felt like money was just burning through my pockets. I'm not quite sure what I spent it on, but it was spent, and fast.
- I'm sick of exchange rates. I've gone from Tanzanian Shillings (roughly $1 = Tsh1000) to Kenyan Shillings ($1 = Ksh75) to Czech Korunys ($1 = about Kc25) and now to Pounds. I'm not sure what the conversion is here, but it's not good. I try to figure out what I'm spending and I don't know. I honestly don't know.
- It's not real life, there's no real connection, I just... miss it. Tanzania in all honestly has become like home. I miss it like I'm homesick, I really do. I miss the ocean and the hot, muggy air. I miss Jenny and I watching OC, putting peanut butter on everything and collapsing into bed after a long day. and oh, I miss my kids. I never thought I'd ache for them, but I do. I wish I didn't. As cheezy and dramatic and cliche as it sounds, part of me will always be there. It's a part of me I don't feel right about leaving behind. I'm planning my trip back already. I can't go my whole life without another dalla dalla ride, I just can't. What's worse, not many people get it. I guess I'll just have to deal with that.
Well, there's much more of london to be seen. Hopefully lots more stories. I'm seeing We Will Rock You tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. I LOVE QUEEN!