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June 3, 2013

Its been a busy few weeks work wise, which has been terrific. I spent a weekend in DC, have been to the Berkshires several times and did a drive by trip to Boston. Saturday night, though, it got great – I boarded a flight to Prague.

I don’t really like to blog about work trips and I’m in Prague for work, but it’s too good not to talk about it.

The flight was troubling. Nearly, everyone waiting at the gate looked about 20. Fresh-faced and eager. Scattered about were some tourist looking folks, a few people in business suits, and a handful of easily identifiable Central Europeans (the accent mostly, sometimes pink pants, I’m just saying, without judgement). At one point I heard a young Czech guy chatting up two pretty young women with the very, very tired line “in America your old buildings are like 200 years old. In Europe, we have OLD buildings.” Yes, we know. Even the two women you’re talking to know, although they don’t know enough to be annoyed by you.

On the plane, in yet another middle seat (I was a late booking), I learned from the adorable Southern Alabama University girl on one side of me and the slightly nerdy, eager Chicago University student on the other side that they were all participating in a student exchange group and students from around the country had converged in NYC to head to Prague for a three-week exchange program. 

Great. This is exactly the plane I don’t want to be on. I know how this headline reads when the plane falls out of the sky and it’s not going to be me that the news media is up in arms about (sorry – but if my plane goes down, I want something out of it).

But the flight went without a hitch, unless you count bad food and uncomfortable seats. I am thinking when I get back, I’m going to start a yoga class called “Middle Seat Yoga” specifically designed to make one flexible enough to survive an eight hour flight.

In Prague Sunday morning and after a nap, one of my colleagues and I headed out for lunch. What do you want? asked he. Something typically Czech said I. We got pizza. Really good pizza, but still.  Mark headed back to the hotel – after many trips to Prague over many years, he is a bit jaded – and I headed out for a quick walk.

Central Prague is quite small and it took very little time to get my bearings. I hit up the Old Town Sq; went the river to look at the Charles Bridge and the castle on the other side, to be crossed and visited another day; passed the theater which held the premiere performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and was far more exciting to me than I’d expected; got a spectacular cinnamon coffee from a store front; and rejected the idea that I might buy any Bohemian glass as gifts to bring back.

Back in the hotel I showered for dinner (the whole flight over in Delta’s torture seats, I consoled myself with images from the hotel’s website of their fabulous bathtubs, but since I was also I late booking in the hotel, I got the attic, garret room, which has a great view of Prague’s rooftops, but no bathtub). I flipped through CNN’s coverage of the uprisings in Turkey, several dubbed American sitcoms – Friends in Czech was almost worth watching, and settled on video music. The 80s are big in Prague and ABBA, Paula Abdul, and Simple Minds, had me dancing around the room. There were also songs I’d never heard before from the Rolling Stones, Earth, Wind and Fire and several other completely ubiquitous bands.

I joined our conductor and his wife, along with another couple and Mark for dinner at an Italian place near the hotel. The menu was in Czech, Italian, and English with the English version repeating the words local, seasonal, and organic though, I’m told, they weren’t used in the other languages. Local or not, dinner was delicious and light with the wine flowing.  I did tell myself repeatedly that I must eat Czech tomorrow.

I headed to bed, tired and happy and ready to really see Prague. I’m going to head to bed now after my second day here. Tomorrow morning I’ll tell you about today. It involved the worst flooding Prague has seen in a decade and my new pet goldfish.




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One Comment
  1. esme permalink

    I love hearing about your travels, but I hate that you have to leave me in order to do it … 🙂 Have fun and don’t forget my souvenirs!

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