Rainy Afternoon in Praha. . .

I am done with my Intensive Czech course! Had an exam today; I think I did pretty well. I will miss Zdena, though.

Got up today and had a good Praha morning — the best times I’ve had so far here are the mornings I have just gone walking by myself, getting lost and finding my way. When I’m in a group of people, I usually take on the role of navigator, unless Zac is there, and then he does. So it is quite nice to just walk by myself and not have the pressure of guiding people, or wondering if people are tired of walking, or if everyone is having a good time. If I get lost, whatever, I’ll find my way back again, and I like just walking for hours. So I walked down from the Kolej and went to the H&M at the top of Wenceslas Square. I wanted to find a dressy top to wear to Don Giovanni on Sunday, but didn’t like anything. So I walked down the Square to another H&M, tried on some more things. Ended up buying a cool necklace with little wooden birds and green glass beads, a big wide white hipster belt, a bag to take my books in so I don’t always have to take my huge daypack, and a white sweater/shirt that is cute.

I wanted to find a cafe to study some Czech for my exam today, so I walked around until I found Bohemia Bagel off of Old Town Square. It was quite interesting; a bottomless cup of kava cost 45kc, which is a bit pricey for Praha, but I guess reasonable when compared to the States. But you pay for the “American atmosphere” — it was kind of cafeteria-style, they had Thievery-ish techno music playing, fare included hamburgers and egg and cheese bagel sandwiches, bottles on Heinz ketchup sat on each table, most of the patrons were equipped with bulging backpacks, and even though I ordered in Czech, the barista answered me in English. So anyway, I sat and drank the first real cup of coffee I’ve had since I’ve been here and studied.

Went to class, took my test. Walked to the tram in the rain. It was steamy and smelly on there, the windows were foggy, just like the PAT busses in the Burgh. Home, sweet home. The weather here has cooled off in the last week; it is nice and autumnal.

The past few days have been good; I’ve been somewhat lazy, mostly just sleeping in and going to class. Went shopping yesterday with John, Zac and Mike; hit up some thrift stores, bought some bright green and yellow Eurotrash shoes. It was the most fun I have ever had shopping with a group of men. . .actually, probably the only time I have shopped with a group of men. Went to dinner at Maly Buddha last night; paid 115kc for a big bowl of delicious vegetarian/tofu soup and a huge place of fried rice with veggies. Have spent time the past few nights at the Hanging Coffee, too, drinking some Gambrinus and hanging out.

We are going on a day trip to Česky Krumlov tomorrow, a little town in Bohemia. I think a hike is involved, a visit to an old cathedral, probably. There is also another film showing tomorrow night a little further away from downtown that I want to see. I’ve been trying really hard to do some different stuff here, check out places other than clubs and bars, get into some of the culture. I know this will take some time, and I have some time to be here, but I need to feel a little less American and a bit more cultured.

Not sure what my plans are for the night. I want to see Šteští (Something Like Happiness), but it is dreary, and I am home now, and I still need to eat dinner. So we’ll see. A jazz club has also been rumoured as an activity for this evening, which would be quite fun, too.

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