- There was a group of men near the Charles Bridge this afternoon, on the Old Town Side. They all had on black t-shirts that had pictures of broken chains on them and the words “Truly Free” printed very large. In smaller print, underneath the picture, the shirts said “Mission: Prague, Czech Republic.” These men were missionaries, no dobubt. I would wager that they were American missionaries, for the following reasons: (1) their shirts were in English, and I think Great Britain is pretty much exclusively agnostic at this point, (2) they were overweight and (3) they had gelled, spiked hair. I wanted to ask them if they knew any Czech. Because I’m sure Czechs will be incredibly receptive to the Gospel in English, since they are so receptive to English-speakers in general in this city. I really hope at least they were there for the Roma, and not the 70% of the Czech population that considers itself secular.
- There is a computer lab at my school, where I went for the first time today. I had to create a new account, and there was a nerdy, pimply tech-assistant guy with a goofy smile there to help me. (Some things are global.) We had a communication breakdown, however, when I tried to type a password for my account. He said it had to be 8 characters, and a combination of letters and numbers. But every time I leaned over him awkwardly to type my password on his computer, it didn’t work. Finally, he looked up what he was trying to tell me in a CZ–>EN dictionary online. The password also had to contain capital letters, the troublesome phrase in our cross-cultural dialogue.
- It is not culturally acceptable to sit at a cafe and do homework. I found a cafe in Megan’s Prague travel book, and set out to locate it this afternoon. I did find it, eventually, and ordered a delicious 35kč cappuccino. But the waiter gave me a dirty look when I pulled out my “Basic Czech I” workbook and started copying verbs and conjugating them.
- There is a park in Mala Strana where kids lay on the grass and smoke weed. I stumbled upon said park this afternoon, after leaving the cafe with the dirty-look-waiter. I hoped to stumble upon the famed John Lennon Wall, too, but no such luck. Another day, I will have to seek it out. I did find a corner store where I bought a 10kč bar of Orion Na Vaření, a dark chocolate candy bar that is the closest I get here to having a bag of chocolate chips on hand for a tiny mid-evening chocolatey pick-me-up. (Chocolate chips don’t exist here, I don’t think.) I also went to the Victims of Communism Monument in Mala Strana, which is an interesting piece of public art. I also found a bakery where I got a chocolatey/berry pastry and ate it while standing on most Legií and looking down at the Vltava. Then I walked back across to school. It was a very Praha afternoon.
- There is a vegetarian restaurant in Old Town called Country Life. However, I don’t know where it is, which I demonstrated when Mike and Bryan weren’t at our designated meeting place at 6:30 to meet Tyler and me, and we tried to find said restaurant anyway. We ended up at the State Theatre and got falafel from a stand on the street for 59kč. It was delicious. We proceeded to walk up the hill to Hradčany and the Kolej. It was a beautiful night and a nice walk.
- I take classes, for which I have to do homework. Now, I will write 6 sentences using 6 different verbs and 6 different conjugations, in Czech, for my class at 8:30 tomorrow.