Doktory, Scholars, Václavské

It is Wednesday, but it feels like Sunday, because we have no school in honor of St. Wenceslas Day. On this day in 929, Duke Wenceslas was killed by his brother, and then he became the patron saint of Bohemia. In 2000, the government decided today should be St. Wenceslas Feast Day, also known as Czech Statehood Day, but the year 2000 was not very long ago, and no one really seems to care about the holiday yet. So we have no school and the post offices are closed, but that’s about all.

Had a good, short week. (I say “had” because it is essentially over now.) Classes Monday were good; history, language, alternative culture. Then yesterday I had a great Kafka/Kundera course, and a fantastic second half of my alternative culture course. Pavla decided to split the class into two groups so we can go to exhibits and shows and pubs and cafes more easily, so we went for a short walk, then ended up at Ebel Cafe in Old Town. We sat around and talked, and Pavla told us about her life, highlights of which include her Fullbright at UC Santa Cruz, meeting her American husband in San Francisco, buying John Lennon’s “Imagine” on the Czechoslovakian black market in 1971, studying Robinson Jeffers in Czech, and applying postmodern theory to every day life (hence, cultural studies). She is amazing, and she made me want to be a cultural studies scholar. This might be a bad turn for me. After the cafe, we went to an art exhibit called “The Pope Smokes Dope,” which was in the basement of this really cool old building. The exhibit consisted of record albums and concert posters from the 1960s — not “rare” ones or anything, just standard Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, Mitchell, Donovan, etc. Basically, stuff any American could find in a parent’s or uncle’s record collection. But it was put under glass, guarded by little museum-docent Czech ladies, and set up in a museum. Quite interesting. They missed all of that movement here, and now have to view its “artifacts” in a museum.

Went to the doctor on Monday, and it was quite a good experience. They took me right away, checked my vitals, did some blood test to see if I had a virus or an infection, gave me medicine, swiped my credit card, and I was out the door. The doctor was a really nice, young Czech woman, and she gave me 4 different medicines for my sinus infection — an antibiotic, 2 decongestants and a nose spray. And it all cost $175, up front. Crazy. So, I am feeling better, but still have opted not to go out yet this week.

I’ve cooked 3 nights in a row now! Made a good lentil soup on Tuesday, and some pasta last night. It is nice to buy fresh veggies and then just make some combination of them to eat each night. Protein is the difficult part, though, because meat isn’t exactly easy or cost-efficient to come by. But lentils and black beans are okay.

Sarah from Pitt is coming in to town today, and I am meeting her at the train station at 1:20. It will be fun to show her around for a few days and hear about her adventures over the past few months. I had thought about going to Budapest this weekend, but I don’t think it is going to happen. Maybe another weekend.

Not much else is new. I’ve been feeling kind of blah this week; I think a lot of people are. A lot of people are sick, and this has been an interesting period of adjustment, since school has really started, and we are all realizing that the vacation is over and now we have to live in Prague for the next 3 months. Stress about various things, travel plans for the fall break being a primary one, and just the trying-to-settle-in thing. I feel like I go in such waves, from being so excited and busy and engaged and pumped up about being here, to just feeling like, okay, let’s go to school, do what we’re supposed to do, and keep things rolling. But time is going so fast. We have been actually in Prague almost a month now.

So, I’m looking forward to a nice weekend, maybe checking out some photo exhibits or theatre productions, perhaps continuing my quest for the cafe, and doing some reading.

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