Čočková Polévka

That is what is boiling on my hotplate. I eat a lot of lentil soup here. But it is good, it is easy, I can throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand, and I’m pretty sure the lentils provide protein.

I had a good, busy weekend. Posted a lot of pictures, which tell the stories in a more exciting manner than this entry will, I’m afraid. My flickr has a bunch, as does Mike’s (it is fun being friends with a photographer because he documents everything for us and doesn’t even make us pay!), as does Brian’s, as does Tina’s yahoo page.

The Zoo was amazing. I couldn’t ever remember going, although Mom and Dad informed me that they took me to not one, not two, but three zoos when I was a child; all of them have escaped my memory. But there were only a few of us Friday, with Zdeněk, Jana and Jana’s photographer friend, and it was fun to see the elephants and giraffes and lemurs and everybody. Went to Malý Buddha after we got back and I gorged myself on crab meat spring rolls and fried noodles with vegetables. . .all for like 90kč. We went back to Klub Újezd Friday night, had a few drinks, and left to go to a dance club. But we were intercepted at the night tram stop by a Slovakian guy named Robert, who told us he knew a really good, cheap beer hall where lots of locals hang out. We figured we were okay, since there were 5 of us and 1 of him, so we followed him on a long walk around Nové Město (he was totally lost) and eventually ended up at — lo and behold — a big, cheap beer hall with lots of locals. It was pretty fun; we talked with Robert and a few of his friends he was meeting there, I drank some good house bilé vino, and we were boisterous among the Czechs.

Got up early Saturday for a day hike in Hřensko, a little town near the German border. It was fantastic to be out in the woods, get my legs moving without the hindrance of traffic signals or cars or dog poop or frowning Czech people. We hiked about 6 miles on a nice, though heavily-traveled trail, and stopped in a little town to get an authentic Czech lunch at a beer house. I had really good mushroom and potato soup and bread, and the best dark beer I have ever had in my life. It was a Czech microbrew called Březňak, and it was so creamy it almost tasted like a milkshake — but it was beer. It must have been some kind of milk stout. Delicious. Then we hiked a bit more and got on a little rowboat that a Czech guy paddled down this river while pointing out camels and dragons and snakes and lions in the rock formations lining the canyon and playing Amazing Grace for us on his harmonica. We didn’t get home until about 9:30, because our bus driver got lost in Prague for like an hour, so a few of us went to the Hanging Coffee and I had a warm Irská kavá before they kicked out the Americans, as usual, at midnight. We came home and watched Lost in Translation.

Slept in a bit Sunday morning, and then went to Petrin Park for a picnic with TIna, Laura, Brian, Zac and MIke. It was pretty much the best idea Tina has had so far in Prague. I took a baguette, a hunk of Eidam, an apple, and a bottle of Müller Thurgau, and I was set. I also brought along my iPod and speakers and we rocked out to some old school emo while we lounged in the sun. It was a really fun afternoon and felt good to just be outside, relaxing with friends. I had to do homework, however, when I returned. Read a bunch of Kafka (I’m pretty sure he’s going to make me insane) and wrote a paper for Pavla about kitsch, my yellow submarine tattoo, and the films Wedding Crashers (which my roommate gave me a spur of the moment synopsis of, since I haven’t seen it) and Štěstí. Yeah, that’s why I want to go to graduate school for cultural studies.

Had a good day today; got through my boring classes, and walked around Malá Strana and Smíchov a bit to find Mom and Dad’s hotel. The neighborhood where it is seems cool; it is practically in Malá Strana, and close to everything else, so I don’t think they will even need tram passes. (I think since we got tram passes issued to us, we just always take the tram and the Metro, but really, it isn’t necessary at all, because this city is tiny.) The hotel is on the main street, but if you go off a few blocks it is a bit more secluded, and there are some cool bars and a kavárna with “Cat” in the name that I really want to check out. I rewarded myself with a trip to Bohemia Bagel where I ate a cheese bagel with garlic and herb cream cheese. If that doesn’t taste like home, I don’t know what does. It was delicious, and I did my Czech homework while I ate.

I might go to a welcome party tonight for the international students studying at Karlova. It will be cool to meet more of the Germans and Fins and Poles and Danes and French and Swedes that are in some of my classes. And I think there might be free drinks.

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