No green fairy, but...
I didn't see a green fairy, but...
July 7 continued I think...
We went to the Metronome in the city park and it was amusingly lame. It used to be a monument to Stalin built just before Kruschev revealed Stalin's crimes. There's apparently a skateboarding competition in Prague right now and there were lots of skateboarders at this park. I fell asleep to the white noise of the boarding. It's like whales moaning.
There was another pub crawl filled with annoying American kids (like myself)...probably because other cultures don't need pub crawls. But there was also an Irishman who's been teaching English in Kuwait for 20 years. He came to Prague for the weekend strictly for the beers and whores. A trio of loud, annoying English girls were also there and I later told one, Anna referred to her as "Tits McGee", that I'd be teaching English in France and she said I shouldn't since I'd teach them "gonna" and "y'all". We went to a really cool bar with all these underground tunnels. I tried Absinthe while already drunk and it was awful.
This is the best part of my whole trip...almost. I got the hiccups after the crawl. For the first time in more than 10 years! I was hiccuping the whole walk home and laughing at how I've missed it and how much they hurt. It was beautiful, and annoying to Anna.
July 8 (36,960 steps - 17.64 miles)
I keep wishing someone would steal my big and all my clothes so I wouldn't have to carry it around (how "ironic").
Anna and I met up with this guy and girl from America who'd been living in London for a while whom we met on the pub crawl. They were really weird and I didn't want to see them again. The guy had this 1000 yard stare and creeped me the fuck out. The woman was annoying and over explained things...and had stupid tattoos. We ate somewhere and they were really pissed we were charged $1 extra for bread without warning. But we had such great absinthe. It was disgusting- it burned and tasted like kerosene/mouthwash but it gave me the best drunk ever. We walked across the Charles bridge and I felt really trippy and thought the wall I was leaning on was moving. I guess no absinthe makes you hallucinate anymore. Pity. On the bridge is this statue that you rub to make a wish- limit one per lifetime. I think I made a good/non selfish wish. Other people rubbed the wrong part and apparently you die if you do that...
At night we went back to the same restaurant and got more absinthe. I'd bought an ocarina earlier and was playing it all day. I was playing it, doing pretty well on the absinthe and mentioned to Anna how I felt like Willy Wonka. One minute later a dwarf walked up to me and asked for money, in Czech. I thought I was hallucinating for a minute.
I feel like I'm not doing a proper vacation. I'm not visiting the right museums, learning the right things, trying the right food, visiting the out of the way places. But I don't care. I love walking around and know that I'll probably tour Europe again next summer.
I saw the Museum of Communism. It has terrific postcards.
When I get back I'm detoxing for a few days, giving up cheese and beer for a while, getting a haircut, playing soccer/kickball (more to come...).
July when? What? I have more steps. Oops. 30,272 steps - 14.3 miles
Idea! Take vacation without a camera. Ask others to take pictures of you then e-mail them to you and you can paypal them. (How ominous!)
Beggars in Prague lay on their stomachs with their hands out like they're praying. This way they can sleep and earn money. Good vacation for them! They're in Prague!
I feel rude for not knowing any Czech and not saying any polite words...not even in English as I feel bad for defaulting to that. Update: I learned thank you.
Anna keeps calling me Kevian. Ha.
I keep hearing only old songs and covers of old songs. Silly Eastern Europe.
July 9 (36,801 steps - 17.38 miles)
We went on a shitty bike tour where the Dutch tour guide didn't know anything. We kept going where bikes weren't allowed and at one point Anna and I almost blocked in a guy walking. He was motioning me to move to my right but I was fumbling and went to the left. As he walked by he fucking SLAPPED me in my arm really hard. I was going to punch him (probably not) but I felt like it was my fault and felt bad for being a tourist.
I had a good chat with some kids from Slovenia. They're all so young and traveling without parents. I kept trying to get them to go to the night club with us but they were too tired.
To prepare for the game I went to a grocery store and bought a bottle of champagne. I carried it around for a while and then decided to put it back and get a colder one. I pulled one out and it fell a little ways and then to the ground. It was loud, but didn't break. I put it back and grabbed another one. I went to check out and as I tried to leave a security guard was talking to me in Czech. He motioned toward the bottle and I assumed I was supposed to have it wrapped up. Then he told me to follow him. We went to the champagne and he said some things and motioned about a bottle falling. I showed him the one I dropped and then he said, "Okay! No problem!" And did a thumbs up.
We watched, barely- we could hardly see it, the World Cup final match between France and Italy and I was pissed. You know that Italian made some comment about Zidane being Algerian to anger him and get him the red card.
We went to what's supposed to be the biggest night club in Europe with 5 floors. I got a lot of sympathy drinks (including absinthe) from people since I was wearing my French jersey. I got incredibly drunk and a small group of us went to the Charles bridge to watch the sun rise. At some point I lost my camera. Fuck. Good news: I just changed memory cards and should be "okay". I'll use...a disposable now.
Am I getting varicose veins near my ankles? Fucking gross. What do I do?
I love how people are still friendly though they support different teams. I had several people playfully chant "Italia!" before and after the match and I returned with "Allez les bleus!" I think the UN should be replaced with FIFA.
We left Prague this morning and are now in Cesky Krumlov. A beautiful, small town on an island filled with hostels and antique shops. It smells of all these spices and I keep seeing bikers.
I keep seeing people wearing braces. Are they braces? They're like crutches but not really. Do they still have polio widely spread over here? Are they just being cautious? What's going on?
These are direct notes I took a few mornings ago. At one point "American Life" by Madonna was playing. These aren't thought out well.
American culture has fully penetrated every place I've been. Is that wrong? I don't believe it's better but why has it succeeded? Is world military power by default main culture exporter? Living conditions plus population equals greater chance for success?
But why are we so resistant to outside influence? I hope World Cup excitement has grown in US and will cause more interest in diversity and minority cultures WC and other things that is. I feel a polarization coming in America. We need to be part of world community.
In Europe all these different cultures HAVE TO interact. They're so close. We're still this colony. We're diverse but have created new culture of classes and misinformation.
Other countries/cultures aren't perfect and ni many ways I've found I've liked and appreciate America more while abroad. But in many ways that's privilege talking. Where to start? Hollywood? More foreign films/tv/press? Lower travel abroad prices. Teach more languages at earlier age. Foreign music? More influence accepted bridging to outside. More world news, less religion.
I don't have solution- not even sure on suggestions. I just want America to fit in. I want to want to be American.