June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m sitting on the balcony patio of our apartment in Prague, on the top floor of an old yellow building surrounded by tiled red rooftops. It’s not quite six in the morning but I’m wide awake and finally, for the first time since arriving here a couple of days ago, processing actually being here. I have been awake for every sunrise and sunset since my arrival. I have climbed the 287 stairs to the top of the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle on two hours of sleep the night before. I have watched the Canucks lose the series with the expats and sat in a smoky hookah bar with the locals, where you pay however much you feel like paying on the way out. I’ve tried zero of the Czech specialties, though have had some of the best frites of my life. I’ve discovered the hard way that beer is really cheaper than water here. We’ve eaten Hungarian poppyseed cake, made by a Couchsurfing visitor, and made pizza instead of ordering from down the street, and I’ve brought over caramelized onion quiche for the morning after. Not bad for a couple of twenty-somethings in a new city.
I love looking out the window at the colorful, lacey rooftops, interrupted every so often with two rising cathedral towers. The rooftops remind me of the brightly colored Victorians back home. The wind rattles the open windows, just like the storms at home. The clouds that part briefly to give way to the sun, only to come sweeping back in a couple of minutes later. Unlike in Paris, I am acutely aware of being in a foreign country, as all I can manage to do in an everyday exchange with the grocer is smile in response to her talking. But without the romantics and the hype, and if you’re excluding that time I got caught in a torrential downpour in four inch heels walking to the closed metro station, it’s a very homey place. I feel like I have been here forever already.
If I believed in love at first sight, Prague might be it.