There are only two types of tourists. Bad tourists, and really bad tourists.
Hopefully I’m just a bad tourist. I got up at six this morning to catch the sunset on
Charles Bridge – a lot like the narrows, and waited – nobly – until 9am to get
a coffee because I refused to get one from Starbucks. I went back in the afternoon – they have free wifi!!
The Charles Bridge was stunning at dawn. I didn’t take any photos because of the
dead camera, but my theory is that if I managed to get a perfect shot – if I
was very skilled or – in my case – very lucky, I might take a photo that
looked nearly as good as one on Google or a postcard. It’s completely
different if there are people in the shots, but since I’m a lone wolf, I just
loitered my way up towards Prague Castle in search of a non-commercial coffee.
My busking got off to a rocking start an hour later – I was waiting for the rich businessmen
and kindhearted tourists heading to work via the Charles Bridge, but the
businessmen were indifferent and the tourists shunned me because I was singing in
English. I only made 50 koruna – about $2.50 – and that was the money I’d put
in my hat at the start to get the ball rolling.
Half an hour in, finishing a STUNNING rendition of My Funny Valentine, an old lady
set up a small portable organ and just started singing over the top of me. It
was brilliant – she set up literally a few metres away and just started singing
loudly despite the fact that I was clearly running a very successful, not to
mention lucrative business. I wasn’t in the mood for a fight with the old woman,
so I took that as my cue to leave, picked up my empty cap and left with what
little dignity I had left.
I don’t think I could describe the rest of the day as ‘fun’ cos my feet were killing
and I’d been lost basically the whole day, but the good thing about being lost
in Prague is that everywhere looks like it’s somewhere you would have/should
have planned to go. There are back streets, and those back streets lead to
other back streets that lead to parks or cafes or museums or just another
amazing 500 year old building.
To make two gross generalisations about Prague:
Everybody looks like a supermodel and everybody shouts when they talk.
How much is the price of…
Excuse me can you tell me where the…
I DON’T SHPEAK ENGLISH!
Then how do you know what I said.
In the afternoon, I visited the Kafka museum which was surprisingly tasteful
considering it could have just been a cover for flogging pencils and postcards.
They had a visual representation of his work – a black and white movie running
in an entirely white room, that was very ‘kafkaesque’ – yeah, I went there –
and experimented with the theory that Westerners will look at a picture and
isolate one section to the exclusion of all surrounding images. I don’t quite
know what the application was, but it was pretty cool.
6 more hours of culture…
I’m on the 9pm train to Krakow now – it’s very Orient Express, and it smells like
wee, but only in a faint, inoffensive way. I have a whole compartment to myself
which is amazing considering there were meant to be six at capacity. They’ve
supplied a charming tiger print throw and half a pillow so it looks like it’s sleepy time.
Ps. Small stain on mattress may in fact be wee, but I’m not game to smell it.
Pps.I’m so babeled out right now. I’m totally crushing on the English language.