Saturday, May 19, 2012

Welcome to Prague - Day 1

I made it - but it was a loooonnnngggggg flight. First, it was about an 8 hour flight. Second, there was a undisciplined 2 year old behind me. Thirdly, there was a mother who couldn't give two shits what her undisciplined 2 year old did to the person in front of him. For 8 hours, I had my seat kicked. You know, that part about moving ahead 6 hours - which means when we left at 8 PM, it was already 2 AM. And the stupid kid decided for 6 of those 8 hours to kick my chair. Yea, so no sleep for the weary on that one.

But it ended - with me getting zero sleep. And when you arrive at a place at 10 AM and you have been awake since 6 AM the day before (ok, my body thought it was 4 AM when I landed but still), you can't just fall asleep and wake up and start your day. So here it is, 7:40 PM Prague time, and I have yet to sleep (thats 31 hours I believe. But I could be dilusionally wrong).

Don't get me wrong, it's not all bad. My impressions of the city is this: If you wanted to see what a European city looked like at the beginning of the 20th century, look no further. From the clock giving Big Ben (and Ottawa's Parlament building) a run for its money to the St. Charles Bridge. Large gothic influenced and large Eastern Orthodox (I think) influenced, there is a wide variety of architecture that will keep the nostalgic occupied for a long time.

One thing that does stand out is the vast amount of graffiti that seems to plague the city. I can't say for sure (since I don't live here) that it's a nusiance, but I am making a hypothesis that it is. Also, the people here are not the nicest I've ever met. Now they aren't douchebags, but they are far from the Asian experience of Taiwan. But that could just be part of their charm.

Today was also a huge hockey game for the Czech Republic. They were playing a huge rival in Slovakia in seeing who would advance in the World Hockey Championships. Last I saw, they were down 3-1. But they had put out a huge screen in a public square and there were thousands of people waving flags, honking horns, drinking and having a national moment together. It was a very interesting scene, even when they were down.

I managed today to probably overdo my recon of the city. I was able to meet up with a college friend who just happened to be in Prague. He was able to take me to a place where I could get some authentic Czech food. Being I have had no sleep, been stationary for the better part of a day, dehydrated and generally groggy, I won't be surprised if I wake up tomorrow very sore. Also, I have noticed 2 things about liquids in this city: 1. Water is more expensive than beer. 2. It is hard to find water in stores. There are no convience stores. Also, I'm fairly certain that there are no gas stations here in Prague.

Here are some additional pictures from day 1. Until next time...

No comments: