October 11th, 2016

Getting to Prague took me awhile, but I made it, and it was pretty good weather and undeniably a gorgeous city. It was strange being alone again after a month of being with other people pretty constantly. I’d been feeling a bit overstimulated so it was actually nice to be alone with my thoughts, yet I was surrounded by tourists in Prague, more so than I had been anywhere else I think. Prague is cleaner and more well kept than Budapest, less damaged, not any homeless, and it almost felt too pretty. After wandering for awhile that night, and spending too much on granola because I didn’t understand the exchange rate, I went to bed to wake up early to catch the sunrise on the Charles bridge. It was cold yet it was nice to be up early, but I was surprised by how many people were also up, including a line of Asians on each end of the bridge with their cameras and tripods, and shivering brides everywhere. I wandered around the castle, had some hot wine, and through the park to the Eiffel Tower and heard the pomp of the changing of the guards. I went to the post office to mail some letters before trying to catch a walking tour, but couldn’t find the meeting point and feeling defeated kept wandering. I came across the mucha museum and was so excited, even though it was like ten bucks and kinda small, I learned all about this artist that I knew I loved but hadn’t realized just how much. His early prints of Sarah Bernhardt were so amazing and I want them all over my walls, and Satine’s voice from the film Moulin Rouge was in my head, “the great Sarah.” I found it hard not to buy everything in that gift shop, but not wanting to carry anymore things around, I resisted, sorry to everyone at home that I won’t be bringing mucha souvenirs home to.

I went through the old town square, but my phone died so I found a cute little Czech bar to have an unfiltered beer and some food and charge up before meeting my cousin and his wife for a drink. I hadn’t met her yet so it was so nice to do that and to just see a family member! We met at a cool brewery and had a good time. They are so adorable together and I felt really lucky to be a small part of their anniversary trip.

I hung out at the hostel that night and went to bed early again, really just feeling like taking it easy. I did the next day too, because it was rainy and cold, and I found a little cafe to sit and write and have some coffee and traditional Czech food. I wandered along the river later and did some grocery shopping, made my dinner at the hostel and read my book. I ate dinner at the same time as this German guy, but he didn’t know any English and I didn’t know any German, so we sat in silence as we drank our tea, but he did share his chocolate with me. As the night went on, there were a lot of people hanging out and drinking and conversing and instead of partaking, I just chilled in the background and eavesdropped. I felt sneaky, but okay about it. I didn’t feel like telling my story and was happy to just watch it all happen. I kept to myself until a large and drunk group of Finnish people came back from the bar and started chatting with me, and it was so adorable how as soon as I was in the mix, they all spoke English, and so well, and were pretty obsessed with saying the word “nice,” but like “noice.” It was adorable. I learned a little about Finland and all their lakes and fishing and how cold it is. And this group was really tight and really loved each other. The boys were talking about how they were really good at cuddling and that was really funny.

My last day in Prague I did some more wandering and went up to the park across town and finished my book. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to just relax and read and watch the sunset over the city and the castle. I had some beers at a cute bar up there and then headed to go find a cellar bar. It was awesome, so cavernous and winding and really fun. I realize that all over Europe there are these bars with so many rooms and different bars, and the bar I had visited in Ireland like this was only just the start of my multi tiered bar experience, especially after Budapest and their many floors and rooms. Why don’t we have bars like that in Chicago? They’re so fun.

I went back to the hostel to eat the rest of my food and was keeping to myself until invited to join a couple Americans, a Finnish girl, and a danish boy, as they drank wine. I thought I would be going to bed early again, but suddenly I was encouraged to drink and hang out, and since they were all so lovely, I did. There was also a guy wandering around dancing and turning up the music, that for the most part we ignored because he was really weird and pretty annoying. Julius, a German Russian, also was hanging out with us a bit and he was so funny. The Americans, Cole and Ricky, were really excited to be there and hang out with us, and kept buying bottles of wine because they had won money at the casino. It’s crazy to see casinos all over the place in Europe, since they’re not anywhere in the States except boats and reservations and Vegas. Cole was living in Berlin and Ricky had come to visit and travel with him and he was so excited to be in Europe for the first time. Cole was an interesting fellow and his mannerisms and sense of humor reminded me of my little brother so it was endearing, and he liked that I laughed at his jokes. He talked about how he was actually asexual, never having felt sexually attracted to anything, and we were all curious about that. Noora, the girl from Finland, was so cute and we were really on a level. She was on holiday and a nurse back at home, awaiting her friend to join her the next day. The guys from Finland joined us later and it turned out that they were actually from the same town in Finland as Noora! Such a small funny world. I finally went to bed but was really glad I had enjoyed my last night in Prague with these adorable travelers.