it’s a few weeks on and things are normalizing here. well, normalizing as they do when you are in a strange, new and foreign land. which is more to say “becoming more familiar” than actually normalizing.
i am beginning to make peace with prague, but the city still completely mystifies me. as bill’s friend who visited last weekend put it: “prague is an enigma.”
now, i know you all love it when i write about the weird and wacky aspects of living abroad, so i have been stockpiling a list of weird and wacky things i have noticed or experienced in prague, and i am taking a nod from my e-pal allison carlton today to give you a list.
bees. prague has so many bees. i kind of don’t understand it. i mean, the city is very leafy and green and overgrown, sure. but i’ve lived in plenty o’ green places before (hello, ireland!) and not seen so many bees. they have basically overtaken the entire city. they get into the tram at least ONCE per ride and they swarm you when you are walking down the street. this is very much not my favorite.
smiling. prague people do not seem to smile very much. i’m not sure yet what that’s about, but i intend to find out.
pork. oh my goodness, was anthony bourdain right on when he called prague “porkopolis.” i challenge you to find a “vegetarian” dish here that does not include small bits of pork for taste. “green beans with bacon” seems to be the vegetable of choice on czech menus (read: the ONLY vegetable).
smoking. lordy lordy lordy. i thought the chinese liked to smoke. forget about it. praguers win, hands down. indoors, outdoors, on the tram. everywhere. that’s all i gotta say about that. ahem.
the “potraviny”. this is basically like a czech convenience store, but actually more like a chinese version of one, because they are these super crowded, dusty, crazy shops with like, everything you can imagine in them. a lot of them are open 24-hours (or “non-stop” as the czechs like to say) and they sell everything from apples to jim beam.
underground bars. when i say “underground”, i mean it quite literally. like, in the basement. it seems like you always have to go downstairs to get into a pub, and they are always these window-less stone caverns dripping with atmosphere. not that i’m complaining. they are basically awesome.
becherovka. it is a known fact that i’m not really drinking much these days, but i can never resist the temptation of trying a new and utterly local liquor. becherovka is a czech liqueur that is distilled from anise seed and 32 kinds of herbs. it tastes like ginger and goes down like alcoholic tea.