Friday, July 18, 2003

Dinner and a show

Hello everyone!

Just a nightcap of an email before I drag myself back to my hostel. :-)

Well, today was a very good day. Finally! I left the internet cafe and made my way down this great street to the vegetarian eatery I mentioned earlier, to look for flat listings. I found several interesting ones, so that was a success. Along the way, I discovered a grocery store, much to my delight. I had a look around, and was interested to see that they carried several American brands of products. For example, Smucker's jams, Heinz Ketchup, etc. Of course, the American brands were twice as expensive as the Czech ones, despite the fact that they were about the same or even cheaper than at home. I didn't buy anything, but I think I'll go there tomorrow. Just a stone's throw from that store was one specializing in fruit! Their window displays were filled with the most luscious looking berries and peaches, and even tomatoes! I went in to have a look and was not suprised to see that strawberries were over $9/gram or whatever unit of measurement they were using-I can't remember! But, they looked great! Smelled good, too. But, too too expensive for this chick, so I moved on.

I spent quite awhile in the vegetarian place enjoying a delicious lunch of roasted potatoes and leeks fricassee. It actually ended up that I didn't have enough time to make it to the English bookstore, so I will have to do that tomorrow. In the end, I decided that I wanted to go to the movie more, so I went! What an experience!

At first, I couldn't even find it. It was on one of the busiest streets in all of Prague and I kept searching for the address, but no place was displaying their address in plain view. Eventually, I found the address, but it was for this sort of entry into a long alley of different shops. I wasn't sure if I would be there, but I walked down this alley, and thankfully, it was right there at the very end. So, I paid about $3.50 to see "Frida". It was down in the basement in what the man told me was the "big" hall. Hah! Um, this place was about as big as one of the rooms at the Cobblestone-and those are about the size of a private viewing room in some guy's mansion. And the chairs were like ones in a dentist's waiting room! Oh, and when you paid, you got to pick your seat location from a picture on a computer screen behind the counter. I chose row 3, seat 8, and then the guy printed up my ticket. Imagine the horror of just letting people find their own damn seats! Can you picture the chaos?! ;-) Very interesting... And, of course, no refreshments of any kind, although there was a bar, but it wasn't open. I saw where they were showing Casablanca and it was like your own little room because it's just on DVD. So, I don't think I'll be going back for that. :-) There are much larger movie houses here, so I think I'll try one of those out.

After the movie, I walked out into the twilight a little dazed to find myself in the middle of this busy and quite beautiful street. At the far end was an enormous building, the National Museum. And all around me were ornately decorated, quite colorful buildings, with facades that looked like wedding cakes. And this is the *norm*!!! Everywhere I turn, I see these buildings and I'm reminded of why I chose to come here. I stood outside the theatre for a bit, just soaking in the scene around me, looking down to the theatre building, and at the people strolling by. For the first time it hit me that *I live here*. I'm not just a tourist. For the first time I actually felt LUCKY to be here, to be doing this.

To be frank, I'm scared shitless to be here at all, but maybe it will actually work out. Tonight I had my first glimmer of hope. :-)

Anyway, enough sentimentalizing... I just ate a so-so dinner at a local pizzeria, and I'm eager to limp back to my rock-hard bed. :-) I'll let you know how dinner goes tomorrow night with my new comrades. Goodnight!!

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