Saturday, December 1, 2007
Anyway, Andy, Roman, and I started off the day with brunch at Bohemia Bagel, a diner-style restaurant opened by some American guy in Prague. I had scrambled eggs with spinach, tomato, and cream cheese, plus hash browns and bacon. We all also got mulled wine, which is a European Christmas tradition. Depending on where you get it, it can range from simply wine that is hot, to hot wine with a dash of cinnamon and a squirt of citrus. At Bohemia Bagel, it is amazing.
After that rather filling meal, we walked through Old Town to the castle district, which is where the old castle used to be (obviously) and is also home to St. Vitus Cathedral. This cathedral is a lot like Notre Dame (i.e. they're both very gothic in style), and we climbed up the tower, which took a horrendously long time. Seriously, it was hard. For some reason, the climb up the Arc de Triomphe was much less challenging; I don't know what their respective heights are, but I don't think they're that different. I think it has more to do with the incline of the steps or something. Anyway, the view at the top really is spectacular, so if you don't have cardiovascular problems and you're under 40, you should definitely make the trek. Oh also, it was pretty hazardous, since the tower is just one very narrow spiral staircase, so unlike the Arc de Triomphe, you have people going up and coming down in very limited space.
Tip: Try not to die or collapse on this staircase, especially since any kind of domino effect would kill many other innocent victims. Also, if you are prone to dizziness, watch the wall, not your feet.
Once we finished with the cathedral, we went over to a nearby monastery, which was nice, but I didn't find it anything special. We then wandered around the area and happened upon the Hunger Wall, which was put up during the Cold War. Then we walked over to Prague's mini-Eiffel Tower. I thought that was bizarre. At the café there, I got grog, which is hot rum with sugar. It sounds gross, but it's actually very good. We took the funicular down the hill, which was not that exciting, but still mildly cool.
I had KFC for dinner, because for whatever reason, I really like KFC, especially in foreign countries. It's odd, I will admit.
After all the touring, Roman went home, and I went to stay with some other friends for the night, which was great, because it was a Christmas-themed night at Megan's, which meant hot chocolate, cutting paper snowflakes, and baking cookies.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I got into Prague around 6:30pm, so we went over to Roman's dorm to drop off my stuff and make some dinner. While eating, we watched an episode of "Yes, Minister," which I'd never seen before. It's not bad, but I think it would be funnier if I were British, the way Harold and Kumar is funnier if you're Asian (though I encourage everyone to watch it, Asian or not). We then attempted to go to Cross Club, which is this crazy venue that has mechanical things all around - along the walls, on the tables, hanging from the ceilings, on the way in - it's crazy. They were charging some kind of cover for some random band though, so we left.
Afterwards, we walked through Wenceslas Square (which is really a boulevard lined with shops) and New Town to Old Town Square, near which we landed at a jazz club/bar and met up with Roman's friend Andy. It was cave-like, like a lot of French bars. That must be a European thing. Alcohol is very cheap in Prague. Cheaper than water. After a few drinks, the three of us walked up a hill to the Metronome where a monument to Stalin used to stand. It's basically a large red pointer that ticks during the day, and there's a pretty good view of Prague there.
This is clearly taken at night-time, so you'll have to take my word for it.
On the way back, I got my first smažený sýr, which is a deep-fried patty of cheese covered in mayonnaise or ketchup (or both) on a bun. It's quite possibly the best thing ever. If you like trucker food (like me), you would love it.
The following are just two random Prague things:
Yes, that's 3-person chess. I have no idea how that works.
There's a lot of German in Prague, and everyone speaks English, so even after having gone to Prague, I still don't know how to say "Hello" or "Thank you." While this is mildly embarassing, I also don't care that much, because the practical use of Czech in my daily life is, well, none.
Tip: If you are like me and are always late to places, including the airport, don't bring any luggage you'd have to check in. I think this is what saved me.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Graham and I went to Harrod's, where he forced me to walk through Christmas World just once, which is just as well, otherwise we would’ve been there all day. It was amazing though. It really was like a world of Christmas, and by Christmas, I mean things you can spend money on to decorate your home and have no other practical use whatsoever that people like me love. I'm pretty sure I also saw a sign for fossils. So if you're looking to acquire one (or anything else, ever), go to Harrod's.
When we were walking along the street, Graham decides to inform me, without any prompting whatsoever, “By the way,
We had dinner at YO! Sushi, where they have the plates on the conveyor belt, and the color bowl corresponds to the price of the item. It was quite good, and the gimmick was fun.
On Sunday, we went to Church. The name is ironic. Church is a dance hall that is open from 1-4 on Sundays where you can buy beer in packs of three, which they give you in a plastic bag that most churchgoers tie to their belt loop. There’s a comedian and strippers and there are screens on either side of the stage where cameramen zoom in on the cleavage of random girls in the crowd. (In case you were wondering, Church is run by Aussies, Kiwis, and South Africans. I know; now it all makes sense.)
Tip: If you go to Church, do not raise your hand when the stripper asks for volunteers. It will not be a fun and sexy time for you.
Later at night, we go to a house party that a bunch of people from Colgate are attending. We get there somewhat early, such that when we walk into the room, there is only one person there. Don’t worry though, she knows how to have a good time all on her own. She looks kind of like Amy Winehouse and is rather scantily clad, but your eye goes immediately to the 4-foot inflatable penis that she is, I would say, riding. Just let that image sink in for a bit. The best part? The next morning, when I was waiting for my bus to go to
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Aubergines and Chicken Firecracker Rice from Yo! Sushi