Sunday, February 22, 2009
week in review
So this was probably my most productive week in Prague in terms of... well... doing things (stimulating my intellect, and then dumbing it right back down). Sunday and Monday were both a wash because of severe exhaustion from Budapest. Tuesday some kids from the program hosted a party at their apartment. THis was a big deal for the Czech kid and his friends living there, who are not used to packing that many kids into a private dwelling and hovering around beer-pong tables with Biggie playing in the background (sound like America.....?). So after staying there for a little, we went to a pub across the street for a change of scenery. The jukebox not only had an excellent selection of international music, but had a long cycle of porn images as a screen saver. The cops put a damper on that outing, however, as we managed to cause enough ruckus to cause one of the neighbors to call in a noise complaint (this would be run-in no. 1 with Prague cops, only 4 days after an encounter with Budapest cops). So rather than listen to the music at whisper-volume, we left. The apartment was waay closer to my place than anywhere else I would have gone that night, so I called it early and went home. Wednesday I slept through a 315 class, then went that night to see the libraries of the Strahov Monastery Library (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=strahov+monastery&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2). Like anything else in Prague, this building and the Abbots who run the place have a ridiculously tumultuous history. But what stands now is an amazing library housing thousands of books, some of which are about 1500 years old. I got to see a first edition Czech printing of Gallilleo's "Heliocentric theory" from the 1500's among others. There were also these incredible globes from the 1600's made by this "globesman" in Amsterdam. The ceilings of both rooms in the library were painted with these ridiculously intricate, detailed frescoes. In one room, there were a bunch of little pictures framed by the ceiling supports, each one with some religious, Latin quote. The other was a huge ceiling-mural of the progression of man and religion from the time of Abraham to the Renaissance. Thursday we went pub hopping in Zizkov, which is somewhat likenable to Brooklyn- it's a working class neighborhood that attracts a lot of kids (domestic and foreign). One street prides itself on having 30 pubs within a few block stretch. Anyway, apparently people in Prague don't do anything on Thursdays. Every place we went to was more or less empty, and we got waaay drunker than our socializing could have justified. Either way it was a great time. Mike (of Budapest trip- see prior post) got stopped by cops for being loud, climbed and walked across 2 parked cars, passed out in a chair at one all-Czech bar. When he awoke to find himself covered in coasters he wanted to know "what the hell are all of these beer puzzles doing on me". Nice. Friday I actually made it out of bed by about noon, brushed up on the news, and went to see the Salvador Dali exhibit in staromesta (Dali is always a worthy trip). That night was my encore modeling performance for my fashion-student Czech friend Anna. Rather than just walk the runway like last time, I had to go early and learn this whole routine/dance across a the stage. After being there for 2 hours, I kinda knew what to do, and left to kick back a few pivos before showtime. My costume this time was even more ridiculous than the last, and, with a touch of creative genius by the make-up/hair lady, had all the planets of our solar system painted on my face, and yellow spray put into my already spiked hair. On the plus side, however, I was filmed dancing onstage with some damn beautiful Czech models (I was by far, by far the least attractive member of this crew), and evidence of this should be on TV or the internet at some point. Following the show, I spent way too much time talking to some French girl about God knows what kind of nonsense, and by that time didn't have many other options than to go home. Saturday afternoon I woke up at 1, devoured the meal prepared for me by my host mother, and went to see Dvorak's 7th symphony at Rudolfinum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolfinum). The hall itself was beautiful, and the performance itself was enough to satisfy my extremely unrefined taste for classical music. Last night we found the best foosball table we've played on in Europe thus far, and played like the apocalypse was coming. The bar itself was nice, but that's about as far as we got. Today I went to the Military History museum, which was suprisingly enjoyable, and, if nothing else, made me more eager to shoot guns- the bigger the better.