Saturday, November 14, 2009

Trainspotting Television Towers

By nine thirty we had all awoken, and headed down for breakfast. I had led the charge a good fifteen minutes before any of the others, and begun to devour my cereal – which I had until this hostel avoided. But with coco powder to turn my milk chocolaty, I could not resist. Lactose be damned.

I met a French Canadian in the breakfast area, and chatted with him about this and that, and about the one hundred liters of water they just recently found on the moon. By the way, how crazy is that? One hundred liters of water. On the moon.

He said that the idea of building a moon base was stupid, I said it had to be done so as we could be like in science fiction book and movies. I figured it might also make launching ships easier. He was unconvinced. Then I suggested that we would need it before we ever broke the speed of light.

Do not. I repeat – do not – suggest to a physics student that it is possible to break the speed of light. And when they counter with maths and sciences, ideas such as folded space, worm holes, and warp drives are no way to with them over. In fact, it only makes them more and more enraged. The only way to counter such things, is for a large Spanish man to refference Kutna Hora by suggesting a crazy space monk will make a space church using melted space bones from long times outside of gravity. And then civility can return to the cereal room.

Whenever the woman manning the breakfast area would leave, I would refill, down, then refill again my juice glass. It was slightly delicious. Watered down tangy – just to accent the space theme of the morning.

Basement Jaxx top 10 on MTV worked as a mind numbing, and psychedelic background exhibit. Many times we were forced to question just where, in fact, our heads were at. I liked the monkeys.

But breakfast, free and wonderful as it may be, can never last forever. By noon we had pulled ourselves from the hostel with all of four hours left of light. To the train station we headed.

I may have suggested some roads that could have been better chosen. I could have suggested roads with sidewalks. Roads that weren't highways. Roads that didn't require running across highways. On blind turns. But I did not. No – and these obstacles, I feel, only added to the thrill. Stew thought that it was not unlike World War 2 video games where one person would run across the road first, and call out when it was clear to the others. Excpet in this case there were no virtual bullets. But cars. Big cars. That would flatten you. I went first – I'd rather trust myself than someone else shouting. Even if it was me doing the shouting – especially if it was me doing the shouting. But we all survived, and we all made it to the train station.

For the price at which time travel happens (88CAD) we bought our tickets for Munich, and then continued on with our day.

I had mapped out a walking course that would run us to the Television Tower. I assumed that it would be an interesting thing to see. Television towers often are a wee bit weird, and wacky, and strange. What I did not expect to see were faceless babies climbing all over it.

Truly nothing can prepare you for giant faceless babies climbing a television tower. It's just not right. It's just not normal. And it just doesn't seem Prague – mind you, they have that dancing building, so who am I to pretend like I know what magic goes on here?

The Television tower is a sight not to miss, and one that I felt fully justified in dragging people out to. Good for me. Then we went on to see the horse. It was on the map – it had to be something good, yeah? On the way we were sidetracked by graffiti.

Once more I was in a hot spot of stencils, not unlike those in Paris. Andy Warhol would be proud to see his work re-imagined. And if he wouldn't be, well then I'm sure he'd just go make another art house pornography film, do some more drugs, and forget all about it. There were a number of good pieces here, and once again I was annoyed by those who feel that because their work doesn't compare, they should just tag right over top of people who do know what they're doing.

It was here that I finally felt like I left the tourist district behind. The buildings were crumbling, the shops were authentic, and the restaurants – well they were the same price as in the square, so I'm not really sure how that works. One of the walls had the phrase “Cude! You can run, but you can't hide.” I was hoping it should have said dude. And if not – it's really quite terrifying. And I'm glad that I am not Cude. I hope he's still o.k. Unless he was a bad guy to begin with – and then, well, it's for the fates to decide.

Turning one corner we saw the horse statue. Up on a hill. High up on a hill. With no stairs – and no obvious way to go. Energy levels falling, it was decided that looking up at it was just as good as looking straight on. And anyway, wasn't it time to get some food?

Indeed it was. Back to the Old Town Square where booths would be waiting just as they had last night, and the night before. Today I downed a sausage, and one of those pizza bread things – but covered in Nutella and icing sugar, rather than ketchup and garlic and cheese. Truly it is a versatile and wonderful treat. Never mind how eating a vat of deep fried dough makes you feel afterwards.

Disaster struck. I had to use the washroom. And it was not cheap. Either fifty euro cents, or ten czollars. I jad counted out forty eight euro cents, but just then I saw the lady was switching shifts with someone else. And by lady I mean the devil enforcer of the urinatrium. I saw my moment, and I pounced, running into the washroom, doing what needed to be done, and getting out. All in the short time it took for one old lady to replace another. And then i was out, lost amongst the feasting tourists once more. Yes, I had stolen toilet usage like I have stolen wifi – and if felt glorious. I struck at the heart of fascism. Or something like that. I don't know. All I know is that I didn't pay to pee – like I did two days ago. I still hate myself for that moment of weakness.

Nick devoured giant waffles, and chicken skewers in a bun. I don't know why you'd put a skewer in a bun. it's just tempting you to take a bite, and stab your throat in some sort of terrible awkward disaster. Stew at sausages. They both allowed me to pawn off parts of my deep fried Nutella treat on them.

Mind you, had I had put it in the garbage, people who have picked it up and eaten it within a matter of moments. Left over food, half finished wine or beer, anything that can be digested sitting in the garbage? It seems to be fair game. Though the people who grab from that free food pile don't seem to look disheveled, or poorly dressed. I am confused. Perhaps it's like Paris, where the homeless are quite well dressed, owing to the fact that so many people care about fashion that they buy the best, and then discard that said best, only a few months later when the new season hits.

From the square to the bridge, from the bridge to the other side where – despite us three walking six meters from an Asian couple a restaurant owner invited us to “sit down, table of five?” I claimed that they had just got profiled – four Asians can't be near each other, and not together. Stew said no, no – that wasn't what it wa- - - “I know right! Racist [expletive]! What the [expletive] was that all about?!” the girl screamed from in front of us. She was a feisty one. I admired her fire, and rage. Her boyfriend stayed quiet, hands in his pockets, head down, no doubt wondering how many new purses he'd have to buy her before this moment was forgotten.

And then it was just a matter of making our way over more bridges, past grocery stores to stock up on train foods for tomorrow, and crashing back at the hostel. There monies were counted, subway fees were placed to the side, and the rest was allocated for our nightly trip back to the square to eat once more.

Honestly – I can't tell you how much I will miss eastern Europe. Being able to afford food? That's really something quite spectacular.

One hundred and eighty kroner left. And so much food available. Back to the square we headed – with me smelling of the oil in which my earlier eaten bread was deep fried. “It's the type of oil that enters through your mouth, and leaves through your pores,” Nick commented. It's true – I hate that kind of oil.

Back at the square chocolate banana crepes, paninis, and some sort of rolled dough cooked on a thick wooden spit, over a fire, rolled in sugar and almonds, was eaten. And for a time all was well. But then I wanted to start a violent encounter with four tourists. Four tourists that filled me with more rage than I had yet felt on this trip.

The homeless who eat from the garbage are more visible here at night and are more obviously spotted. Four tourists handed one of said homeless the wrapper that their crepe was in. And when he saw that it was already empty, they started – not only loudly laughing at him, but laughing to the extent that they were stomping their feet in their riotous uproar. This was enough to cause blinded rage within me. I was told that it was probably for the best that I didn't see when they threw the uneaten part of their crepe on the ground, before handing him the garbage.

Though rather than going to international jail, I did what I could and gave the remainder of my wooden fire roll dough treat to the man. Lets be honest, I'm only stuffing myself here because I can. For the first time in a while I've been feeling consistently full. I needed no more treats. Though language barriers prevented much communication, a toothless smile with a mouth full of sugared dough speaks loudly indeed.


  1. If the restaurant owner was being racist, then aren't you also being racist in your assumption that Asian women can be bought off with purses? AND if you counter with "not just Asian women, but women in general", then that, sir, is just SEXIST.

    Sounds like you could've witnessed more bitchy-ass tactics if you just sat with them anyway.

  2. no, i'm just being sexist. Absolutely. But I'm doing in knowingly for the purpose of comedy, which - yes indeed - truly does make a difference.


All original text and photographs Copyright © 2009 one.year.trip / previously.bitten | Theme Design by previously.bitten | Entries and Comments.Powered by Blogger