Prague Part 1: Czech yourself…
Prague was number 2 on my list of cities to see before I left the states (Berlin was/is number 1) Even while still in Vienna, I was counting the minutes till the bus left.
I’ve heard Prague was atheistically beautiful, the dollar/Euro was strong, and that the people were friendly. All of that was true from what I gathered in my first day. I did notice that less people spoke English or very little; “liddle bit” if they did. A good opportunity to try some Czech, which is basically impossible for a newbie. I was better off talking loud and clear, and very polite English and hope that the next person would understand me. Fortunately I’m certain that speaking English is a requirement for most European hostel Employees.
I stayed at the Czech Inn. (I love puns so their name being that cheesy let me know i’m in the right place) Was it ever! This place took “hostel” to the next level. It was in a posh neighbor hood , a 10 minute tram ride from Old Town and Charles Bridge. Did I mention it was very affordable, extreme value:) Upon arrival I was greeted by friendly staff that were obviously from multiple parts of the planet. But they all had great attitudes and a general love for Prague.
The reception was warm, the facilities were modern, and my room was: clean, bright, and had big windows. I didn’t even mind that I had the top bunk, again. The girl at reception said the Biergarten nearest the hostel was a great place to watch the game…errr match. I think at this point it was the quarter finals. I’ve been watching since group play and though i’ve switched my allegiances several times, I still felt vested in every team left and the World Cup as a whole. So naturally I grabbed my gear and headed to the park.
I witnessed said match, had a few beers and was kinda over it. Walking back to the hostel I discovered “sunset hill” where locals and tourists a like gather for the sunset. Everyone lies down a blanket, cracks some tin, or pops a bottle of champaign or wine, and chillaxes.
While everyone else was on their blankets I set up my easel, my blanket was full of artwork. My stats said that local people in Prague were far more curious about someone painting than the tourists. I had given up trying to speak Czech but by now had a good feel for multiple greetings and my international body language is on point. As I was repeatedly approached I would welcome in those “liddle bit” english speakers and speak clearly the names of the cities that I had already painted. One admirer offered me a small taste of his Moroccan stash. He couldn’t afford a painting but wanted to show love for the art/ artists, and i was much obliged. (I said as much but i’m not sure he understood.) Though he like everyone else I bump into, he received an EAQ business card and an invite to follow me on Insta. I recieved international praise by a cool local dude. That is the fuel I need to Quest on.
The next few days were filled with walking, wondering, and painting. I met Zita on the last day at a small outdoor Bohemian Coffee Lounge. She was assisting her friend who was reading palms under a big shade tree. There were a smattering of small tables, comfy chairs, music playing and tree decorations like wind catchers and colorful flags and ribbons. Zita was curious about my set up and I was happy to tell her about the Epic Art Quest. After chatting over a cup of coffee she asked how long I was staying in Prague. “It’s my last day of 4, I had a great time and wish I could stay longer…I’m leaving for Dresden in the morning” She was having none of it. “If you come back to Prague you can stay at my flat for free for a week!” (she was going on holiday and her place would be sitting empty) At first because it wasn’t part of my plan I was hesitant to accept. But then I thought: “Czech yo self fool“ Remember? Duh!, we don’t have a “plan”, kinda the whole point of the trip!” Follow the art…
Before I went to sleep that night I emailed Zita and accepted her kind offer. I had more work to do in Prague, more to see, more culture to take in, more to create. So after a few days in Dresden I’m heading back, back to Prague and see what I can do as a “local” for about a week:)