quinta-feira, 9 de junho de 2011

Travel log - Europe - Day 14

Day 14 - My Brazilian face and no castle

Waking up. Ah, so delicious to see you are in a different place and you feel so eager to discover all the secrets of the place, but it can wait. They will be there at 9 in the morning, but also at noon. So, more half an hour of blankets and sleep.
Jiři had already left for work. So it took me almost an hour to get ready and go. I went to the subway station because I had already walked to the city before.
As I arrived close to the center, I got off in a different station and I would be able to see different streets. I had not established any plan of where I might be going. I was just going, after all, it was Prague and wherever you went there was something (or someone) interesting to see.
As I walked toward the main square direction, I started recognizing all the streets I had been the day before. It was a good impression, having been there before, a kind of deja vu feeling. Suddenly, what do I see? The restaurant I had spent hours looking for the previous afternoon. There they were, the windows, with the writing on them. So, I decided to check for the prices and be sure now I knew where it was. When I found the door, dear me, it was the restaurant I had entered the afternoon before! As I had come from the other side of the street, I hadn’t seen the windows, ten steps away from the door. In the end, I ate where I had wanted to, unaware. So I giggled and moved on.
Wandering, as any good flaneur would, through the tourist-filled streets I saw many places. There were many small museums, like the one about torture and terror, which called my attention, I wanted to go back there (but never found it again). So in one of the narrow streets I saw a sign of a museum about Kepler. I had heard about this scientist but I had no idea he had been Czech. One more to the list I could have used in the bar. As I didn’t want to miss this one, I headed for it, entering a kind of gallery. I found the museum, which turned out to be a large room, with some posters about the life and works of Kepler. Also, some models to illustrate his theories. However, the funniest part was when I entered the place. There was a woman, a middle-aged lady. I said “Hello”. She looked at me astonished and asked me: “Brazilian?”
It was my turn to be puzzled. How the hell did she guess? There was nothing in my clothes that could tell it, nothing in my voice since I had only said hello. She continued: “From São Paulo?” And I started nodding in accordance. She started talking to me in a mixture of Czech, Italian and English. And we established a short conversation, thank to my linguistic ability to understand whatever people are talking in an unknown language. I paid the 0,30 cents of Czech crown and started reading the posters.

She was so happy to have a Brazilian there. For what I could understand, she had a cousin or a nephew who had married a Brazilian girl and moved to São Paulo. So, I felt no one had the right to think me Mexican (like the guy on the train). Me and my Brazilian from São Paulo face. =)
After that, I found a big building and discovered it was the National Museum, the new building. It was not so cheap to enter, and I hoped the posters and all were bilingual as in the Kepler museum. There were about three exhibitions: one about inventions, one about the history of a certain region of the Czech Republic and one about insects. The latter was only in Czech so I did not spend much time there. And I felt sorry for the people who visited museums in São Paulo because I had seen none prepared for foreigners. When my Finnish friend had visited some years before, I had to be there with him, to explain. Maybe it will change with the upcoming international events which will be held here, who knows. Anyway, I am digressing here. I took some pictures when the guards were not looking because I bought the cheapest ticket and if one wanted to take pictures, s/he would have to purchase the other type, the more expensive ticket.
As a kind of divine vengeance for being a nasty boy, almost all the pictures were blurred.

As I went to the old building of the museum, across the street, I learned I would have to buy another ticket and it was crowded. So I looked at the clock, it was past one and I hadn’t had a big breakfast. It was time to decide where to have lunch. i hated having to decide by myself and have no one to give a second opinion. Then I remembered the suggestion the American couple had given in Berlin. I had already found the restaurant in my way to the Kafka museum. So, it was not so near but walking was all one had to do. On the way, as I was walking a wide avenue with a lot of stores in both sides, I decided to enter a bookstore and buy another guide. My guide was not complete and I wanted to study Czech history. You can call me a defeated or pseudo nerd, but I was still feeling the weight of my stupidity, the night before. I took the opportunity for also buying some postcards and getting hungrier.
As I arrived at the restaurant Tri Stoleti I realized what I hadn’t the day before. It seemed to be quite an expensive place. The atmosphere was very cozy, the lights, the background music. As I sat a beautiful waitress came to serve me and she was very friendly. I ordered the usual: soup to warm up, then some traditional food, which here meant pork and some bread dumplings. The traditional glass of wine, but I wanted it to be Czech and white, for a change. Then I was full, but she offered me dessert. I felt I couldn’t and asked her about some traditional Czech dessert. She mentioned the Apfel Strudel, which I thought to be traditional in all the countries around. But why not? And when it came it was a surprise for the eyes and a bliss for the taste. I almost cried as I ate it, so exquisite it was and I wanted to ask for another one, but it would make me explode. It was probably one of the most delicious things I have eaten during the trip. And the best: when the check came, I had spent only about 20 euros, a bargain for the type of service I had had.

After that, I started heading for the castle. Jiři had suggested that and asked me if I had gone there. So I tried to find it again. It was getting colder and dark and I could not find the castle, though I am pretty sure I got close to it. I did find a post office, or Posta, as they call it.
So I decided to go home because I would have a date.
A date?, you may ask. Not really. I was going out with a guy from the couchsurfing site who hadn’t been able to host me but had some time off to go out. I called him, I told him where he could pick me up and there we went for an adventure, with the blessings of my dear host.
His name was Marek and he told me we would be going to a new bar because he had got an ad on the net and he would get 5 free drinks.
The place was called Suzana. It was a very weird place, and this is from a guy who has been to reaaaally strange places. He was driving so he didn’t want to drink a lot so we asked 4 types of drinks and I drank most of it. We talked about life and culture and many other things but I saw no spark on his eyes. I was also not so interested as well, so we kind of agreed it would be just a tacit “we are just friends”.
We left the bar and he asked me if I wanted to go to a club. I agreed because this kind of invitation had been rare till then and it might not happen anytime soon. We went to a club named Friends. There was a Brazilian night (!) going on, whatever that was. The guy discovered only later I was Brazilian, by the way. So we danced a bit, talked a bit, drank (he was drinking soft drinks, remember?). I tried to hunt, not much success, he asked me if there was anyone interesting, I said yes, he told yes for him, but nothing happened. No approach and he told me he was tired and he wanted to go. There were some Italians there trying to get everyone (us not included) and I felt staying there might make me feel like “How soon is now”, so he told me I could stay, it would be easier to go back by tram or subway. I decided to go, I was a guest and did not want to arrive soooo late. We went and he took me home. The moment of goodbye could be an opportunity to try something, to move one base, but he was so dismissive, like “have a good night and a good life” that I felt it was better to admit defeat and withdraw (not that I was so wanting it anyway - and don’t read any rejection resentment here, I mean it, there was none).
Maybe tomorrow, my last day, I would find castle. What other surprises would I have in my final touring around?

3 comentários:

  1. I remember that I was taken to Friends.. lol!

    Too bad you couldn't go into the restaurant Restaurace U Pinkasů. It was the best food I had there, but the street sausages were soo good!

    I would move to Prague in an instant!

  2. nobody had told me about this one, or else I would have gone... I would move there as well, but I would have to take some time learning the language before. ^_^

  3. This dessert looking amazing ....:)
    I"m almost understanding why people love Prague.kiss