Wednesday, March 13, 2002

In Prague, without a camera

Prague, Czech Republic
I tell you what, I’m getting lazy. I think I woke up around 8:30 and wasn’t ready to go until 10am. I boarded a tram just after 10, and arrived at the castle steps minutes later. I walked from the east side to the west, and somewhere around St. Vitus’s Cathedral, I noticed that my camera sounded odd. Like wouldn’t-advance-the-film kind of odd. So four pictures into the new roll, and I think my camera’s dead. I turn it off, but the lens cover stays open. It’s had a good run, but I’ve got 6 days left on my trip.

As my acquaintance in Berlin was fond of saying: “Life is solving problems.” It just so happens that there is a merchant outside the castle gates, and for 400 CSK, I not only had a replacement camera, but I can use the rest of my film (non-disposable, simple manual camera). And it came with a roll of film. I walked down the long staircase from the castle to the Little Quarter, and followed the guidebook’s suggested routes around the area.
While around the Malostranske Namesti, I mailed off the postcards I had written last night. 12 CSK per, that’s like 30 cents. I had some apple strudel in a café next to the church of St. Nicholas. A little more wandering brought me over to the riverside, where I bought a fruity Popsicle and soda. I enjoyed them next to the Grand Priory Mill, on my way back to the beginning of the bridge.

As I was walking back across the bridge, I played with my new camera a bit. I have no idea where the edges of the frame are, so they should be interesting. I wouldn’t be half surprised if I’ve been trying to be too precise with a cheap plastic camera. I boarded a tram to take me to a beer hall called U Fleku. I had some pork, bread/potato dumplings, sauerkraut, and 2 pints of a really strong, dark beer that is only available here. The waiter brought one over to me with the menu, and I started the other one right after I finished. During the meal time, an accordion was playing in the corner. Home on the Range and other classics. There’s a big clock at the end of the beer hall, I think that’s the first for a bar. For 280 CSK, I had 2 beers and a filling meal. I left while the accordion played Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera. The music was hard to hear outside, except by the window nearest the source. I walked back to my apartment thru Karluv Namesti, checking out the phones on my way. I have to confirm with my next hostel tomorrow by phone because I arrive after their check-in/reservation-holding time.

My head is beginning to hurt from the beer, so I’m going to lay down for a bit. Four hours later, I woke up and flipped thru the channels. Some in English, some dubbed well into German, some voiced by one Czech guy for both male and female roles. They also have “Who wants to be a millionaire,” for 10,000,000 CSK, I think I saw a few Russian channels as well.

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