Monthly Archives: November 2008

Jetlag attacks

I am so very tired, and so very jetlagged. going there, the 6 hour time difference was okay to adjust to, but now it means that I really want to be going to bed by 8, and I keep waking up at 5 or so. I’m trying to make myself stay up to get back to nromal, but it’s painful. I think I should just go back, then I wouldn’t have this problem. I miss it. I miss Prague, but I also miss having all that time with John, and not having any obligations, and not having to worry about work. I would have liked a little more of a routine or schedule or something, but it was so nice anyway, just being there. Being away. I needed a vacation, I think. Except that having it means coming back from it.

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Prague!

I’m avoiding cleaning my room, so this seems as good a time as any to write this. Be warned, it will be overly detailed and ridiculous. I might do it in pieces because no one, not even me, will have the patience to read my blathering all in one sitting.

Day One (Wednesday and Thursday)(yes, I do know that that’s two days. Shhhh)

Getting ready to go was pretty easy. I did most of the packing a couple days before, so wednesday morning I just threw in the last few things, took a shower, played with the cats, and left my house at about 11 30. I had to go to the bank first, which was kind of a pain in the ass since it involves getting off the train, walking 6 blocks, and then walking back again. Oh well. John was kind of anxious about getting to the airport early, and how security would be, but of course it was no problem, at all. I think it’s because he was with me- I have a pretty perfect track record of never missing a flight, including the time I got to the airport 35 minutes before takeoff, and had to check a bag. So we got to sit in the airport for over 2 hours. Woooooo.

It was a movie airplane, the kind with the middle seating section. I guess those are for primarily international flights, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person before, but they always use them in movies. So that was momentarily exciting. It was an overnight flight, and I brough benadryl to knock me out, but it didn’t really work. I liked the food, and the tiny, real utensils they gave us (I saved mine, watch for them later in this whole saga), and tried to sleep. It’s good to fly with someone you know, then you can lean on them and drape a leg over and sprawl out a little more. Not that there’s any room to. I had kind of thought that for an international flight they might give a little more leg room, be able to recline a little more. No dice. Oh well. We got there relatively intact and uncramped. I got a visa stamp and traded some money in and we got bus passes. Their transit system is on the honor system, and you get one ticket that works for all modes. You get it stamped by the little automated stampy thing the first time you get on to anything, and then just hold on to it and remember when it ends. They’re kind of flimsy, which is no good, but since you never take it out unless someone asks, it works. The funny/fucked up thing was that a 5 day pass was 500 crowns (about 25 dollars) which is a pretty good price. Until you look and realize that a freaking month long pass is 550 crowns (about 28 dollars). We probably should have done that instead of getting a 5 day, and then a 3 day. But you know, I like supporting their transportation system, and it’s really not that much money. The point of all of this is that we took a bus and then the subway to get to our hotel. It was morning commute when we were doing this, so it was a little crowded and annoying, but I’m glad we did that instead of a taxi. It was kind of cool to come out from underground right into the middle of the city. Though it wasn’t quite the middle. Whatever. Our hotel was right around the corner, we went and checked in, and our room was ready (yay) and went and had the complimentary breakfast and planned the day a bit.

A word about the breakfasts. Boy, was that fantastic. Free breakfast, every morning. This whole spread of stuff laid out for us. Yogurt and honey and jams and granola and toast and hard boiled eggs and some variation of steamed vegetables/sauerkraut/sausage. A tray of various meats (including head cheese, which when you don’t know that that’s what you’re eating is pretty good), a tray of cheeses, some butter, soda bread, juices, coffees, teas, this preserved cherry something or other. Some things kind of shifted and changed, but most of it was always there. I got creative on a couple days with various toast topping combinations. Aside from the eggs and yogurt and cereal, it wasn’t really what you would think of as breakfast food, but it was pretty great. The last day we were there, there was this spread thing that was I think pureed squash and something else? It was a little sweet, but vegetabley, and mostly orangish. We were really early that day, and so when I went back for seconds, a tray had been set out with pieces of bread with that spread, an slice of hard boiled egg with paprika, and a piece of red bell pepper. Fantastic. Anyway.

Since we had just flown all night, and though it was 8 am, it felt like 2am, we went up to our room and took a nap. And didn’t wake up until about 2 pm. Whoops. We both meant to get up at 11 or so, but that didn’t work out. We got up, and started wandering. The last time he was here, he sprained his ankle right before coming, and so spent the whole time walking everywhere in terrific pain. As such, he remembered everything as being much farther away than it really was. I convinced him to walk anyway, rather than taking the subway. It was a good idea. We made our way down to Wenceslas Square (which is much more a giant long rectangle) and walked slowly down it. There was an exhibit about the people who resisted the communist occupationa nd such, and we wandered thorugh that, and then kept walking down.

I just got bored with writing this. Suffice to say, we paused and got gelato, and then wandered over to the Charles Bridge, and then over it, and then to Kampa Island to get some fish for dinner. The fish were really really good, but turned out not to be enough, we both were hungry again by the time we got home. But Prague tends to shut down kind of early, most restaurants close by 10, and we didn’t know what was near the hotel, so we just kind of suffered through that.

DOne writing for now. I think it’s time to either clean my room, or keep reading my book.

Wow.

So, I feel like one of those kids in high school or college who goes to europe, and comes back with the idea that everything there is just sooo much better, and starts dropping various words in other languages to show how sophisticated and beyond this american junk they are, and is always talking about how “when I was in…” as if they spent at least half their adolescence there. Yeah. I feel like that kid. A little. Because I loved it. And the thing is, while I was there, I liked lots of little things, and how yogurt is better and fresher there, and sauerkraut is possibly part of a complete breakfast, the general toilet design, flush and all, how polite and non pushy people are about escalators and getting on and off public transit, and oh-my-god the honour system of tickets really does work there. To say nothing of how pretty it is, and how things are generally a bit cheaper, and how I loved the food, and the walking and how almost everything looked like it was built by someone who wanted to be proud of it. So, while I liked all that, I was just sort of there. I was there, and I had a wonderful time, and it wasn’t until I was on the plane coming back that I realized just how much more I liked it there. John is always going on about how ugly new york is, and people suck and on and on, and I like New York. I still do. But jeeze. It’s a fucking letdown after being there. I miss the food already. I miss ‘our’ bar where we played chess and drank and way over-tipped almost every night. I miss the accents and the cobblestones and the pretty subway walls and the narrow sidewalks. And the little man! Instead of a red hand, for crossing the street, they have a little man standing there patiently in red, and then a green walking one. I liked that. I liked how I had nothing to do. I liked how the castle graveyard is still in use. I liked how they have castles. I miss being with John all the time. We’re good at that, aparently. I think we bugged each other a little here and there, but we never got actually annoyed. I rushed him a little bit, and he never made any plans, but really, what else is new? We’re good at being around each other. We’re good at travelling around, and appreciating what the other person notices, and noticing the same things sometimes.

Anyway. I’m not going to start dropping random czech words here are there. I don’t know that many, anyway (open, raspberry, exit, enter, yes, no, please, five, cheese, pepper. I think that’s it) and I’m not that pretentious and delusional and annoying. Though I understand the appeal.

I think the next entry will be specifically about what I did and such. But for now I’m too busy missing it and reconnecting with my cats. I think now I’ll go finish rereading Catch-22 in the bathtub. That sounds good.

Today

So I leave. In, like, seven hours. Wheee! I don’t entirely belive this, but it’s on the agenda, so it must be true. ALong with taking a shower, packing my hairbrush, remembering my passport, stopping by the bank, and saying goodbye to the kittens.

The last couple days I was working on a dance show witha  designer I really like. I am al ittle bummed that I have to miss the next couple days. But it was at the point, even at about 5pm yesterday, where he didn’t need me anymore, and I was just there to hang out and observe and all. Which would have been nice, I like being around dancers. In any case. I leave today. Weird. I’ve never been anywhere else before. Except canada briefly a couple times.  Wow.

I had other things to talk about, but they all escape me now. Something about subways and people and how they overheat stuff, and it’s all cold here now, but it’ll get colder, except it won’t snow, and what’s the point of cold wihtout snow, and something or other. I have no idea. I think I’m a little distracted. I’ve also been really tired lately. Hopefully I’ll be able to sleep on the plane. Time to shower.

Burns. Also, Prague

So I worked a couple of days ago, doing a focus in this odd space. It has something to do with Doon@ Keren, but I have no idea what exactly. Except that her name was on everything. It was easy work, but all the lights were on the whole time. Which means that after the first 4 or so, they start being pretty hot. And after the first 20 or so, they start burning you. I have a bunch of forearm burns now, which make me look badass/abused. My favorite, though, is apparently I put the inside of my arm on a screwhead. I have a perfect little red circle with the phillips bit in it. Cool.

So. Prague! yes. Originally, I had work kind of continuously which meant I couldn’t go. Then one of my jobs got cancelled. I didn’t make the connection, as I thought I didn’t have enough money, and I didn’t have a passport. But, you know, I was thinking about getting a passport anyway, and really it was about time. It seems like something everyone should have. So I went and picked up a new application, and got the pictures taken. (true story, part of my general delay was that I wasn’t sure where to go for that. I finally saw a sign in the window across the street from my subway entrance, which had really been there the whole time, but I hadn’t really been looking before. Not actively.) I was going to do it and not tell John, and then surprise him with it whenever it showed up, but I get excited about things, and I’m bad at keeping secrets from him anyway. So I told him, and that night he sent me a link about expediting your passport. So I started thinking, and actually looked at the records I have for all the work I’ve done and money coming in, and I realized that while it was tight, I had enough money to pay rent, go, and then pay rent again 3 weeks after I got back. Which seemed like a decent enough cushion, given that I would be able to work in those 3 weeks in between.  So, we bought tickets, I went and expedited my passport, and I am leaving in 3 days. Woooo. The expediting thing was fantastic. On the passport agency website, it said ‘within 14 days’ and mentioned that if you were nervous, and maybe needed it under a week, you might want to go to an expediter and pay them more money for more of a guarantee. I was leaving in 8 days at that point, so I was a little nervous about it. Compounded by the fact that when I got off the subway, I realized I hadn’t taken my tools out of my bag and I was about to go through metal detectors. I speed-walked about half a mile to the offices of the people I do fashion week with (and the burny gig) and left them there. I got to about 2 blocks away from the passport place, 10 minutes early, feeling good, and realized that I had forgotten to print out my itinerary. Which I needed as proof of travel. Jesus. SO I frantically ran around and finally found this weird little place that had internet and a printer, and got what I needed and ran the last block over. Ridiculous. Fortunately, my appointment time didn’t seem to really matter, I stood in line for a while, they checked that I had all my documents and everything, and sent me upstairs. As soon as I got up there, they called my number. No waiting at all. Went through it all, had me sign it, handed me my receipts, and said “okay, it’ll be ready at 1 o’clock. Through those doors over there.’ What? One pm… that day? Yep. Same day service. Genius. So much for waiting for the mail to come every day. I went and read for a while since it was such a nice day, and then got lunch, went back and waited an hour, and walked out with my officialness. Fantastic. Then I went and voted. And then went home and read stuff online and hung out and watched the results come in on npr’s great little map. It was a good day. Despite all the initial panic.

So now I’m all excited and nervous and more excited. I have to do laundry at some point, and I’m not sure when. I can’t do it today, because the pants that I’m wearing for work tonight I want to take with me. I think monday morning I’ll drop stuff off, and pick it up on tuesday, since I won’t have enough time to do it myself. unless I do it wednesday morning, but that seems cutting it close. I’m doing most of my packing then, too. I have to go make lists of what to bring. That always makes me feel better. And find a pronunciation guide. Oog.

Hi!

Holy shit. So i keep having little ideas of what to write, thinking out sentences and such in my head, and then I never get around to actually coming here and doing it. I’ll try to be better.

SO. The act of voting itself was kind of anticlimatic. There wasn’t really anything on the NY ballot, and there was no celebratory ‘ding!” or anything when you finished. The giant lever was kind of satisfying, though, and when I think back, it was pretty cool to turn the dial and pick who I wanted. And then to get who I picked! How cool is that! So yes.

I’ve been working a lot, actually getting to do more assisting and such. Money seems to be coming in all right. So all right, in fact, that I can (barely, but I can) afford to go to Prague! Next week! With John! I’M SO EXCITED. It was all rather spur of the moment, and took a few days to really sink in, but I got my passport, and I got my ticket, and I have stories about the passport getting, but I have to leave for work now. But yes! I will update later, and there will be tellings of things. Yay.