Observant little ...

I don't understand the answer, but I may have some ideas on the question...

The guy from Prague

Prague - musicians on the Charles Bridge

Prague was a city I'd wanted to visit since uni. One of my best friends at college was Czech and had emigrated out here with her mum and step-dad when she was 11. She fascinated me - especially when she spoke Czech with her mum on the phone. And then a mate of mine visited Prague on a whirl-wind tour of Europe and her photos fired my imagination further.

So anyway, I had high expectations of the place. And it met them. I found it to be a place of beauty and art and unspoilt history. When I'm asked about my favourite place on my trip, I always say that Paris was my favourite, but Prague was where I had the most fun.

And roughly half of this was because of a guy I met there. We knew of each other, but had never met, and arranged to meet up via text messages. So there I was, standing by the stairs leading from Prague Castle back down to the Charles Bridge, looking out for a guy who had only described himself as "the hobbit carrying a copy of The Great Gatsby". And would you believe that from this description, I actually recognised him!

The Hobbit (as he will now be known as) is an intelligent, witty and interesting guy 10 years younger than me who I would love to adopt as my little brother. As a travel companion around Prague, he was easygoing and good fun. He did however, have a fondness for absinthe, which leads me to my following story.

I had seen a flyer for this jazz club around the streets and thought it would be a fun place to go that night. The Hobbit and I got there before the club part opened and started drinking beer. Beer in Prague is cheap, cheaper than soft drink or bottled water, and the exchange rate meant it cost me roughly $1AUD for a pint. And it's good beer too. So maybe part of why I enjoyed Prague so much was because I spent most of it slightly smashed. But anyway...

We'd been at the club, and drinking steadily, for a few hours. The band had finished for the night and we were being shouted drinks by a guy we'd met in the club. The Hobbit, practically falling off his chair as he'd had many absinthes by then, asks me if I have pen and paper. Which I duly provide, but the only notepaper I had was this little book of Winnie the Pooh notepaper which my mum had given with with "A special note from (OLS)" inscribed into the background image of Winnie the Pooh patting a bunny rabbit.

The Hobbit scribles for maybe 20 minutes and then produces his manifesto, which he returned to me and I have transcribed for you:

And I'm sitting here thinking that I have never been this crazy, or really "pure". There is the sound of one man's soul in my head, and the sound of another's in my ears. It is like being at the birth of a child, really, you can't put your finger on why, but what you are hearing seems so fresh - like fruit in your ears. Every phrase seems to squeeze juice or beauty right into your head. You sit down, drinking and trying to be calm but your whole head says - "cry, man. Let it out." It is crazy. You... you aren't even there. You are just dancing like you don't even know the rhythm anymore. But somehow every way you move is beautiful. Every thought you think is new and bold, and you just want to grab the person next to you and say and scream: "I am the prophet. I am the one who will change it all. Love ME!"

I loved it. I still love it. I have the original on its Winnie the Pooh notepaper tucked away into my diary for safekeeping. One day, when he's rich and famous and loved far and wide for his wit and unique way of expressing himself, I hope I'll be able to share this moment, and the words he wrote, with a dodgy TV program or magazine for a million bucks (CPI adjusted).

Listening to: Terra Folk - Live


Blogger Lushlife said...

Great post! My husband has always had a thing for Prague too though we didn't get around to experiencing it when we were in Europe. I am happy to hear that it is highly likely to live up to his expectations. It was quite a poetic reminiscence made me think about some of my travels and I have posted about a memory that was not quite as joyous.

There are some experiences you have and people you meet while travelling that you know would have never in a million years have happened to us in Australia. How I miss travelling.

8:19 am  
Blogger OLS said...

I think you tend to get to know people very quickly when you're travelling. Especially when you're travelling on your own, as I was. Whenever I clicked with someone, we seemed to spend an extraordinary amount of time together.

Funnily enough, most of the guys that I really clicked with while travelling were much younger than me (between 8 and 10 years younger) - I don't know whether that's an indication of the age (I started travelling when I was 28), or something to do with my personality (I'm the "mum" of my group of friends, even those older than me). *shrugs*


10:23 am  

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