Okay not really, but I am ready to! My trip to Europe was a blast, a highlight of my little career here, and -- it sounds extreme -- a highlight of my life so far. When I got to Prague I immediately knew that I was misborn. I am totally meant to be living the rest of my life in a fallen communist nation that has modernized and entered the 21st Century. Although I am not so crazy about the subarctic temperatures of late November. Come to think of it I'm not crazy about that in New York either.
All that said though I was ready to kiss the ground upon my return to America. I have never been so happy to see JFK Airport. The first thing I did was change my money back to dollars and buy a cup of coffee -- which is surprisingly hard to find in the land of "espresso" and "latte". I just wanted some damn FOLGERS, what?!
Also, 9 hours on an airplane without a cigarette and Mr. Fatelbows beside me was unpleasant to say the least. Then they start showing Spiderman 3 which I had to turn away from because I can't take looking at Kirsten Dunst's scary facial expressions and mannerisms while I'm on an already scary aircraft. THEN they showed "First Daughter" starring Katie Holmes who honestly does freak me out -- did so even before marrying Tom Cruise and Scientology and birthing Xenu Jr. -- with those wierd cheeks and creepy side smile, and soulless look in the glassy eyes...I thought I was going to lose it. So I read a lot of Wicked -- which I love by the way -- and tried to fall asleep from eating a handfull of Tylenol PM but I couldn't even put a dent in the wakefullness that extreme discomfort causes. I'm about 5 inches too tall for air travel, believe it.
In Prague, the strangest thing happened to me several times. When I was walking around, trying to take in some sights and do a little shopping (incidentally it is a blatant lie that they use the Euro in the Czech Republic, so I never knew what anything cost -- 500 CZK? I don't know? Is that expensive?) these kids kept running up to me and talking to me a mile-a-minute in Czech. I did like I do in New York (just keep walking when there's some bullshit happening you don't want to deal with) but they would follow up alongside me, continuing to talk excitedly in squiggly lines and sideways colons that I don't understand. These were like kids in their 20's, looking like typical 20-somethings, who were not hostile but were kind of AGGRESSIVE. So I would say, "I'm sorry, I don't speak Czech," to which they would reply, "Oh! No problem!", slap me on the shoulder, and go away. Baffling.
Driving across the border to get to Germany required a quick pass through Poland. So they'd check our passports (five nationalities in one car -- you know they scrutinized them) and then we'd roll up a bit and the Germans would do the same thing. Zittau is gorgeous and old and modern and just really inspiring.
I'm ready to go back for a longer trip without a bunch of WORK to do while I'm there. More later perhaps but I have to dig myself out from under this pile of work.
Plotting and planning a vacation,