Monday, September 28, 2009

Wau! Podzim je mýtus!

Well, I've had a pretty busy but very fulfilling couple of months but now that the summer's over I'm kind of shocked by how happy I am to have the bitter cold back. Don't get me wrong, I don't like being cold. I hate it, in fact. But I really like what the cold does to you. The way it makes your blood race. The slight sting of the frost. I'm looking forward to the snow hiding all of the grays and browns. The cabin-fever-induced productivity. After growing up in a place where you throw a party whenever a hurricane hits I think I've acquired a taste for extreme weather.

Anyway, my busy days all started when I hosted my first visitor from back home:


He was only here for a little over a week but we packed as much bro-ing down as we could into the limited time we had together. In between exploring the city, strolling through parks, and drinking lots of beer, we found the time to take a daytrip to Kutna Hora with my roommate David.
We visited the infamous Sedlec Ossuary (the bone chapel!)...

...where I posed for a picture that now makes me feel obligated to record a death metal album.

Then we went to see St. Barbara's Church but were quickly asked to leave after Derek ate one of the gargoyles.

And before we headed back to Praha we took a couple spins on the local Bobova Draha and unleashed our inner 12 year-olds (who am I kidding, our inner 12 year-olds are never restrained)

As we wandered around Prague I was happy to see how much of an interest Derek took in the city's cultural history, particularly it's sculptures.

As a nice twist of fate, his visit coincided with the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We celebrated the occasion by treating ourselves to a Leonard Cohen concert. He's now a Buddhist and he's getting up there in age, but he was surprisingly spry, dancing on and off stage between the encores. Even though he's touring to raise money to deal with financial troubles, it seems like his religious path has brought him peace. Of course the downside of this is that you'll never again hear him howl an epic drunken self-loathing performance like "Please Don't Pass Me By". But he's still got plenty of songs of love, loss, and redemption that have a really poignant ring now that he's found peace. I loved the show, as did Derek (despite missing "Hallelujah" on a piss break).

After we had such a great time together, Derek was thinking about skipping his return flight and staying with me here in Prague but that option disappeared when I was eaten by a giant tree, so he went back home.

Having an old friend to talk to in person allowed me a great deal of badly needed self-reflection. Seeing such a familiar face in the streets of my new home allowed me to build a little bit of a bridge back to my life as a whole. For a long time I felt like the plane touching down at Ruzyne Airport was the start of my life. I felt like a recovering amnesiac. I saw my past like it was a dream or something that had happened to somebody else. But having D here to have big "life" conversations with allowed me to reclaim myself and was a fantastic reminder of where I come from.

Speaking of where I come from, with a little luck and a lot of digging I passed through the tree's digestive system just in time to welcome a visit from my mom (Hi Mom!). Though we didn't make it out to Kutna Hora, it was a wonderful visit. It was awesome getting to be the straw that broke the camel's complete lack of trips to Europe. I sort of felt like a 7 year-old again, showing off the picture of an epic dinosaur battle that I drew in art class, only instead of just scribbles of crayons it was actually something almost as cool as a dino-battle. To top it off, while Mom was in town Marit returned from her summer sojourn in Scandinavia.

Since then I've been busy teaching, playing music, hangin' out, and studying Czech. Lately I've been using television as a study aid, particularly a very dubbed Walker: Texas Ranger. Needless to say I revel in the irony of using a 100% flag-wavingly American show to learn a language that most Americans don't know exists.

So this morning we got the first snow of the new winter. Autumn was a short handful of days of very confused weather and it feels like winter following her tail in circles before she lies down and sleeps on the city for the next 6 months. Got no complaints here!