Nemáme rádi (we do not like)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The other day, BW and I woke up to rays of sunlight fighting to get past our window shades and into our bedroom. Thrilled at the prospect of a gold-warm day, we threw on our shoes, grabbed our daypacks and hopped out the door... right into a huge, putrid pile of dog excrement. Delightful. Especially since there's a post 30 feet away with FREE dog bags hanging on it, complete with little cardboard scoops. Still, poo on the pavement isn't uncommon.

As dynamite a place as Prague is, there are some things that can kill the spark, both in terms of the city and of being an expat in general.

1) Graffiti. It's EVERYWHERE. Sure, there are some clever/artistic pieces, but 99.99% of the graffiti is a plethora of unsightly tags. It's really a shame, especially on the lovely, historic buildings here.

2) The influx of Western fast food. Yes, I am cognizant of the irony in this, as BW and I, too, are American imports. But to be fair, I didn't like fast food in the U.S., either.

3) Sporadic connections with family and friends. Thanks to a 7-hour time difference, it is a challenge to connect on FaceTime, Google MeetUp or Skype when one end isn't sleeping or at work. Can you blame us for wanting to have conversations like this on a regular basis?:

4) Clouds of smoke in evening establishments. If you want a beverage in a neighborhood pub rather than a fancy cocktail spot in the center, chances are you're going to leave the place smelling like you rolled around in an ashtray all night. The picture of a bar/art gallery below is fuzzy not because the camera was bad; it's a result of the cigarette haze.

5) Not understanding things. This is entirely a criticism of us, as we chose to live here; this culture by no means should be adapting to meet our Anglophone needs. Sometimes it's a fun adventure figuring out where to find a particular shade of shoe polish. Other times, I want to be able to go to the market for flour and know which one out of six different kinds to buy.

All in all, our diamond shoes really probably are too tight. This has been a colossal place to plant roots for a bit. The only real and valid complaint that we have is that family and friends from back home aren't here, too; that's by far the biggest problem with Prague.

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