Happy Three Kings Day!
Henry and I forgot that today was a big holiday—almost as if not more important than Christmas here. We wandered down almost empty streets looking for a grocery store or coffee place where we could ingest some calories to get us through the day. It took far longer than either of us would have liked and, slightly hungry and inconvenienced, we managed to get down some food and found a place where we could sit down and manage some of our stress.
Neither of us planned to be on this trip. Henry had planned on being in school and I had planned on visiting and then taking some time for myself to travel around. This unfortunately means that we are not as prepared as we should be. Making sure we had enough food in our stomachs to be mostly sane, we mapped out where we know for sure we’ll be before we head home and marked up our calendars and found a place where we could sleep for the next few nights.
The two of us parted ways and I walked alone with my thoughts and my backpack. The city was eerily quiet and empty and despite the sunshine and alone time, I couldn’t help but wish that I was inside my parents’ living room with a cup of coffee and a good book with the fire going: the typical post-Christmas situation.
After a 40 minute walk, I found the hostel and checked in, taking my sheets up to a shared room and collapsing momentarily while three strangers stared at me before taking their leave of the room. I was having a hard time making myself move but the entrance of two more strangers motivated me enough to get up and make my bed. Henry appeared some time later with some groceries, sheets for his bunk and a map of the city (which we should have gotten days ago).
We wandered back out into the city for some time before coming back to the hostel to use the kitchen. We prepared a small feast and made a friend from New York, a young filmmaker who was on his way to study in Prague. He gave us some bumper stickers he made “You Can Art” and sat down and ate with us for a bit while we all discussed art, film and theatre. I felt renewed in my quest to make sure I was making something worthwhile and also getting compensated for my time and work.
Our new friend took his leave and Henry and I had a long talk about how “hanger is the enemy” and we need to figure out how to not feel guilty eating things the other can’t / eating at different times / how to get a meal that is more than just a small plate of tapas in this country. We were settling in quite nicely with a game of cards and a glass of wine when we were approached, yet again, by a young man who desperately wanted to recruit us for a raucous night of drinking till all hours. We insisted that we were old people who were probably just going to finish our game, have some tea and sleep so we could have an early morning.
He finally realized we weren’t going to be persuaded and left. I turned and asked Henry if he was ever that age as I think I’ve been in my mid thirties for the last six years.