(insert "life is a journey" cliché here)
Now that I’ve got your attention 😉
Yes it’s pretty isn’t it. In the background is the Tyn Church in Prague’s Nove Mestro – Old Town Square. People have asked me what camera I used for this photo. I’ll tell you: El Cheapo Pentax Snapshotsonic. Interesting to note that this basic non-digital device—with its proper film and no zoom options—produced many photos that I like better than my zillions of digital travel shots. I guess when you only have 24 or 36 shots at your disposal, you take the time to compose your image, and take only one or two photos of a scene, not fifteen plus.
Then swung the snapshotsonic downwards onto the square to catch the distinctive afternoon shadows.
The chit-chattering of the ‘birds’ could still be heard from this height. In the square, hawkers were selling wooden toys that looked like birds and made a tweeting, chittering noise when you pulled a string. These were all the rage, and the resulting sound of tourists and their children activating their new purchases was surely the most annoying noise in the world.
After descending from my perch on high, I had no other plans so turned in the direction of Charles Bridge and my placed of abode on the far side of the Vltava River. As I passed the outdoor dining establishment in the upper right of this photo, a group of three men hailed me from their table.
‘Come and sit with us’ they called. ‘Have a drink with us’. I paused and politely started to decline, my default position. Yet their friendly smiles and jovial manner instinctively told me they were no threat to me, and I was lonely for a little company. I paused again, then lowered myself into the seat offered to me, saying I wouldn’t stay long.
For half an hour, we toasted the nation, and I sipped on a Becherovka, that cheaply delicious Czech cinnamon liqueur which you could buy in their supermarkets for a few coins and for which, back in Australia, I must pay vigorously for a mere nip. The guys asked me about my life and home. They were Croatian, I was told, and were about to return to their home land to take up a sailing holiday along the Dalmation coast.
‘Do you like nude sailing?’ I was asked. ‘We like to sail nude. Come with us, join us on our nude sailing holiday. Please do!’
Yep, now it was time to go. I bid them adieu, with apologies that I could not and would not be sailing nakedly with them. Cheerfully they waved me off, telling me I could come any time I changed my mind. I walked away light-heartedly, snickering.
Around the corner in Wenceslas Square, a stand selling hot ‘klobasa’ (one of the mega multitudes of available sausages) tempted my wallet and stomach. As I ate, I leaned my elbow against the klobasa trailer, where I fell into a conversation with another Croatian gentleman.
This one was sour. He did not like these central-eastern Europeans. They were cold, their nation was cold, they had no idea how to conduct an entertaining evening. Why, shops were closed well before midnight! That was no way to run a country. I thought of asking him if he enjoyed nude sailing, but held my tongue. It would probably be taken the wrong way.