From the air, the Czech countryside is a lush green from the many rains that fall. Stepping outside the airport, I was filled with a warm feeling of invitingness, rather than a cold, grim sense of dread I felt in Moscow.
Upon entering Prague, I was struck by the cities beauty, a word I normally reserve only for nature. The architecture is a mixture of medieval, renaissance, and modern that blends in perfectly together. Many of the side streets are cobblestone, and each building, while often with a modern façade, was built long ago and has withstood the test of time. Ancient castles and towers line the skyline, in addition to eye pleasing domes.
Prague is easily the most beautiful city I have seen.
The street I am staying on is called Narondi (National Street.) On Nov 17, 1989 it was where the protests against the Communists began that gave the Reds their queue to exit. Also on the same day during World War II the Czechs marched here against the Nazi occupation. That march was, shall we say, much less successful. The Czechs, having a less perfectionist, more “hang loose” attitude than say Hawaii, have rounded up their fifty percent success rate, using the guiding mathematical principal of the Pythagorean Theorem (developed by none other than acclaimed Greek mathematician Bob Theorom) which states, “when the hypotenuse of a triangle is exactly 50% of the sum, you round up based on the ‘what have you done for me lately’ principal,” thus making the intellectual Czech Republic the first country to justify a national holiday via mathematical proof.
(True fact: In an effort to save national face, the Russian’s have purged Nov 17th from their calendar. You jump directly from the 16th to 18th. If you think Rich is making this up, then you try deciphering a calendar written in Russian.)
Arriving on a European holiday of some sort, the streets are packed with tourists. Walking around, I note a plethora of restaurants, ice cream shops, banks, and modern stores, as well as numerous small casinos. I go into one. Nothing like Vegas, tiny, yet still turning a profit. Human nature and capitalism being what it is, there always will be people who will willingly give away their money.
The next morning I begin with a run. I happen upon the Charles Bridge, a water crossing of world renown fame which is lined with sculptures and monuments; a swan lands three feet in front of me. I pause to admire it.
|a view of Prague Castle from the Charles Bridge|
|Monument to Communism|
“The memorial to the victims of Communism is dedicated to all victims, not only those who were jailed or executed but also those whose live were ruined by totalitarian despotism.”
-- Take a good look at the forlorn, sliced open, half figures. I believe the monument speaks for itself. Powerful.
The steep hillside itself is more like a forest. I chose to jog up rather than take the tram. Atop, I ran into Prague castle.
|the main entrance to Prague Castle. Friendly friendly.|
|Finally scientific proof of the existence of dragons|
|a midevil dungeon. Actual size|
Another delightful benefit of being a prisoner during the middle ages, (aside of the living conditions) was that, depending on the King's mood, he could either put you on the rack or one the other numerous delightful devices Sean Hannity would gleefully approve for “enhanced interrogation,” or, if you were really lucky, perhaps the King would one day, lying on his freshly scented lavender silk sheets, between orgies, realize that he had been a little harsh coming down on you for sneezing in his presence, seeing that for ten years you had only the company of diseased rats, and had lost all your teeth to scurvy, and you were, after all, his favorite younger brother, the one who had rescued him from that arrow that surely would have pierced his heart had you not dived in front, for which you’ve suffered lifelong respiratory problems and didn’t even get a thank you (this was during his self-admitted "selfish stage") and recognizing that merely paying off the church for forgiveness might not totally wipe the slate clean of sin when appearing before St. Peter, so after an epiphany of mercy, he finally decides to take pity on you, and send you-- directly to the executioner, which has the double benefit of insuring once and for all you never ascend to the throne, thus putting the final stamp on your sibling rivalry. (he wins)
|headsman axe and chopping block.|
1) If you were reincarnated as a Czech King, wouldn't it be better to execute your brother right away. I mean, wouldn't he have the right to be angry with you after ten years in the dungeon? Explain.
2) If you were to equate the King versus Brother Prisoner sibling rivalry in sports terms, wouldn't it be accurate to say the King won in a "blowout?" Why?
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