Sunday, July 1, 2007

Stupid American

A stupid American story! I ventured out a bit today on my own because I was feeling a little introverted and wanted to explore some of the real Prague, or at least at was the goal. I set out south of my hostel because we usually travel north also with expectation to find a major city park that was depicted in the guide book. After crossing the equivalent of I-275. the park I found was shady to say the least. It was built up on a hill and every 50 yards or so there was a large set of concrete stairs that would take you deeper into the park. Since my gut was tell me that it was probably best not to trust the blind man and the cracked out looking woman that I had passed I retreated back the area that I began this journey only after spending about 45 minutes exploring this particular park.

Upon my return I noticed a nice enclosed park that had many of shady benches which would be perfect for sitting and reading. I look around and all the benches seemed taken, so I walked through some giant engraved doors attached to a building that in my Czech reading abilities said it was the Police Museum. And in fact it was exactly that. The inner courtyard had charming fake streets with vintage street signs and old cop cars displayed proudly. I found a bench and sat. A while passed and I noticed that it was about to be 5pm on a Sunday and surely a museum would be closing at any moment. Not to mentioned that there was no one else in there. So I got up towards the same door I had entered only to find that it was tightly shut. I tried the handle and to no avail, I was trapped inside the museum.

I turned and followed a couple of Czech voices. There were two young individuals that were in the process of cleaning up the concession stand which clearly they had been working for many hours. I approached the baby-faced lad and asked him where the exit was. He replied, "We are closed." I said, "Yes see that so I was hoping to leave?" He said, "You wait." I really didn't have much of a choice so I sat down and waited. The girl that was actually cleaning and throwing out the trash was yelling at baby-face with anger in Czech.

I kept telling myself that it had nothing to do with me, but I have no idea. I just sat there and tried not to stare, so I looked at the ground which was only inches aways since I was sitting on a tiny curb that lined the walkways. In my gazing towards the earth, I noticed a tiny black and red bug that I had seen before elsewhere that must be kin to our ladybug but it was slightly different. I almost took out my camera but I feared that if the Czech bitching had something to do with me that I better sit still and not aggravate the situation by documenting Prague bugs in that very moment.

Suddenly the girl locked up the ajar doors and stomped over to sit on a bench. Baby-face grabbed his laptop bag, backpack, bag of tomatoes, two packages of Sam's club like cheese, a spindle of cds and a magazine that featured a prominent zippo advertisement on the back. He shuffled over and sat next to her. Both completely ignoring the fact that I am sitting inches away looking at bugs. He says something to her and she gets up and stomps away. He gathers all of his things and I look at him and say, "I am so sorry." He saids, "It is OK. We go now to exit." I am thinking why didn't you tell me where this was to begin with but instead I smile and nod my head.

The girl that is a few yards away makes it through the first set of doors but is stopped when she reaches the second because of a giant pad lock. She is still angrily ranting in Czech as she walks towards a building, to get a key which I assume. Baby-face sets everything down again and follows her as I once again am standing not knowing what exactly I should do in yet another part of the closed Police museum. Suddenly, an old man sporting a silk white shirt that is open allowing his large beer belly to breath comes through the first set of doors. He is carrying a trash bag and looks at me, rightfully so, with a "who the hell are you?" expression.

I call out to baby-face and say, "hey!"
He turns and asks, "a man?"
I say, "yes."

At this moment, the girl return and baby-face speaks Czech to the man who simply walks over and releases us all. I thank them profusely and return to the safety of my hostel.

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