The start of an amazing project by two of the lovely ladies I met in Prague. I can’t wait to see how this pans out. Take a look please, especially if you are in or from DC.
Piano Keys, Lake by Kupka,
I got to see this in person Thursday. It lives in the national Gallery Across the street from me.
(Via my CET blog, scroll down past the posts on Auschwitz and Xi’an)
listening to this on repeat all weekend
It’s a big girl world now
Full of big girl things
And everyday I wish I was small
I’ve been counting on nothing
But he keeps giving me his word
I thought I could change
The world with a song
But I have ended up in Prague
With no lamp to guide me home.
The strangest place I think
I have ever been
Janie Taylor for Chloé - NOWNESS (let the obsession continue)
The Vltava is calling my name…
(scroll bellow for more photos)
Day one in Hungary was epic, details on that are soon to come, however, day two, brought cultural experiences that I was not in anyway shape or form equipped to handle.
The day started with a classic and very enjoyable city tour followed by an optional trip to the Turkish Baths. This lovely little trip was optional, and although I am glad that I went, and honestly gave the experience a try, it is not something I would ever do again. This semester seems to be me constantly forgetting that I strongly dislike certain social situations and still, repeatedly, trying them again. It’s a bit like cauliflower. I didn’t like cauliflower as a child, and I still don’t, even if you stick a shanzy Eastern European name on it complete with hačeks and umlauts. Whether I am in Eastern Europe or the States I still loathe the following; malls, pools, zoos, crowded museums, beaches (unless secluded or off season), carnivals, chlorine, sand, and most craft fair touristy market nonsense (open air produce markets excluded).
The baths were an awful, combination of all of the above. However, I do think I had deeply misconstrued expectations. When I heard Turkish baths I immediately conjured up images of the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott photo shoot of Kate Moss in W. I pictured steam filled rooms with people silently drifting from one to another in patches of magical, yellow light filtering through epic, authentic Turkish architecture. I guess real life doesn’t often resemble a W photo shoot.
The baths we went to were a series of open-air, chlorinated tile pools that were surrounded by a fairly elegant complex that housed whirlpools, saunas, showers and locker rooms. Although it was about 55 to 60 degrees the pools were quite warm and a decently comfortable temperature. I honestly wish that I could have enjoyed the situation more. It seemed like a great community atmosphere, everyone was just relaxing, laughing, and generally goofing around. The people watching situation was interesting as well especially with all the Spanish and various Slavic languages along with the insanity that is Hungarian flying around. My fellow CET students were having a blast. One of the pools had an inner loop that had an artificial current that pulled people in fast circles around another pool with jets in the center. It seemed to be a mash up of the lazy river and bumper cars, without the cars or the floaties. I tried the sauna and the whirlpools inside, but something in me was just not in the mood to sit in bubbling hot water with total strangers. In short, the baths seemed enjoyable for people that perhaps have a bit more of their inner child or inner Spaniard left in them.
My roommates seem to think that my long list of common dislikes that culminate in my distaste for the bathes are a direct cause of being homeschooled and not being forced to share learning experiences with others. I disagree. There are just some situations and emotions that I don’t enjoy sharing with other people, especially random people in public. Take water for example. Water is not meant to be kept in a pool. It was meant to be in a river, or in rain form, or a lake or ocean in its natural state. When I am in a body of water I want to swim, I want to feel [a] the shore, and real waves caused by the wind or tides. I want to be surrounded by something entirely pure and beautiful. I don’t want a jet propelled current, or to be surrounded by a heated, chlorinated pool of peoples’ dead skin cells. For me being in water is a freeing, spiritual experience, something that can’t be found in a public bath or with many other people. I’ve learned my lesson. First expectations for public baths were way too high, (I really need to go find a decent lake and jump in). Second, I’m going to just stop attempting to enjoy communal water situations. No more public baths, no more pools. I’ve tried the cultural experience, but this time it is not worth the trauma.
Thankfully after the bath experience I found Mattie and we went coffee shop hunting. It turns out Budapest has a thriving coffee shop and tea house scene and after a delicious misto, some girl talk, and Hrabal I was slightly back on kilter and ready for our last evening in Budapest, which I think will require another post. Back to Letna Parkt to enjoy the 70 degrees and sun that is Prague.