Aaron (sodabrew) wrote,

IETF day three

Woke up with my brain logged into the jabber room of the session I was in. Realized that my body was not logged into the physical conference room. Jumped out of bed, ran through the shower and into clothes, then over to the conference. Today was get your own coffee day. I should have grabbed a Douwe Eggberts from the vending machine next to the train station. Instead I was a zombie until 2pm.

Hopped the tram and took it to Nove Mesto. Got off at the Dancing House and took pictures. Walked across the bridge over the Vltava, not the Charles bridge but something newer. Took pictures of the Charles downriver. Wandered a bit on the other side of town, towards the Andjel Metro station where the Novy Smichov mall is. Toured the mall, but found nothing new or interested from the last time I was there. Went up to the food court level and ordered a falafel and coffee. I'd practiced this in Arabic, but the man on the other side of the counter still could not parse my American accented Arabic with his Lebanese-come-Czech understanding. Loaded my falafel up with harissa and enjoyed.

I circled the food court, still a little hungry, and wandered up to the Chinese place. There was just one tofu item on the menu, the 'vegetable delight' type item that's basically bland. So I ordered a kung pao tofu. The Chinese girl behind the counter stared at me like I'd landed from another planet. Yep, California :-P She asked her dad, the chef, if he could do it. He look at me like I'd landed from another planet. I smiled, he made it. It was excellent, and I tried to tell them this, but my Czech phrasebook spoke better Czech than they did. "Very good" and a big smile succeeded in conveying my message that they should offer more stuff vegetarianska.

Then came Tesco. This is something like Wal-Mart in Europe. I bought some Bechrovska, which is this wonderful Czech spiced fruit alcohol, and a 4.90 Kc beer. That's 24.5 cents, FYI. Oh but they add a 3 Kc deposit to the purchase price. Oh shit. And the beer doesn't suck. In fact, it kicks the shit out of any cheap American beer. For obvious reasons. It's Czech, for one.

Grabbed a tram back across the river, the first time I'd crossed the river by surface transit, and headed for Phil's grandma's house. Very sadly she was not home :-( So I left her my gift of English tea and the note I'd jotted myself with some Czech phrases about who I was and why I was visiting. I figured that assuming I could just say, "Hi it's Aaron, your grandson Phil's friend, remember me from July?" would not really fly with a 70-something year old woman who doesn't speak English.

Went to Dana's office, which was a nice little place up near the Kobylisy Metro station. Dragged her out at 8pm and met my grandma's friend's kid and his wife at a cafe near the Florenc station. Two teas, one beer and one coffee. I think we each had a different plan for the evening :-P They're here to teach English, and are having a ball not being in the US, not tied to a city, to a job, to all the sorts of shit that keep us from seeing the world when we're still young. We chatted it up for about 2 hours, then parted ways for them to get to bed and Dana and me to get to our movie.

We went to see "Bottle Return," a new Czech film about crises in life and love (English subtitled at the 10pm showing). It was a really, really great film. I'd call it "a thinking man's chick flick." Dana really liked it, too. After the film we caught our tram, I gave Dana the gift I'd brought from London, and we hugged and parted ways as I got off the tram about five stops before she did.

I almost went back to my hotel, but realized I had my laptop in my backpack and the IETF's Internet access was still free in the hotel lobby. And so here I am. Tomorrow morning at 6am I'll be on the first Metro out to Devicka, then on a bus to the airport, and at 8:45am I'll begin my Flugtag. Farewell to thee, Prague, it's been lovely seeing you again.
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