Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sleeping with the enemy

I'm trying not to hate Prague. Nothing that's happened is its fault. 

I'm being a little melodramatic, it's true. But there is very little that screams inadequate quite like not knowing how to do laundry. 

Which is where I find myself tonight. The first washer I used may have been broken. Regardless, it took my money, did not wash my clothes and then didn't give them back. I had to ask for help. I switched washers, and for a while it appeared to be doing nothing. Finally something happened, and I went upstairs to plan my day tomorrow. 

When I went back down, the machine said it had 12 minutes left. I thought that was weird, but let's face it, getting the time wrong isn't that much of a stretch for me. I went back upstairs and returned 15 minutes later. It still had 12 minutes. 

I sat there for five minutes. Still 12 minutes. The same cycle -- rotate, sit there -- kept repeating. I just wanted to go to bed!

Finally, I got the washing machine turned off and the door open. My clothes are sopping wet. I had to wring them out into the garbage can, thinking I may as well have done this by hand for all the hassle it is. Get them in the dryer, turn it on -- nothing happens. 

I can't actually say that for sure; the clock started ticking down, so I assume it's drying. But I have this sick fear that it's not, and I'll realize that at about 12:30 a.m., and I'll have to confess to the same hostel employee that I am an idiot who can't do laundry. 

Like I said, not Prague's fault, just like it's not Prague's fault that the food I overpaid for looked better than it tasted, part of the castle was closed, the almost all inclusive ticket excluded the most interesting part and there were tourists everywhere. 

OK, that last one may be a little but Prague's fault, but since I'm one of them, can I really complain? 

Yes, I can. It's my blog. For the love of Pete, people, put the camera down for a second and actually look at what's around you instead of just taking a picture of it. Seeing it for real is way better than that photo will ever be. And really, when are you going to watch a 15-minute cell phone video of the changing of the guard? And will you please quit posing like you're coming on to the centuries-old buildings? There are people around. 

OK, I'm done. For the most part I liked today. I went running, ate normal but weirdly shaped foods (potato on a stick, cinnamon bread cooked over coals on what looks like a rolling pin), went into a church that was started in the 1300s and finished in 1929 and found my church building so I can go tomorrow. And I scheduled a running tour for Monday, so good things all around. 

I think my biggest problem is I'm tired of always being awkward -- not knowing where to sit in restaurants, waiting for a check that never comes, staring at maps like they're written in Chinese, asking for help with the washing machine. I am an intelligent, capable adult. I'd like to be playing one in my real life right now.

Potato on a stick


View of part of the castle from the top of St. Vitus Cathedral

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