Jul 23, 2008

Zebras are reactionary

Speaking of Simon and Garfunkel, "The Boxer" came on in the dermato OR right after a Czech pop song. Weird.

So, yesterday was the Praha Zoo, known as the 6-7th best zoo in the world, and since I never grew out of my little girl love of animals, I had to go.

Very nice, and notably, the whole time we were there, no one popped out of an unseen location and yelled at us in Czech, which doesn't seem like it would be unusual, but I can say there's been a fair part of my European experience that I described as "having someone pop out and yell at me in another language until I wander off". Or in Grace's case, until she produces money to get them to go away.

I went right after my selective, in which we saw a bunch of venous insufficiency ulcers and some contact dermatitis, burned out to the zoo after, in time to experience Prague's extremely temperamental weather. Dress in layers. Bring sunglasses and an umbrella. I needed my whole collection. Joined up with Grace and Neeta once their afternoon session had ended, and we promptly got to work awww'ing at the cute baby animals, snickering at the defecating and fornicating animals, and climbing on the metal statues to take pictures.

Realizing that the zoo was about to close, and we still hadn't seen Africa, we decided to wait around to see what would happen and see as much as we could. My experience in Czech, to date, has taught me that if you linger anywhere up to 10 minutes before closing, you will be chased out physically by security guards, and occasionally have people threaten to call the police if you attempt to inform anyone you have ten minutes left (Grr, I'm looking in your direction).

Not at the zoo.. we just wandered around as it got emptier and eerier, which was a time where we were near the wolves and hyenas, at which point, the zoo saw fit to post "caution: dangerous animals" signs around in English (neglected near the tigers) which increased the creepy. So finally, an hour and a half after closing, we wandered toward the exit, feeling decidedly like we'd gotten away with something, so that was nice.

Grabbed a train station potato pancake that inexplicably had a piece of chicken inside of it, and headed out to the Agharta Jazz Club, which is a very cool, if sort of expensive little place near the old town square. They were playing freeform jazz last night, which is definitely not my favorite, but the whole brick cellar experience was worth it and proved a drastic improvement over the previous night's venture which landed us in the middle of the projects in a club that had been shut down and replaced by a biker bar where as we walked in, not only did a bunch of scary men pull heads up from bar and stare us down, but one of them had a knife strapped to his belt. Eeeeeeeeeeeek. So we proudly sat down in a booth, pushed ourselves to the far back of it, and watched everyone eyeball us as I sucked down a beer as fast as my liver would allow, dropped the money out with a decent tip to the surly bartender in exchange for not having her colleagues beat me to death, and got the hell out of there as fast as possible.

On the plus side, we got to see the crawling baby sculptures on the TV tower at night, back lit by red light, which is creepier than I can even begin to describe. Good times!

Today, meeting the minister of health. Last week, meeting the ambassador of the US to Czech. Tomorrow, meeting my friend Slappy. Three guesses which one I'm most excited about?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do the first two guesses count?
Heathrow Lady