Monday, April 18, 2005

Letters from Prague

You're going to say it's unethical to read other people's email, much less publish it, as has been done here. And I can't argue with you.

When I sent email from a cybercafe in Prague, in November of 1996, I deleted my messages after sending them. Other people did not delete the messages they had sent, perhaps because they did not know how, or they assumed the messages would be automatically deleted. However, the system did save them. No "hacking" or other special computer skills were needed to obtain these messages. They were lying out in the open.

What follows are excerpts made in 1997 from the most interesting emails I found. The judgment on what to include here was made then.

WARNING: Some of the content here is about sex and drugs, and there are some racial, national, and personal slurs. Stop reading if you might be offended.

This is just a snapshot of what some young and social people were doing in Prague at the time. It's not the most important document in the world, but I did want others to see it. You can dismiss the correspondents as privileged brats, or poseurs, but to do so, you would have had to have been there yourself at the time. And the basis on which you distinguish yourself from the others would perhaps be interesting, if not laughable.

I added the message titles in 1997. Names appearing in these messages have been changed. Additionally, in some cases, facts have been obscured to conceal the identity of the sender.

The spelling and typing have been left in the original, with all mistakes intact.

We went eventually to a club called Moulin Rouge

I'm now in big, beautiful Prague. It is quite big, and quite beautiful, but the few delicious moments of fun and excitement have been smothered by what seems to be, believe it or not, BAD LUCK!! Which I am not at all used to.
What happened is this: I arrived in Prague around 4:15 and just started walking. I had planned on being here for 5 days (I still do, actually) and I packed my purple L.L.Bean backpack with a sparse amount of clothes and a few other necessities. It wasn't particularly heavy, but after 4 hours of cruising around the city, it was starting to get annoying. I had a somewhat stupid plan for the first night-- Magda was coming up later that day, so I called her and told her that I had found a place to stay already and that I wasn't planning on arriving at her house at all until the next day. I likewise called my family in Mikulov and told them that I had arrived at Magda 's house safely, and then prepared to spend a night partying in the city. I strolled around the central district for a while, had dinner in a nice vegetarian restaurant (there aren't any veggie places in Mikulov) and met a really nice older couple from Connecticut there. They actually offered me a place to stay for the night, but stupid me turned it down. And so, not knowing what to do for a couple of hours, and having seen most of the tourist attractions on my last stay in the city, I did the very un-social thing of going to see Independence Day again. I liked it almost as much the 2nd time, and as I was coming out, met a bunch of guys from all over the US and Australia who then invited me to go to some bars and clubs with them. They were of all ages, from 20 or so to 40, and I got along really well with most of them. I also had the best beer I've ever had in my entire life here--It was in this little grotto-like bar deep underground called the "English Pub". I know I've raved a lot about Czech beer, but this stuff blew away everything that I've had so far this year. Enough about that-- we went eventually to a club called Moulin Rouge, which was filled with smoke, red lights, and lots of Americans and Australians. I talked to the guys for a while, and then, at the bar, talked for a while with an Australian girl that sat down next to me. Things progressed nicely (as did my drunkenness) and eventually she invited me to come back to her house with her, but first she said she wanted me to try a drink in a different bar. Oh, her name was Linda, and she was a conversation machine, talking and talking and talking, but not really gabby, just interesting and at times funny. We eventually got to the other bar- the GulaGula Cafe, and sat down there. Linda ordered us four shots of Absinthe, and the stuff came in tiny little shotglasses with this cool silver doohickey on the side with a little funnel-like thingy stuck in the silver thing. Linda put a cube of sugar in the funnel, stuck the silver pipelike-thing on top of my shotglass, and then poured a little bit of warm water (also supplied) over the sugar and down the funnel, into the silver tube, and down into the glass, which turned the liquid this really evil shade of milky swirling green. She did the same to all the rest, we clinked shotglasses, and then.... GULP! COUGH! COUGH! --My throat was on fire. I found out later that Absinthe is legal only in the Czech Republic and Portugal, and that it was hard to find even in those places. I also found out that it is usually between 75 and 85 percent alcohol, and that some bottles also contain an opium derivative that really knocks you out. I don't think what I had contained any opium, but two shots of the stuff fucked me up big time. (I'm gonna take my dad to get some when he gets here...)
It was not very late just then, maybe 12:30 or 1:00, and Linda somehow managed to find her way home, hauling me onto various trams and trolleys that took us careening and curving all over the place. Finally we were in front of a small house on the outskirts of the city, and she unlocked the door, put a finger to her lips to signify that I was to be quiet, and we went in. That's when my night started to get bad. Her mom, I guess, was in the living room, and once she saw Linda she freaked and started yelling and screaming at her about making her worry so much and all the traditional mother stuff. I hadn't expected any of this--Linda was at least 21 or 22 and I thought she'd have her own place. Anyway, after about ten minutes of me leaning against the door and feeling very dizzy and drunk, Linda came back and said that I had to leave, and she was very sorry, but her mom was crazy. I said it was okay, that I had somewhere else to stay anyway, and then I had her point me in the direction of the tram station and began walking. I was dressed very lightly, and the night was very cold, but a tram came eventually and I rode it for a long time until I found myself in the center of the historic district again. From there I asked people how to get to Repy, the district where Magda 's house was. I got all sorts of confusing replies, and finally just started to walk towards the river, because I knew it was somewhere in that direction. I was still very drunk at the time, and didn't really know where I was going, but I got to some bridge and stopped halfway across to lean over the side and just look at the water for a while. And then I heard the growl. I looked to the right, and there was a BIG and MEAN looking dog standing about twenty feet away from me and looking at me menacingly. I just started to walk the other way, and then he barked and ran at me, so I quickly hopped onto a park bench and into a little tree, where I sat reeling with the remnants of my drunkenness and my increasingly freezing body for about fifteen minutes or so. I was feeling really miserable by now, and I got pissed at the dog, so I broke off a small branch, jumped down, and ran at the monster (which was about ten feet from the tree) waving the stick and shouting at it, and it growled, raised its hackles, and then trotted away. I was exhausted, felt like shit, and had sore feet, but I began to walk anyway, and got horribly lost. I managed to hail a taxi and fell into the seat and told the driver where to go, and he took me there, but once in Magda 's neighborhood, I realized that I would never be able to tell her apartment from any of the hundreds of other ones, which weren't numbered in any way that I could see. So I went to the closest phone I could find (about 1/2 mile down the road) and tried to call her, but it was a phone that only took little Czech phone cards and didn't have a friggin' coin slot, so I walked around until a bunch of people staggered my way, and I managed to stumble around the Czech words that meant that I needed to borrow a phone card and would pay them if I could use their card to make a phone call. One of them was nice enough to lend me their card, and I went into the booth, got Magda 's number out of my wallet, called her, woke her up (it was probably 2 or 2:30 by then) and explained what happened and asked which one was her apartment. She told me how to get there in a sleepy voice, and I thanked her, hung up, gave the phone card back to the guy, and ran off towards a building down the street which I thought was hers. I got to it, reached for my wallet to check the address, and then realized that I didn't have my wallet, that I had left it in the phone booth. So I ran all the way back to the phone booth, found my wallet (luckily), and then walked all the way back to the apartment building, which I found locked. So I had to go all the way back to the phone, wait about 1/2 hour for a lone taxi to come driving up the road, pay the driver $8 to use his phone card for a local call which was to an apartment maybe 1 mile away, and got Magda to say that she would unlock the main door into the apartment building. So I got to the building, found her there, went inside, collapsed on the bed, and fell into a deep sleep. The next morning (Friday) I had a severe hangover. I went shopping with Magda in the afternoon, but was too wiped out to really have any fun at all. Then I told her I was gonna go get some lunch while she was shoe shopping and went and got a big delicious salad. We had planned to meet back at the apartment at 5:00, and I got there okay (remind me to tell you about the subway here someday, it's really cool), but Magda was nowhere. The main door was unlocked though, so I went into the building and sat down on the steps in front of her apartment's door and got out a book that I had bought that day and began to read. I waited for two hours, and she finally showed up to unlock the door, apologizing profusely and saying that she had just lost track of the time, etc. I was too tired to be pissed, so we went in, cooked some spaghetti, ate it, and then I fell asleep on the couch. She woke me up around 9 to ask me if I wanted to go to to a dance club with her, but I said no, that I wanted to sleep. So I slept, and woke up this morning feeling pretty good, and felt really strange (kinda like the first few minutes when we snuck into Andrew's parents' room) when we brushed our teeth at the same time and she came in to brush her hair or something while I was showering. It was that strange, married feeling, y'know, the one that makes everything seem just a bit too normal, as if you've been living with the person for so long that you don't even take notice of them very often anymore. I've found that there's no way that I could ever seriously like Magda , though. I don't think that I'll ever really want to be anything more than her friend--I don't know exactly why, just that she's really not my type in some way.
We ate some breakfast, and then I said I was gonna go check out some of the regional museums and stuff. But as I was on the way out the door, the phone rang, and Magda sounded really alarmed about something, and so I hung around for a second, and then she hung up and hurried into her room and began packing and I asked her what was wrong, and she said that her dad had fallen down and broken his leg and was in the hospital, and that she was gonna go see him. I thought she was freakin out a bit much over just a broken leg, but I didn't say anything. Anyway, she said she was going back to Mikulov on the first train available, and asked if I knew anyone else that I could stay with in the city. I said yes, not wanting to make her worry or anything, and then packed up my stuff and walked her to the train station. I said bye, told her that I hoped her dad was okay, and began wandering once more, homeless for the 2nd time. So now I have to find somewhere to stay (Hannah the Australian AFSer is gone for the weekend, I tried her house already) for the next three nights. I guess I'll shack up in a shitty hotel or bed+breakfast somewere. Or maybe I'll try to pick up some girl at a club again and stay with her. Whatever happens, I hate having this uncertain feeling about the near future. I only have $150 with me, and that's enough to stay for three nights at a bed+breakfast, but I'm still bummed about how shitty everything's turned out. The only really good thing about my trip right now is how I'm looking forward to seeing my dad. But as of right now, he doesn't have anywhere to contact me to tell me when he's coming, so I have to buy a mega-expensive phone card somewhere to call his hotel in Paris and talk to him + arrange things. So those are my bad times in the big city. I gotta use the bathroom, so I'll be right back. (Oh, I'm in an internet cafe- called the Cybeteria)
I'm back, at long last. I know it sounds pretty shitty here, and I've had a little streak of bad luck, but the city is really incredible beautiful, and incredibly friendly. The streets are narrow and cobbled, the clubs are ubiquitously placed, there is lots of good jazz here in places that are open all night, the main squares are moonlit romantic paradises where string quartets play softly into the wee hours of the morning (the only beautiful place I've been that actually provides it's own soundtrack--perfect for a date!), and the castles and churches are lit spectacularly--I think that as long as I don't drink any more absinthe I'll be sure to have a good time. That's all for now, I guess. I may write more later on this week, but I dunno right now. All depends on how long I survive, I guess. If you feel inclined to, you can e-mail me here and they'll stick the file in a anonymous guest account, and if I happen to wander in here again anytime during the week, I can retrieve it happily. Of course, if you don't feel inclined to, that is equally ok with me, for I'm not sure if I will actually ever wander in here again. Wish me luck, Ron--I'm not sure if I need it, but I certainly do enjoy having it.

Nobody seems to care about Indiana Basketball over here

Thanks for the basketball update. Keep me posted on the team's progress (or, if its like most seasons, lack of progress) Nobody else seems to care about Indiana Basketball over here.

As far as those pills go, they can't fix everything

We had our premiere, and it was, as one of the Slovak girls put it, "a leetle crazy"---but we got through it. My part was pretty much ready...oh yeah, did I remember to tell you that I was a principal? None of the four principal dancers is Czech.........American, Danish, Slovak, and Ukranian.........hhmmmmmmm. Anyway......the night of dress rehearsal I was somewhat dismayed to note that there remained LARGE chunks of music for which no choreography had yet been taught.......the corps had no idea what they were doing. So...........Myka's father, the original choreographer, who has, I think, since gone somewhat senile, insisted on coming in the next day to "help" teach the rest of the ballet. This he did......taking his sweet time picking apart what had already been taught, changing every step in some sections. Meanwhile, everyone is glancing at the clock, biting their nails, wondering if the ballet will actually be finished in time for the performance. About 3 hours before curtain time, they finally finished,,,,,,,,,,,somehow. We never actually rehearsed the whole thing with music before it was was pretty scary. But my parts went well...........although I'm still not really sure what the story of the ballet is, given that the libretto is in Czech. To my amazement, there was actually an audience.........I think we all expected maybe 20 people to show up.........but there were PEOPLE out there.......amazing, considering that the thing was pretty much unadvertised, except for being listed along with every other performance that takes place at the State Opera.
The "official" premiere is not till later. What last night was, I'm not quite sure, aside from creating enough stress to shorten all of our lives by a couple of years. God, as mon amie, La Marseillaise, keeps saying, "Je n'ai JAMAIS vu ca!!". Afterwards, I went out with her and a multinational group of her friends....Australian, Norwegian, Israeli, French, American, etc..........and drank that gin and tonic I'd been thinking about all day..........afterwards I spent a good hour wandering around Prague at 3 AM trying to find a night tram that would take me home...the metro stops running at midnight...I had no idea what tram I wanted, or where to catch it.........what a random day.
Today should be a day off, but it's not.........I have to go to work in a few minutes.........vilain. We've worked 15 days in a row now. There's always a daily schedule......but it's not followed. I've talked to a couple of people, and we're planning some sort of dancer meeting to do a union-type thing.......this is just a little too disorganized. I like Myka and all...........but this way of working, premiere or no premiere, is not cool. I hope she's amenable to suggestions.
Meanwhile, Slovenian/American relations are deteriorating by the day. Yesterday morning, they woke up and promptly lit up cigarettes. I was lying in bed, fighting to stay calm, and not to leap up commit some sort of act of violence. We don't speak; civility is getting more and more difficult. I do like the Czech girl, though--she's most amusing. When I went into the kitchen yesterday morning, she was eating breakfast.........some concoction she made with spaghetti, rice, ketchup, soya chunks, and onion...........accompanied by a glass of whisky. She offered to share, but I felt it best to decline.
I went to see "Night on Earth" last week........enjoyed it immensely. I'd forgotten how hilarious that Helmut/Yoyo section.....the NYC Also I hadn't realized that the Italian guy from "Down by Law" was the Rome cabbie. Unfortunately, though, all the subtitles were in the Italian and Finnish portions were lost on me. You could tell who the Americans in the audience were....they got up and walked out around the beginning of the Helsinki part......there just wasn't any point. I stayed, though, just to hear the Tom Waits song at the end.
I talked briefly to the Jaques..........he thought I was Canadian, because I was speaking French to La Marseillaise. Turns out he was in NYC Ballet for 3 years......then back in Finland......he says they have amazing facilities there, and the repertoire is good too. I haven't asked about fruit soup, though.
Oh, my mother, the impertinent wench, asked me the other night if I'd met any PEOPLE. I said, "Why don't you just come out and ask me if I'm POPULAR?". I'd think she might realize by now it's a lost cause.
By all means, you should come for Christmas; I'm sure I'll have a vacation of some sort..........I'll try and pin her down to specific days. Paris sounds good........Amsterdam, likewise.........but you really should see Prague too.
As far as those pills go, you KNOW that they can't fix everything..........wouldn't it be nice, though. Sometimes it' s just such a battle to maintain equilibrium..........a Sisyphean task. Oh well, time's almost up. Adieu.

We made a bong out of the earth

Hey butt plug,
Thanks for gettting the package out. I cant wait to get it. barry said that icore is a bitch, too. i hope you are having fun in school. Dont lose any of my cd's bungwipe. I had this weekend off and i went with these two hippie guys (one from US, one from Czech) to the Czech countryside. It was beautiful. The czech guy had a van fully decked out with beds and a fridge and a stove etc....We made a bong out of the earth, it ruled. When i get back to the US i want to go on a long road trip, either following phish or just going on my own......enjoy the shows. when are they? i got email from buckman, barry, ross, john and pisser. Did you ever find out anything about the telefund owing me money? what about their email addresses? Let me know what you find out, because i need the money. We need to talk about holiday presents too. If you come to prague, we can exchange gifts here or something like that, but i need help getting something to mom and dad. it is ridiculously expensive to send packages from here. Mr. Patrick called me last night, it was very nice of him. It was a horrible phone connection though so we didnt really talk that long. Work is going well and my living situation is becoming a little more stable. Hope youre doing well, i will check email in a week or so, so write me.

Don't worry he's bisexual

hi girl how you doing.

i'm in praha travelling with this american guy from south carolina named jack. i meet him on the train from munich. we are at this cheap pension and we have to share a bed - don't worry nic he's bisexual and has a girlfriend - i also kinda of gave him the scoop on me too. we had a pretty good chat yesterdat night when we went out for supper. praha is alrigth but the weather is sooo depressing. the city is so amaqingly beautiful - but the people are so bitchy - take for instance the cop who arrested us last night - i'm not going to get into it right now but lets just say jeff likes to smoke hash and find cheap ways of transport. i smoked a little but he mixes it with tobacco so it made me sick, or maybe that was the wine. i am going to try to phone you tonite cause i am going to be on a night train to budapest tomorrow night. if i don't get hold of you don't worry its just cause i'm in the misted of travelling today was a very solem day for me. i left jeff's company around 1:00p and spent until now by myself. i miss hanging out with you so much. so days are really good and others not so good. finallt in my life i have started to face my fears. i am really scared right now about more than one thing. nic you can't image the things that run through my head every day every minute of the day. i am soo alone right now and wonder if this is how it will be for me and how long it will be like this. sometimes i am soo happy here just travelling. i feel so strong and good about myself but why dosen't that last????! nancy your happiness is so important to me but i can't let it overshawdow my need to be happy. i will try to support you as best as i can but ... i hope i have the my own strength to do so. sometimes i just want to give up - and i don't even know what i would be giving up at ? i miss you and i still .......(use your emagination) bye nance.

This resulted in a very big church service

Dear mum & dad

I have had a good weekend. Some chrisitans from Vienna came to visit us. This resulted in a very big church service and a sight/seeing tour. We went to a very good piano recital. Six consevitorium students played the work of Smetana a Czech composer. They all play the same pieces but varied there style. I played the lead role in a pantomime piece. i am also getting quite involved in the singing.

I spent most of the weekend reading Sophie's world and the Bible. I am defientely asking a lot of philosophical questions at the moment. I must admit that despite of the fact that I have been baptized i am still looking unsure ad making my mind up.

I need to go. I long to be able to talk to you both under less expensive conditions.

A very deep, very regular three-woman rotation

aw g, i don't even know where to start. This town -- everything an allll like dat -- bein so goooood to me, boy. Got a sweet-sweet pad. Got all the flavours. Got some friends. Got a lil music thang. an the clubs and bars and cafes and discos an beerhalls and winecellars, plus all the castles and churches and synagogues an crazy little cobble stoned streets and me all cobbled or at least stoned on the sessbud an the absinthe an the whiskey and the beauty of this life. But mainly, g, it"s the ladies. I've settled down now into a very deep, very regular three-woman rotation -- but for a while there i had enough players to field full tilt five-on five practices daily. it was great and it was good and it was totally unexpected cause had thought that after berlin i might have to be the lonely guy for a while which might not have been all bad, but this is all good and black is just rolling rollin rollin out on the waves...My jordan is Kryspina, totally goin on, penthouse material, 21 years old but brains an heart an goodspot galore. maria the freak is still on the mike hard, actin more like pippen. then there's Kinda a rodman type ballplayer. Just win, baby. The cuts were hard to make, and actually it's an ongoing process cause new players keep wanting to try out. naw, g, i aint fuckin round here, i had like a harem international, and the more honest i was about not wanting anything commitment wise and not tryin to be any kind of nice guy or nuthin, the more they came around -- this town, it's totally insane --someone call the doctor, someone git me a neckbrace, someone keep my tongue in my fuckin head --naw, on second thought, fuck the doctor, fuck the neckbrace and i'm just gonna let my tongue roll all over the place --- i like likin, g. an i know knowin. an club praha? on-going...

on top of all that (compounded it, surrounded it, astounded and out-rebounded it) i'm writing all these stories and poems, and chapters for what might turn into a novel, plus a movie script. i don't know g, the shit's just pouring out of me. no idea wher it comes from, or why, an i dont wanna know. i'm groovin on it. allready got like 55 (go otis) pieces finished typed and ready to rock, an i got dozens more in my head an herat an hands just burstin to get out, man, it's a beautiful zone -- don't know if they're "good" or not, whatever the fuck that means, but i've showed em to some people an folks seem to like em but really that aint even it-- it's just doin the do what feels right for me right now...

meanwhile, i sleep till noon, pour down that good czech beer, eat like a king for pennies (crackers) trip out freak out dance dance dance and git ultra busy -- my latest being an interesting little fling with Irenee, a 17 year old model from moscow, 6-3, dunks, al like dat...

i miss you -- billy the fatty:
likes to eat meat
likes to eat pasta
likes to eat sweets

likes to eat fish
likes to eat bird
allways gits seconds
likes to git thirds

likes to get busy
likes to get fresh
likes new yawk city
all the way deff.

no worries about you not makin it. Only miss showin you round an introducin you to my friends... an gettin on the green an walkin through the streets an doin dlouha, jack the boody muncher, all that...

feelin feelin feelin
write me back soon.
i likes that home cookin.
hook me up with cc biggs or any other internet folks you think i should get with. I can't go offf on it cuz it's costin me duckets, of which i got precious little. the v.i.p by the way is treatin me right. i started out bad but righted the ship an i'm up a lil now. bit mostly i'm a small-time guy. got a system. hit em for 100 bucks an git the fuck out fore the dragon rears up an i'm down in Phill's red door talkin bout richie pettiebone an them... but i'm havin too much fun to even get in there more than once or twice a week... but i been keepin yark an hanka all set for you -- there's gonna be bigtime dissappointment when they find out morisso's out of club europa... maybe i'll have to sooth em down...
git manhattan.
be manhattan.
see manhattan.
like manhattan
do manhattan
lick manhattan.
touch manhattan.
feel manhattan
want manhattan
all like dat

big big luv --

I just want to spend the rest of my life with you

Dear Suz;

I have been trying to email you for three days, I love you from the bottom of my heart, I have run out of time, please be patient with this communist backwater country's technology, it is not easy.

Suzanne, I love you and I just want to spend the rest of my life with you, please endure, I will try to phone tonight, Ilove you more than I am able to express

Love Bert

Aseptic technique is definitely a fantasy

This is my second attempt at e-mail here...lets hope it goes better than the first. Enjoyed seeing you and Dr. Joffrey two weeks ago. Looking forward to lunch back in the States--native Czech food is a little too heavy for me(Thank goodness for Kaopectate). Please tell Dr. Joffrey that I will clean his gutters when I get back-haha. Was at a hospital in Pilzen last week. The fall of Communism has left the previously state funded medical system in a predicament. Many patients who are lucky enough to outlive the enormous waiting list at the hospitals must then pay for their own drugs (modern pharmaceuticals are in short supply) and special equipment. Aseptic technique is definitely more a fantasy than a reality. If the hospital visit is of any duration whatsoever, the patient's family is expected to provide food and the basic neccesities. To add to all of this, most Czech doctors are woefully underpaid (second lowest paid profession in the country at approx. $300/month) and undereducated. Even though our medical system is far from perfect, it sure beats the heck out of this mess. But, as time goes on things will improve-it will be a painful process. I have to go-hope to have e-mail soon..its quite expensive here (connect to MS International server via satellite due to poor phone lines).

Here I was...teaching Czech in Spanish

My Czech is coming along fine...I study every day...I'm also studying French and German and have actually had a couple of conversations in German since I've been here (SIMPLE conversations). My last night in the hostel two girls came in from Argentina who spoke NO I got to practice a lot of Spanish...we did really all came back to me. So, I decided to teach them a few Czech words so they could just get know, "please", "thank you", "excuse me", I started teaching and they started writing stuff down and repeating it...and it occurred to me that here I was...teaching Czech in Spanish...very weird...but they were very appreciative.

I didn't know what the "bow protocol" was

We had a Japanese girl, named Misako, who stayed there a few days. She was SO neat, and SO organized and SO disciplined, it was annoying. She got up EVERY morning at 5:30 am to fix her breakfast and do her exercises. The other roommate, Dina, was ready to throw her out the window. So, after Dina left, Misako apologized to me for waking her up and kept bowing to her bed...(she kept bowing to me while I was sitting on my bed, but I didn't know what the "bow protocol" you get up or just bow sitting down?...) anyway, I lied and told her it was all OK...who knows, she might have committed harakiri or something otherwise. She taught me how to say hello, goodbye and how to count to five in was fun.

I just cried and cried through the place

Teaching is exhausting, exhilirating and lots of fun. Obviously the key is preparation, preparation, preparation...which is all I'm doing this weekend. The people are lovely and kind...of course, I'm not a gypsy...things would definitely be different if I were. I actually saw a women saying "bad, bad" to her dogs so that they would associate "bad" with the three old gypsy women who had just passed them by...that sort of prejudice is really hard for me to stomach.

I went to the Jewish memorial here and the old Jewish cemetary this week....
the memorial consists of the walls of the synagogue which are covered with the names of over 80,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust. I just cried and cried through the place...yet other people were wandering around seemingly utterly unaffected. It was really a powerful experience for me...

I just hope that I outlast the fucking gypsies

Yo Bro! I hope that you are getting good response to your plans to start your own school, that is, if you are in fact headed in that direction. Not much happening here except to say that I am enjoying my visit. I just hope that I outlast the fucking gypsies that are trying to rip me off. This country is so much different than Japan. In japan I never once felt threatened but here, especially in downtown Prague anyone without a gun is subject to harrasment from the Romanians.

I am amazed at the abundance of art

Prague is a wonder of Gothic and Medieval art and architecture. Everywhere we go we point and say,"Ooh, look at that," and "Wow, I hadn't noticed that before." I walked by a building the other day on the way home that I must have passed five times before I noticed an intricate painting on the outside of the third story that had escaped me before. Little discoveries like this are constant. I am amazed at the abundance of art and architectural detail that exist on almost every single building.

Last night, Lila and I hopped a tram to Mala Strana (the Little Quarter). (Mass transit is a model of efficiency here. It is so easy to use, and wonderfully efficient - and prompt.) We had drinks at a cozy little bar that had live Reggae music downstairs. Afterwards we walked across the Charles bridge. It was after midnight, but there were other people strolling on the bridge. The air was still and slightly chilly. The moon was three quarters full and shone behind the statues that line the bridge. The weight of each century represented by this bridge can be felt in every stone. The looming statues, which when backlit by moonlight appear as shadows, seem to come alive at night. It is at moments like this that Lila and I congratulate each other on our decision to move here.

Prague has had a strange effect on me

Prague has had a strange effect on times, it has been very dampening...and at others, like at night on the bridges - utterly inspiring...(Right now, I'm listening to 'Macarena' on the radio here in the Internet this bizarre, or what???)

I'm waiting now on a confirmation from the UN

Dear Rick, This is my second attempt to send you a message from Prague. I hope it works. So every day my life seems to bring unexpected changes. I'm still planning on going back to the States in a few months but work and adventure is keeping me in this part of the world. I'm waiting now on a confirmation from the UN to work on a three-week mission in Bosnia for the local elections. I'm not a big fan of the UN but it's a chance to make a little more money than I did as a journalist and be back in a country I love. It's hard to explain my attraction. The people are so incredibly open and full of life despite the war and situation. I met so many generous people who had no work, electricity or water but still invited me into their homes and wanted to give me everything. That was in Mostar divided between the Croats and Muslims now. Each side though functions completely independently despite Dayton - ie differents schools, currency, police forces, etc.. And if a Muslim ventures over to the Croat side he usually gets thrown in prison and either beat up or humiliated. Anyway, I could go on and on with stories, but the most striking thing about the country is it's beauty marred only by the destruction of the buildings throughout. I didn't notice one building in Sarajevo that was untouched by the war. It's funny even the Jewish cemetary is still mined as is much of the country. I was warned by Ifor troops to stick to the roads although one evening I took a walk with someone I met through Sarajevo until four in the morning. It was a little surrealistic because of the 11:OO curfew. Streets are virtually empty, only a few internationals and policemen around. Being a woman though made things a lot easier and when I went with another woman -a Spanish journalist - one day to Srbenica in Republika Srbska we were stopped only once by Serb policemen. We had a Serb interpretor in the back but they weren't interested in him.

Anyway here I am back in depressing, grey Prague. However, it's nice living with Tony, he's got a lot of good ideas and contacts that make our apartment a little more eventful.

There is reconstruction, digging up, repairing

This is a truly intriguing city-- a mix of Paris and New York. The transit system is extensive with buses, trains, trams (trollies) and a funicular (sideways trolley that goes up hill). It is good that there is this transit system as my lodging is on the outskirts of the city. I feel like a native travelling in and out of the city center with the masses of people. The escalators, which are part of the transit system are, I think, probably the longest and the fastest in the world. You need to be a sprinter to navigate them.

I find the people here very kind and hard working. There is a vibrant young population here. It must be a very hopeful time for them. There is reconstruction, digging up, repairing going on all over the city.

Basically I point & make large gestures with my hands

I've found a nice room/apt here in Prague not too far from the center. Met a random guy from...Seattle yesterday at a plaza. An art student. We hung out for most of the day & had dinner. Sweet kid. I still can't make heads or tails out of the czech language. Basically I point & make large gestures with my well enough.

I'll get in touch with you soon again. I'm not typing very well because my hands are still thawing out fromn the cold outsdie & because I have a cold & a hangover...not a good combination.

I met her this morning, cold and sunny her

The first night here was wretched, having left the train at the wrong station and an information personel who could hardly speak english. Eventual an english speaker showed me the way to the metro and there i floundered for a hostel. Walking the Czech suburbs which consisted of communist block housing complexes and street lights that did not turn on until it was truly dark. Sidewalks torn up and workers smoking cigarettes. The first hostel was no longer and the woman at the counter could not speak a word of english. (I sit now in this bar which had been playing Pink Floyd and now Sting, ahhhh.) My pack by now weighed like lead and I hadn't had a good night sleep in four nights. I met two english speaking girls in the metro and asked for hostels. I got the address to the main train station and another hostel the latter I could not find after wandering the streets for another hour. Finally I was able to reach a hostel written in my guide book and I arrived after having to ask directions from some taxi drivers (the street sign had been torn down, conveniant.) I sleep now with five other travelers in a room that hardly fits the beds. Twelve dollars a night. Phil Collins is now playing. You have no idea how wonderful this music sounds.
Ah yes now for the crucial part. That which has made my trip. I am here(in the Cyber-cafe) with a lovely woman by the name of Sheila. We met yesterday morning at the begining of the Praha bridge she was reading an English paper and I found out she was living on Queen Anne hill before she moved here for two months. We walked over the bridge and watched nuns collect apples in an orchard below the hill we climbed. Dinner for two and six beers came to under ten dollars. I met her this morning, cold and sunny her flat is tiny yet warm.

They come here to 'do art' and wind up sitting in bars

Dear Mum,

OK - so lots has happened since Munich! I was actually quite enjoying it until my last night - I had planned to stay an extra day to go out on a day trip to this amazing fairy tale castle. So I decided to go to bed really early in preparation for my big castle day. There was noone else in my dorm room (about 20 beds - pretty unusual to be so empty). I went to bed and fell asleep about 8:30 (loser). About 10 pm 2 Asian girls came in, but I just fell asleep again. They left early, before 8 am and I got up a bit later and went to have a shower. I went downstairs for breakfast, and as i was looking in my purse, I noticed that there was no more cash in there! And my mastercard was gone, and I looked in my filofax, and the diners club was gone. Luckily, my travellers cheques and passport were still there. They must have gone thru my shoulder bag while I was asleep - which really sucks. I'm usually pretty careful, but its impossible to have everything under lock and key 24 hours a day, and you asume that your personal belongings are fairly safe especially when they are only 1 feet away from you! There's also a fairly well understood ettique in hostel rooms - ie, don't steal from fellow travellers! Ha! It wasn't until I was on my way to the police that I noticed that they also took the camera, which sucks the most, mainly because it had all my photos of Venice and Munich still in the camera. They were obviously professionals, as they only took those things, and ingnored my watch, jewellery etc. And while the travellers cheques and passport were kinda hidden, they could have taken them if they wanted to I think. They didn't leave their addresses at the reception desk (Which was standard for everyone else, so I was pretty peeved at the staff - who, like most Europeans, seem to have as much empathy and kindness to travellers as the Pope has to an abortion doctor...)
So basically, I was pretty lucky thats all they took, and it was just a big pain in the neck to cancell the cards, arrange replacements, go to the police etc, not to mention the fact that I couldnt go tothe castle!
I was pretty depressed about it for a few days, which was only helped by the awful train trip to Prague and the fact I got lost and couldnt find the hostel here blah blah.. but when I finally got the hostel, I felt better, as there are nice people and the staff are kinda friendly.
So, now my third day in Prague, and I like it alot. I will probably stay here til next monday, as A/ its cheap!!!! B/ the hostel is nice, and C/ my real replacement mastercard probably wont get here until the end of the week, so Im stuck anyway. Still, you couldn't hope to be stranded in a better city that Prague. Its really beautiful, easy to get around, and so so cheap - for instance, last night I went out with some girls from the hostel and we drank beer, lots of red wine and eat big Schnitzel and salad for 130 crown each - about 6 dollars! Last night was good actually. We then went to a bar in the old part of town (everythings old here!) which had a lot of expatriates and a good cozy atmosphere. I started talking to this girl, my age, but she's been living in Prague for the past 2 years, she's originally from Melbourne. She's really good looking, and interesting to talk to - basically she's a professional lush,or bar fly, and while she says shes an artist (aren't they all?) and makes money painting on commission, I get the feeling her true profession in drinking copious amounts of Czech liquor (which is very nice by the way and about $2 a glass - wine is about $1 a glass, beer is about 20 cents!), and sleeping with any man who she considers vaguely attractive. She wants me to go back to the bar tonight as there is a private party to celebrate its 4th birthday, so that could be interesting! She's a good addition to my collection of social observations I've been making while away. Plus, she bought me all my drinks! Theres a funny situation here - lots of Aussies, Americans and Canadians (and Norwegians) come here to 'do art' and they just never go home, instead sitting in bars and cafes 20 hours a day slowly drinking themselves to oblivion - kinda funky and bohemian for a week, but I think staying here for any longer would drive me crazy! You would never be short of drinking buddies though...

God save the Queen!

I'm in Prague(the subject should have been a tip-off). I live here, but not for much longer because I FUCKING HATE IT!!!!!!!!! How is that for emphasis? Perhaps it is an exagerration, but you get the point. I'm in a good mood, by the way, but I'm feeling a little strange,and I have to pay to write e-mail. Life here is frustrating. I've been here since August, and I have had more problems than you could possible believe. Murphy's Law hit full force and Helga calls this place my "City of Bad Luck". Why? that's complex, but suffice to say, nothing works for me. Trains are always late. The phones sometimes work, if they feel like it. The Czechs are nice, but as you might guess, they don't speak English. The Americans here could be nice if I ever met them, but when I do, they all think they are Ernest hemingway, and they wouldn't want to bother with YOU, you despicable scum. Or, at least, that is the impression I get. Prague is a beautiful city. Really. It's just frustrating as hell to live here. I now, finally, have a place to live, and I had a job but I got fired. I've gotten fired two times since I've been here, and I've quit once. That's more times then my entire life. The first guy fired me before he met me, so I can't take it personally, but he fired me as his English teacher because I didn't speak Czech. The second was the Bank. After continually delaying when classes would start, I taught for two weeks before they decided that my work permit situation was bad(they had known this for two months before this). Then they tried not to pay me, but I convinced them that I would make it my mission in life to bother them if they didn't(and they will pay me tommorrow).
So, soon, Helga and I will be heading to the land of the Empire--the Wonderful Great Britain(God save the Queen!). Okay, I've already lived there, but I'm ready to go back(hell, I'm ready to go anywhere except here).

Probably the most uncomfortable 30 seconds of my life

Sibling mine,

Well, hello---it's been a while, hasn't it? As you've probably been told, I'm in Prague after a couple of months of adventure. I went to Vienna, Budapest, Prague, all over Germany, and then Copenhagen, then back through Berlin to Prague. In Hamburg, I was with this Australian girl who really wanted to see the red light district (apparently the one in Hamburg, called the Reeperbahn, is world-famous). There's this one street called Herbertstrasse, which is blocked off at both ends, with signs forbidding men under eighteen and women to enter. Well this girl just walked right on past--so I followed her, against my better judgement. Inside was a whole block of these shopfronts---prostitutes standing in the windows, showing off their stuff. Most of them were wearing fancy lingerie with their hair all puffed out---some had little dogs on leashes--there was even a middle-aged schoolteacher type--truly something for every taste. Well, these women were absolutely furious at us for coming in---apparently women never do-----so there we were walking down this street with all these whores screaming god knows what kind of obscenities at us in German. It was probably the most uncomfortable 30 seconds of my life, but I figured you'd be suitably impressed.

Les hommes are really just tres simple

I spent a most enjoyable soiree chez la Marseiilaise a son nouvel appartement avec her two francais roommates and some Australian guys from the youth hostel where they'd all been staying. The guys she's living with are both nice, if a little bizarre. I think I might have told you about Henri, who makes no effort to pronounce English phonetically------rolling all his r's-------with a lisp and all----------and he looks like some sort of muppet with a really long nose. The other, Peter, I quite liked------il cherche un poste comme professeur de francais. And you know, I had the distinct impression that I was POPULAR-------that might have had something to do with the fact that il n'y avait que nous deux filles, et les quatre garcons--------but I was just the life of the party---------well after Henri, I suppose. Les hommes are really just tres simple------a little pathetic actually-------very easy to manipulate if you know the right things to say. At one point I mentioned that red wine sometimes makes me cry; and let me tell you, nothing I've ever said has produced a reaction like that. "Really? So do you think you might do that tonight?"----"Would you like some more wine?"--------and M. Peter at my elbow saying, "Oh, J'adore les femmes qui pleurent"--------and inquries the rest of the evening as to whether I was feeling sad. I'll definitely have to remember that one. I 've made up my mind to become a femme fatale-----doesn't that sound fun? I really do think women are much cleverer than men--------more highly evolved------les pauvres, they just can't quite keep up.

I need to get a document of living here legally

it feels like years since i have talked to you. prague is alright but i haven't been doing too much because carolinehas been sick and i have benn trying to take care of her. i haven't been able to find a job yet and it is frustrating as hell. i might teach english but i need to get a document of living here legally and shhhhhhh, i'm not. so the guy we live with is contacting his friends to see who will front for me but nothing has happened yet. if i don't get a job soon i don't know how long i am going to last. funds are running low and it's hard. i tried getting a job as a cook or anything in a restaraunt and i could not even get that. pain in my ass. but the scene here is cool, cool clubs and a couple of magazines devoted to it. sometimes i really need som e human contact from people who love me but i can deal with it. i haven't met too many people cuz the language thing is a definite barrier. the young people here are semi groovy but the old people are just mean as hell. i really want to beat a couple of them up but that would be difficult. i am trying to volunteer at amnesty international but the place hasn't been open except for one time that i was there.

They had a town meeting with the goal of setting up an official "red light" district in Prague

Being out late last night also gave us a close (but not too close...) look at the hookers who frequent Vaclavske Namesti. They actually had a town meeting a few weeks ago with the goal of setting up an official "red light" district in Prague. City officials published several maps of various neighborhood "options" and then held a meeting so that everyone could comment on the placement (especially important if you have strong objections to having hookers hanging out by your kid's playground, I guess...).

Anyway, no one showed up. Literally.

No one cared enough to voice either approval or disapproval...although there was a general sentiment among the city fathers/mothers that it was pretty useless to try and move them anyway. They tend to go where the customers are...and it's pretty obvious that the customers are probably in the center part of town...not out cruising the, they decided to leave them alone. Which is what we did, too, last night. But, it was kind of sad. These women were wearing (all of them...there must be a regulation Prague hooker "outfit"...) incredibly tight red shorts that basically covered the buns...maybe. Spike heels and no coats. It is cold out there folks...what a way to make a living....the same women were cruising when we came out of the theater as when we went, it's hard to predict how much business they must actually get...

It also seems that the gypsies (that whimsical group who have been thoroughly marginalized by general Czech society) have an interesting technique to relieve men of their wallets. Apparently, they surround a guy and (in an extremely helpful manner) just place his hands on one of their more amply-endowed and minimally-covered chests. While he is in a state of wonder at this turn-of-events-that-he-has-only-dreamed-of-since puberty....they proceed to "charge" him for the pleasure he is experiencing by lifting his wallet. If someone is sufficiently inebriated (or deprived) can understand how he wouldn't notice something like a wallet disappearing at that particular moment. ANYWAY...

I think I best not have any children

Then,, when I was walking home i went through a strech of old streets. There was noone there(but iti's completely safe -- there are cops lurking all over the place,despite the fact that they[re all a little tipsy) all of the sudden, out of the shadows about 6 completely decrepid people limped out of the shadows...missing hands feet, hump-backed (Ithink the huge # of theses is a) from toxic waste and b)poor medical treatment...) andyway i felt like i was in a scene from "thriller" or "Jesus c. superstar" THen I walked to the metro and sat down. the woman across from me had no teeth. I looked to my .left: a guy had two fingers; one normal one and one that I swear encased the bones of he had one big fat finger that cvered halfof his hand, with a big finger nnail...Then I looked tomy right...a woman had three fingers. and one of them (sit down if you're standing) began like a normal finger, then at the top nuckle split into THREE little baby fingers with nails, like a pitchfork!!!!I almost screamed!!!
aND...alli just discovered something really funny. Do you remember the beautiful lake that we found and swam in? It turns out the caves in the area are old toxic waste dumps! Also there is no exchange of h2o so the water is really polluted! I think I best not have any children.

Evidently, Mormons aren't exactly treated well

I talked to Milhouse last night. He is living in Bratislava, Slovakia and having almost as much fun as me from the sounds of it. He has been in this region for almost a year, and said his job was "meeting people." I replied, "You mean you go out and knock on doors, don't you?" To which he replied, "Well, yeah, basically, but I was trying to make it sound more polite." I don't envy him. He has friends (something I don't here--every other weekend I go on trips and meet Helga, and that is always great but always too short). However, Milhouse also is living in Slovakia. Big difference from the Czech republic. I at least live in a country where democracy is respected, etc, etc. He is in a country where the prime minister is suspected of attempting to kidnap the President's son. Not exactly the same kind of scandal that we have. They have to cross the border every month to get a new visa, and they are constantly being harrassed by the police. Evidently, Mormons aren't exactly treated well over there, especially when they knock on doors. When I told him about my frustrations he replied, "It doesn't get any better." It at least made me feel good that I wasn't the only one with problems adjusting to life here. Anyway, he sounded well overall, and is awaiting going back to the Naval Academy in July (he is in the process of reapplying).

In conjunction with heavy duty buttplay

We e-mailed each other some time ago...I finally got relocated to Prague.

To refresh your memory, I'm from California, 35yo, 5'10" tall, 150#,
27" waist, clipped body hair, into dk blue, pink, and red hankies as a bottom. Also get into bondage and hot wax (on occassion) in conjunction with heavy duty buttplay.

If you ever get to Prague Let me know you are coming. If you know of anyone planning to visit, or hear of someone near to Prague, please also let me know. Been here a month and haven't connected yet... My personality is a bit aggressive and the most dominant top I met in Prague so far immediately offered to be bottom....

And especially your ass

I love you Darlin' there's no hesitation in that, no thinking of the end and definitely no playing around till you get here. It's not even a possibility for me, I have the one person I've searched for for years, no reason to even satify my rampant sexual desires. I love and want only you, your body, your lips, your eyes, your breasts, your legs and especially your ass.

The only words that I need to know are pivo prosim

You were right about this place. Its beautiful and the only words that I need to know are pivo prosim. I could never have imagined a society that consumed more beer. I know a few more words then that by now. I'm taking a Czech class at the university here. Its fucking imposible. Its full of sounds that I can't make. They've got one thats an r with a little v above it. Its pronounced rzh. They've figured out a way to say all three of those letters at the same time (I haven't). Its a nightmare. Besides the language problem its great here. I like the Czech people and their culture alot, although the culture has been alittle fucked up by communism. I think that the entire population is indenial about the last 50 years. Every one hear was forced to learn Russian but no Czech would ever admit to being able to speak it. I think that they just want to forget that the whole thing ever happened. I'm planning on going to Moscow to visit a friend who's studying there, so I'll get another veiw of a post communist culture. It should be interesting.

I'm not allowed to let anyone hear me speaking English

I'm living with une fille tcheque, etudiante, qui habite dans l'appartement de son grandpere...mais il est a l'hopital, and she's renting out the room for some extra money, i guess. Everything is very topsecret though.....I'm not allowed to speak to the neighbors, or to let anyone hear me speaking English. Obviously I can't answer the phone, so if you call me, let it ring once, then hang up and call again, so I'll know it's for me.

All I can talk about is you

I talk with the guys there and they say this and that about the Czech women and all I can talk about is you. I think of you all the time and plan of nothing else except you being here. I talked in depth about you to my friends in the theatre and they already can't wait to meet you and promise to take care of me till you arrive. I love you baby and No I don't wonder where we will end just where we will end up.

Obese, hairy Hungarians

Last weekend, I was in Budapest, Hungary. While we were there, we went to the famous baths, which supposably have attracted royalty though the years. (I beg to differ) I found the baths to be quite gross and probably a bath tub for most of the obese, hairy Hungarians that frequent them. Apparently, they are supposed to cure you of certain ailments but I don't believe that story. Besides the bacteria baths, the city of Budapest was incredible. It is divided by the Danube river. One side of it is hills, the Buda side, and the other is flat, the Pest side. You can walk along the river and look up at the hills decorated with many castles and churches. It was very beautiful and I feel like it's one of Eastern Europe's best kept secrets. It is a lot bigger than Prague and more westernized. In addition to Hungary, I have visited Krakow, Poland, which is one of Poland's only gems as most of the country was destroyed by the wars. Poland was interesting we visited the camps at Auschwitz which were quite disturbing and educational. We met a single traveler from CMU there and believe it or not his favorite bar in Pittsburgh was Orlando's. What a small world.

Besides my students not showering, I like it here

There are so many concerts coming here. Pearl Jam is coming in November and Kiss. I might go to Kiss just to see the freak show in Czech. The radio is crazy here too as it is not regulated. They may play Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins then We are the World or Milli Vanilli, which I don't mind of course. Play lists do not exist as the Czechs feel they are similar to the communist ways which filtered out all of the western music before 1989. Besides my students not showering, I llike it here and am learning a lot about post communism. Communism is worse than I ever had studied and I frequently hear stories that make my mouth drop. Another funny thing, it is not uncommon for my students in the afternoon to come into class with a can of beer. It is like coke here and is cheaper. You would like it.

We should start to behave more responsible

Lot of things happend when you left. We had few car accidents with Ninaand Mia in the end of summer. One of our boy friends died, few were injured and since that time we are kinda wierd ? ( strange feelings, badly night dreams etc...) . Just two weeks after this when we were returning from my cottage we had another one, but thank's to Got, no one died. I have no idea why this all happened but I feel that some one up there reminds us that we are already adult and we should start to behave more responsible as we did this far. You should write to Mia, she is really out of her mind after all of this. I found just one good thing on this :we are spending all of our free time together. I don`t know lot of compliments, but I wish to my black, smooth and really good looking girl really big success in her very well planned life.

Vera your really close friend

I also heard that gypsies will throw their babies at you

Prague is lovelz, but I hear onlz 1 out of four letters reach their destination, so this is just to tell za " see ya soon" - just found out, z is y here, and y is z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! amazing. The food is out of this world, already I have so much confidence that I'd order anzthing off the menu - just hoping it won't be wild boar, for I understand, this is quite common. But I also heard that gypsies will throw their babies at you and grab yer bag, while you catch the baby - my guess is, this is a lot of -boar-wash, I haven't had any thrown at me yet. MY COAT HAD BECOME VERY MUCH LIKE THE OILY RAG.

Here is my story

Dear friends

I have mailed 5 letters to Cherryl Welsh and Freedom of thought Foundation and apparently none of them reached them. Could you please forward them this letter and verify if it reached them?
For two years I have been offering an article on mind control to Czech newspapers without any success though it is nothing more than compilation from American and Russian books newspaper articles. Finally I distrtibuted it in the streets of Prague, mailed it to big corporations and delivered it to all inhabitants of the town where I live { 10 - 15 000}. I think if 100 - 500 of us gathers in New York and each of us gets at his own expense 1000 - 5000 copies of a very good article and we deliver it for 5 days and at the end of the article call for demonstration on the seventh day we may manage to declassify the National Security Information that is used against us.
My Other suggestion is to make a list of threats we have received and mail it to the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in Prague who is also willing to hear it. Here is my story.
I do not ever suffer from heartaches and doctors consider my heart as a very strong one. Though three times I suffered from strong heart pain. First time it was when I was about to leave the USA for Czechoslovakia where from I emigrated to USA in 1981. This was in 1987. Than I have not suffered from any heart pain until this year. The scond time I suffered from heart pain when I was going to place my article on Internet { the address - }. The night before somebody phoned me saying "So you want to declare the war on us?"
The third time I suffered from heartache when I was about to mail a letter proposing a demonstration in New York to Cherryl Welsh. Each time the heart pain was very strong and lasted for several days and disappeared only when I carried out my intention. The last time the pain was so strong that I could not take a deeper breath.
One more suggestion I hope that the Freedom of Thought Foundation has print-outs of allthe articles, news, petitions etc that were destroyed in their pages on internet I think they should present the copies to the Human Rights Watch and the Amnesty International in Prague.

I'm no longer taking responsibility for people at work

The Czech girl told me yesterday that she can't stand the sight of those two Slovenians and plans to ask them to leave immediately. She says she thinks it will be "a very good school for them"--at first I didn't understand, but then I figured out that she plans to teach them a lesson. Bill and Francis would be proud.
Also--she has quit school and says she plans to go to America. I was a little worried about what that might mean for my living situation---but she says she thinks it'll be okay, and that she plans to get her brother to move in---whatever, as long as I have a room (of my own)
I'm no longer taking responsibility for people at work--they can figure it all out for themselves. I have, however, been trying to help the pianist, who has never played for ballet class before and is getting really frustrated. I'm a little frustrated too---over class being so short--but I'll wait until after these performances, and then maybe some of us can meet with her together to iron out a few things. I hope.

I am making sure as well that I am not being led astray

Dear Mum,

I have just moved into a new apartment with two other Christians and I do not know the phone number or the address number but you can still reach me on the fax number.

I am very well. I am finding the teaching challanging and ratehr stressful but I feel that this is because I take it to seriously. It was wonderful to have your other letter. You gave me the confidence that you trust me in everything I do. I am making sure as well that I am not being led astray and I would appreciate all advice and suggestions that you could give me. I have decided to finish the school year here in prague after that I will get a teaching diploma and head off to the East.

All Americans are fat, are rich, carry guns

I can't remember if I sent you a message from here before or not. You can reply to me here, just put Athena under re: so I can find it in the public folder filled with messages. I pick up my mail once or twice a week here, but it is another open line. At least my boss and others at work don't have access to what I are writing or what people write me--not that I have anything negative to say about them, but I still feel a bit restained there.

My students are warming up, and I am getting better at figuring out what aspects of English might be most useful to them--and what they already know.

Since they can't be depended on to do their homework, I am a bit at sea still. This week they were to turn in a 100 word description of a place, but I only got about half of them. Next week my conversation class is supposed to deliver talks about artists or architects, but I have other lessons as backup since I suspect only a few of them will actually come prepared. They tend to be very passive--love doing grammar exercises, but leave class early when i have them write in class, as if the lesson is really over. That isn't true for all of them. I ahve several dedicated students who take advantage of me as a resource during class, although I am still very lonely during my "consulting hours." I have been asked if students "can visit the lessons," students from other schools and universities in the city, which seems to indicate that I'm doing something write.

I had fun on Tuesday when a colleague who had translated some school regulations from Czech to English, asked me to look over what he'd translated and edit them for clarity. I did some polishing, could have played with it for several more hours, but mostly learned about the system here--gathered information that I hadn't had before which would have been useful the first days fo class. Basically the registration of students is not computerized. The students register themselves on handwritten lists outside the doors of the department offices and they carry their own transcripts (the only copies) around with them and are responsible for having their professors enter their grades and test scores. It seems very archaic. When I talked to the students on exchange from the US, they were very frustrated.

I am collecting little bits of information every week. I am writing a document for other teachers on exchange about what I found most helpful to know, or would have liked to know when I arrived. Information here is still not nearly as available as I am used to. You have to know who to ask and the right question to ask, and recognize when your question hasn't been answered--it sometimes hasn't been answered not because the question wasn't understood.

So it goes.

PS. I may give an informal talk next semester about the stereotypes others have of Americans. Do you or V have any insights? So far I will address: All Americans are fat, are rich, carry guns and move around--every five years or so. I laughed out loud this week (in reference to the guns things). I saw one of those universal NOT signs--you know the red circles with the lines through them? On the front door to the back, right under the dripping ice cream cone with the line through it was another circle with the silloette (?) of a gun. I've yet to see that in the US, gun toting nation that we are.

My latest x-ray shows no sign of a spot or shadow

Hello Jan,

I am pleased and gratified to receive your message. Thank you for providing a conduit through the net for communication.

I am physically well. My latest x-ray shows no sign of a spot or shadow. I am smoking less than a pack a day and taking doctor's orders to lose my excess weight.

You made an interesting choice in using Medusa for the subject here. Medusa, the gorgon that Perseus slew, or the tetacled sexual swimming stage in the life of jellyfish, or perhaps this is a reference to the research and writing you were planning to accomplish this past summer?

I can certainly understand and sympathize with the isolation you are feeling. Isolation not only enforced by language but also the fine line you must draw between yourself and your students. Often isolation can provide the time and peace to take an internal inventory and come to realize solutions that are otherwise lost in the cacophony of everyday life.

I'm glad that you are taking the time to enjoy yourself and making the time for pleasure. I also have a love for Victorian architecture and the sinuous vines and flowers of Art Nouveau. I envy your seeing Karlovy Vary firsthand. I hope you packed your camera and are able to return
to hike the trails and feed your soul.

They will not criticize their own country using English

Glad to hear that you are feeling better, and have a plan for your medication. What a hassle. I'm feeling really out of touch with my body. I'm never sure if I'm shakey from too much caffiene, too little sleep, not enough or the wrong kind of food. I think I may be losing weight again, but I have no real way of knowing unless I wash my jeans--which as been once a month at Laundry Kings, a laundromat run by ex-pats. I made it sound like I'm running around dirty, but actually I rarely wear my jeans--professional dressing which is mostly skirts and dresses.

My students are beginning to loosen up and talk to me. It seems part of Czech culture to refuse to claim to know anything, so it was difficult to get the discussion going in the conversation classes. Those students are getting better about advancing their opinions without being asked, and I am getting better about just asking them. We were talking yesterday about the virtues of restoring buildings versus replacing them with new architecture. At one point a student said, "Who decides?" and the class left me out by continuing the discussion in Czech. I demanded to be included and they had been talking about extortionists being in control of what happens with which buildings. I figured out that they will not criticize their own country using English. So I'm learning those kinds of things.

I am looking to set up a small gay bed & breakfast here

I am 35 years old, stand 5'10" tall, weigh 150#, have a 27" waist, very smooth, brown hair and moustache, pierced ears, hairless (everywhere) body, one brown ey and one green eye.

I have always had a desire to live in Europe and am doing so. I am looking with a business partner to set up a small gay bed & breakfast here. Just it's moving rather slow.

Would love to get a copy of the flyer. My address is as follows.

Lost in cyberspace

I am very frustrated with the email account that you set up for me. First of all I just received a message on October 11 stating that my messages would be erased because my account has expired. This is false information because I paid for 3 months membership... so I have until at least December 11. Do not erase my messages.
Secondly, for the one month that I have had me account it has been virtually useless. I cannot send any mail to ANYONE!!! If my account had been working you would have received several messages from my account telling you that there were problems. Because you did not respond to any of my messages it obviously means even you guys cannot get my mail.
There have been ongoing problems since day one. You corrected some problems I had during the first week, but the big problem of not being able to send mail still exists. Please fix this and I would appreciate that my membership will last until January 11 because this entire first month has not been working properly. ( I paid for 3 months!)
When I send messages they say they were sent just fine, but not single person has gotten any of my 30 or so messages I have sent... including yourself! Not only is it frustrating to keep sending as if they are going some where (but really not) it is also costly because I have to rent the time on computers in Cyber cafes. I CAN receive messages. I don't know if I have gotten all of them, but some have come through. No one has gotten a single message from me, but I get no errors. They are lost in cyberspace someplace. Please FIND THEM.

Americans have mastered the art of circular breathing

Until after octoberfest I was travelling alone however in Austria I met a friend from uni which was really weird! He is best friends of one of my other friends in Melb. We will go our separate ways in Berlin on the 12th. I remain convinced that Americans have (a) mastered the art of circular breathing which allows them to talk incessantly (b) know only about things US and (c) talk only about themselves and their boy/girlfriend back home. I think parisian women take the prize for being the most incredibly well presented.

I am so sick of anti- American sentiments

I am positively groody now. The hostels in Europe are not the picturesque things I imagined them to be. The first day I arrived I bathed in the comunal shower only to find my feet trapped in a half inch of slime with misc. hairs poking out everywhere. Needless to say that I have not repeated said experience and have not bathed in four days. My body has the same residue as the shower floor at this point in time.

Then I'm picked up in this condition in the Tourist Office as I'm signing up for a city tour. I just look at this guy like he's a total moron then say I'll meet him at a random bar all the way across town. THE FOOL!

Prague is lovely, though I have turned into every tourist that I used to hate. I am so sick of anti- American sentiments that I can't even stand it. I don't even humor the Aussies and Canadians anymore but explain to them that we'd all be under Nazi rule if not for the good ole USA. Then I say positively moronic things and savor the silence. This morning I was talking about London and how I was "sick of England so I decided to take a trip to Great Britain." Silence, ha ha.

London has been wonderful-- I have really learned a lot about myself and life through my travels. I have been living with the most wonderful American girl named Sheena. We share a bedset in South Kensington, which is one of the nicest areas of London. Her best friend Melissa has just arrived from University so it is now three of us in a one room flat with two beds. We take turns sleeping on the floor! Though our setting is primative, it has been the most wonderful place to live. When I left the States I wondered if I could live with anyone, due to proir living situation. Well now I know that I can and that Jane, Julia, and Cindy are the ones who were fucked. If I ever encounter any of them it will A) be too soon, B) I will kick them in the teeth, literally!

I met Joan Collins, Maragret Thatcher, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Hilfigger, Diana, Fergie, and Ivana Trump

So far as my working situation was concerned, I did quite well. Chock it up to slight looks and no pride. My first week in London I got two jobs. One working for a solicitor in the city and another part time in a posh Health Club, if you can believe that! The only thing that I used in that place were the tannning beds! Liz Hurley worked out there as did Bon Jovi and Sam Neill (from Jurassic Park). They are all trolls excepting Sam Neill who is quite cool and took me to coffee. XXX XXXX is bisexual and YYY YYYY is queer as a three dollar bill. The whole OOO OOOO thing was a ploy to re-establish his masculine image in Britian. Ha-ha. So I was working both places for the first month I was in England. I was basically working like a fool with no days off and long hours for shit pay. The solicitor I worked for turned out to be a Scrooge like type and I was Cratchet. The bottom feel out when he tried to kiss me and I quit. So for July and August I just worked part time at the Health Club. A grand total of 12 hours a week and I could have gone on like that indefinately if it weren't for boredom. Laura and I would stay up until four in the morning drinking coke and smoking cigarettes, roll out of bed at two, go cafe hopping, try to plan out our free meals (dates, oh I'm bringing my roommate along, no, you can't come back to the flat, it's a house rule. . .) Ah, England. Life there is not so expensive or hard once your earning money in pounds. However, boredom did set in. I went to Paris for Bastille Day (a funny story there) then signed on with this bullshit temp agency around the end of August. I got this job with a designer Jan Gracowski the first day I went out. His studio and shop are on Baker Street right beside Julian and across from Lark. That was for one day and it was, interesting. I got there and Jan, a mean gay man, starts ordering me about, snapping his fingers at me, doesn't even ask my name. So at lunch time I'm going out and he asks me "June, are you going to Harry Jellison's?" "No, Jan, I'm not." "Well can you go by and buy me some socks?" I lost it ! I was like "Jan, I only get 30 minutes for lunch which you don't pay me for, I'm not buying you footware!" So he treats me like gold the rest of the day and sends me over to Kim Basinger's hotel with a sample of dresses for her. I got to meet the little troll! The day ends, and I go home. Two weeks later Jan's p.a. phones me personally and asks me to work for him full time! I was making 8 pounds 50 an hour, about $15. All for bullshit work. More stories, but my hand is tired. I met Joan Collins, Maragret Thatcher, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Hilfigger, Diana, Fergie, and Ivana Trump. Nevermind that I got to go to all of the fashion shows for British Fashion Week and to the British Fashion Awards. I also bought a fuck load of leather from the shop for next to nothing. It was so funny. I'd be at a show and look around and see Diana, the Sassons, Kate Moss walking down the runway and ME! Ha ha ha!

My take on the fashion world however is not positive. I basically learned that everything I have been taught about beauty and femininity are lies. There were days I came home shaking with rage due to things I saw. Not a glamourous place.

Well now my work permit is up which brings me to Prague. I am coming home on Nov. 21st which I have mixed feelings about. I was going to go around the world for a year with my roommates, but my money is going and no one is hireing wetbacks ie me!

People usually ask me if dancers are fruits

OK---I'm about to become extremely violent-----Myka has all of a sudden got a bug up her butt about our getting residence permits----those of us unfortunate enough to have been born elsewhere------and I've never heard of any such god-awful process in my life. First, I had to get my parents to fax me my birth certificate, which then had to be faxed to an official Czech translator, who will translate it into Czech so that I can get it notarized and take it to the bureau of something or other, where I get to stand in a long line and pay them to give me a paper that says I have no criminal record in the Czech Republic (yet). This, I take with 3 photos, working permit, my contract, and notarized proof of residence to the police, where I stand in line again (this time for about 6 hours, according to people who've done this)------and I become an official resident of the Czech Republic, after perhaps having to leave and reenter the country after they see that my passport stamp (one month for US citizens) has already expired. And for this privilege, I pay, in addition to notary and translator fees, 1000 crowns, half a week's salary. As if the hassle wasn't already enough, I've just discovered that I can't GET the goddamn proof of residence where I'm now living-----because, once again, it's not legal for them to rent to me, and so they can't get the required proof from the property owner for me. So I don't know what the fuck to do-------Myka is absolutely useless-------although she's all of a sudden gotten all worried about this, she has no idea what's required------my knowledge is based on what I've pieced together from talking to other Americans------of course nobody at the US embassy has any idea, nor do they care-----and noone at these Czech bureaus speaks English. I've spent the whole morning walking around, trying to call people, looking for Myka, who is nowhere to be found-------walking into banks trying to open an account, because I got paid yesterday and don't much like walking around with a month's salary in cash. But in the downtown branches either A) they don't offer ATM accounts or B) they require some immense sum as an initial deposit-------and at outlying branches noone speaks English. So------I'm getting really hysterical-----I have today and tomorrow off-------Myka decided to give us two days to deal with all this------as if that would suffice--------Jesus. I'd rather just remain an illegal resident and store my money under my mattress.
Other news: I moved last night, finally, to the apartment of the mother of Melinda, who leaves for the US today. The mother seems quite nice, but speaks no English, so my embryonic Czech is going to have to improve rapidly. The apartment is plastered with Elvis posters and even-- this is too wonderful-- velvet Elvis products-----apparently there is a brother, now living in the US, who is a big fan. There's another brother, Karel, with whom I'm essentially sharing a room-----yes this is interesting. It's a large room-----and I have Melindaold bed--------divided by a huge closet/cabinet item. Melindawarned me that Karel likes to get up really early, turn up the radio, and do some kind of exercises------we'll see. Last night the mother fed me apple strudel, and then I talked to Karel for quite a while-----apparently he complied with this whole scheme because he wants to improve his English. He was asking me questions about what I eat in the Czech Republic and seemed quite puzzled when I told him I was vegetarian. He asked me if the other dancers in my company were also vegetables, and despite my best efforts, I had an uncontrollable laughing fit--------most people usually ask me if dancers are fruits.
My new number is: 011-422-8934-0382---------and we're using that same ring once--hang up--call back system.
After 5 PM EST on weeknights is no good, since the mother seems to go to bed early----but she goes to one of their seemingly numerous country houses on weekends----so then it doesn't matter.
La Marseillaise and I asked Myka about vacation dates, and she seemed to find it extremely bizarre that we would want to know such a thing----but promised to tell us "tomorrow"-----if I can ever get ahold of her today, I'll try and ride her a little more about it, although I'm sure she has no idea. You know----I just wish there were some grownups around that would take charge of my life for me------I feel like I'm on some sort of treadmill and about to drop dead from mental fatigue------I need some of those drugs.
La Marseillaise is also at the end of her patience----in addition to all this bureacratic crap, she has to deal with sharing a two room apartment with three men. Every morning she comes in and tells me about how ils ne font jamais la vaiselle, ni sortent jamais la poubelle, and how they eat up all the food she buys for herself----and this one, Dan, an Australian just passing through, stayed with them rent free for a week, ate all their food, never helped with anything and propositioned her----she agrees that les femmes sont mieux evolues. We also commiserate about the general manque de politesse ici and the overwhelming B.O. stench on trams----during one particularly suffocating ride, she leaned over to me and suggested that perhaps "ils doivent economiser sur l'eau". We saw "Ma Nuit Chez Maud", an Eric Rohmer film, at the Institut Francais, where they show movies for free-----and the night before, I went to see a Peter Greenaway movie, "The Baby of Macon"----which I found beautiful, but completely repulsive----I've decided I hate his movies.
Well that's all for now-----keep those diapers changed.

It has to be some kind of master race breeding project

Prague is the city of beautiful women. It has to be some kind of master race type breeding project, the traces of WW II superhuman experiements? The women are unbelievable! Of course I miss Laney like crazy (seriously), but I am only a bit human, I just laugh to myself and keep on walking! Raul is another story (but that's another story!) The job I got is pretty good. I teach a bunch of computer geeks and executives English.

How is everything at home? Is Laney taking good care of my stuff? I went looking for a used guitar today but used music stores are hard to find. I found a couple but they weren't the Soviet-era (CCCP) models I had hoped. It is kind of a drag actually...the second hand revolution hasn't caught on here yet. There are no Salvation Army-type stores, nothing used really. Everyone thinks that I am crazy when I ask if there is this or that used. Czechs are definitely heavily into NEW everything. I guess it was that 40 years of communism that did it!

Some of the middle aged students I have (40 or 50) are still in a kind of shock about all of the changes in the past 5 or 6 years. Imagine this, none of them could even leave Czechslovakia, not for vacation, not for anything! The really good communist could maybe go to East Germany for a week but that was rare! Very wierd but extremely interesting. It's like hearing about another age or something but the fact is that it was a reality only 5 or 6 years ago!

Those girls are mighty weird though

Chere Mila----

Yeah, they're still at it, and I'm too wishy-washy to confront them. Those girls are mighty weird though-----this morning when I left, they were playing tickling games. Hmmmmmm.

quite a bit bitchier

I know I'm not the only one that disagrees with this------les francaises are equally vocal about it, and quite a bit bitchier. Interestingly enough, the Czechs and Slovaks, though they're quite willing to complain at length, are really passive-----------I get the feeling they'd never take the initiative to actually do anything.

I did my patriotic duty, and voted by absentee ballott, with much prompting from mon pere, who keeps me updated on US politics and the World Series. Apparently Francisis taking a DATE to the Homecoming Dance---an alarming break from the precedent set by his older sister-----my father has no further information, since F becomes truly enraged at any inquiry-------but then, knowing my mother, I can understand why, I guess. Russel has gone on hunger strike during my mother's absence-----yeah she's in Peru now, and her canine sidekick always gets depressed when she's away.

I can't wait to have you in my arms

The lady knows you're coming and is perfectly cool with it. She even said we're welcome to raise a family there if we want. The Lady also owns a large cabin up in the mountains which we are welcome to use to go skiing or whatever. God. I can't wait to have you in my arms. To roam the streets hand in hand. To introduce you to those few I know, those who are still left after Dec. This adventure keeps getting better. Sorry, I'm so positive and you're going through the eye of the storm with "inging" just know that the light at the end of the tunnel is very bright not only cause I'm waiting with frustrated angst but because you are going to thrive here like never before. I think that doing something like this really tests the metal of a person, what's deep inside after everything has been stripped away. Just know that I love you and in 25 days we'll be in each others arms and from then on I'm never letting you go. You have my heart and I know I can trust you with it.

The way I pronounced it it is a slang word for penis

I am slowly learning czech. Sean, my Canadian roommate makes me learn 10 words a day, but I'm several days behind. In the last few weeks I'mve made some embarassing mistakes: I asked for a paro instead of parek (pen, for hotdog...and just discoverrd that if paro is pronounced the way i pronounced it it is a slang word for wonder they laughed so hard. I made another similar embarassig mistake...When my roommates asked me what i did that day i tried to say "i ttried to make lots of money." The literal translation of what I actually tried to say was "I Look for big money" EXCEPT the word for money is penize...if you don't pronounce "eh" at the end of the word, it means exactly what it looks like....oops.

The soil here

The soil here is very clay rich. Monday, which was a holiday, I took a ride out to a spa town called Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad to the Germans) and I got my first look at the land outside the city. I was struck by the differences in the soil. Right outside Prague the soil looks like a lighter brown version of our Iowa dirt, but nearer Karlovy Vary it had been plowed for the winter and hung together in long rolls, shiney with the rain, so I could tell it was clay. It is also that purplish-pink color I associate with the sandstones of Colorado.

The color of the year over here is purple

I've highlighted my hair for the first time, following the great tradition of my maternal bloodline. It looks crazily blonde and I love it.

I always liked you should see it...the color of the year over here is purple...and all shades in between...I've never seen so much bad hair coloring in my life. Of course, some people want to have orange, bright yellow hair..but I think some people just got stuck with what came out of the bottle at's's like living in Dr. Seuss land.

I love you, Gooseberry

A couple of more questions...

How can Dad still be in the loft....unless he's paying them day by day...which I doubt he could do...that place is still in my name...he isn't having them evict him is he????? I will be extremely upset if that is what he's doing....please let me know what's going on????

Also, is my mail being sent to Austin - I'm looking for two for 500.00 from FedEx and another for about 700.00 from Ralley's...the mail was supposed to be forwarded sometime after October 1....

Let's see...what else?

Oh, I love you, Gooseberry...I hope you're being safe....I worry about you a lot....



I feel like I have tuberculosis

It's an amazing city (smoggy though; I feel like I have tuberculosis.)

Concerts every night

There are a number of things you would love here. One is that there are concerts every night (between 10 and 20 clasical music concerts, mostly baroque music) in the churches. The churches are putting them on to raise money for restoration after 40 years of being "closed for repairs," and the tourists (and some locals) go in droves. Another is how far the dollar will go, particularly on things like books and music. Without even looking for it, I stumbled into the sheet music section of an ordinary book store (not even a real music store) that had stacks of stacks of chamber music by East Block publishers, selling for one or two dollars for complete works with all parts. It was very disorganized, and I didn't really know what you would want, so I didn't get anything. If I come back maybe you can give me instructions. Mom would like the art exhibits all over town, often organized by Havel personally. Admission: twelve cents.

They put MEN in there with me one night

Well, Prague is a beautiful city, although I haven't had time for much new boss turned out to be several tacos shy of a combo plate and we parted company after only two weeks...this is after he met me at the plane after I had flown all night and made me work 10 hours that day...then 5 days after I got here he told me he had no money to pay for either me or the apartment and "maybe you should look into getting another job..." (!!!!) Needless to say, the story gets uglier from the moral of this is...sometimes Internet siturations don't work out...of course, sometimes they don't in "real mode", it was a lesson learned...just what I need, more character-building.

I am now teaching English and also do some database design consulting work on the side for the's fun and keeps me out of trouble...I think I'm making less than the average McDonald's worker in the States...but let's not think about that, shall we?

Because I no longer had the apartment that was PROMISED me, I have been living in a hostel for the last month...(Larry will get here Thursday FINALLY...)....we have an apartment to move into that day, fortunately....however, hostel living is "interesting" to say the least. They put MEN in there with me one night and I woke up to these two half-naked Germans rearranging the furniture at 2:00 am. Then, being the HEALTHY German sort, they decided to open ALL the windows. I lay there shivering under my three blankets and muttered invectives at them in Spanish...(It seems ALL Germans understand English...)

Disneyland and universal were very good

Hi Andrew. Got your e-mail. e-mail is cool. we don't know how to compose mail off-line, but we'll learn. California was great. saw jordon. they had a riot at his school the day we saw him. there was a debate on affirmative action with a black man and david duke. duke is a louisiana legislator and formerly a grand dragon of the kkk. disneyland and universal were very good. we were listening to a presentation in the "Lucy" museum. someone got close to me and when i turned around to say, excuse me, it was lucy standing there. it was spooky. lucy was an actress that looked exactly like young lucy. mom was in heaven. the jurassic park ride was lame at universal, but the back to the future simulator ride was awesome. the star wars ride at disney was great too. a new one there is the indiana jones. indiana throws a chair at a basketball player. no, that's not right.

Big brother is watching

I would like to get a real job. No more crap like restaurants, but if worst comes to worst, I may just have to. I met some people today. One American girl from SD,CA ironically. Tonight, I'm going to the Sports Bar for 2 reruns of Seinfeld played at 9pm. It's a pretty big event for American ex-pats here in the prague. I gotta go, but I hope you're doing okay. Hang in there and keep plugging away. I know you're gonna be fine. I miss you and look forward to the time we can see each other. Keep me in your prayers as I keep you in mine. OH! remember, when you email me back that this is not confidential. Big brother is watching. I don't think it's a big deal...

Orange light

The sunsets over the spires of the old city are spectacular in the orange light reflected from the undersides of clouds.

A bright guy with a powerful computer

also honey, what do you think about this latest brainstorm of mine:i'm thinking, i know a little about banking--there are cheap, good books that exist here that will help me learn more, also, i know something about finance(same as above about books), same with accounting. economics was also one of my majors in college. now, i know that without higher education, i would never be able to get my foot in the door in an american bank, a british bank, or even maybe a czech bank. but how 'bout a hungarian or slovakian or polish bank?? i could say something truthfully like:"i have this and that experience in the States managing, and doing financial analysis--plus, i got a degree in business at college, plus, i worked at a brokerage house in america. what do you think?? do you think that anybody here in eastren/central europe will hire a bright guy with a powerful computer, and a half formally/half informally learned business backround. not right away, perhaps, but i like the precedent that sunday seemed to set:that guy, without even asking, giving me the name of a contact just because he learned that i was a "businessman." i also think that i'll be able to make countless contacts from just working with business people. maybe somebody else will recognize that teaching and management skills are pretty similar for a particular person and be impressed at my potential managment skills. who knows?? nothing may come of it, but it's nice to think about one way or the other. i'll see.

I wish you chose well in the presidential election in the USA

Hallo Julie,
many thanks for your email message. I have found your message on the list of many ones. Sure somebody could read your message but I think its contants is not so confidantial.
I m happy to let know that the things are going well at you.
I wish you chose well in the presidential election in the USA.
I hope thing of your family in Czech republic will go always well.
Last week I bought a new terrible old flat in Prague for a lot of many and now I m KO.
I m sorry but for todays mail is my time over.
If possible please send me your mail I can reach it on Monday November 11th.
Yours sincerely
P.S. A lot of success in the lab.

The desk staff is still snotty after a month

I saw my first cat this week, a black kitten that I would have liked to take home with me. I don't think the Kata would have appreciated it much. The desk staff is still snotty after a month, still don't recognize me and frequentlly give me the wrong key. I'm trying to be nice about it, but the service in general here is rude, even when I try to use my rudimentary Czech and use prosim (please) and dekuye (thanks) freely. Maybe that's it, I'm being too nice, but I hate to be a pushy American.

It was a sweet fight

Just wanted to tell you a fun story----the other night, pretty late, I was riding home on the subway. When I got on, there was a guy standing next to the door, kind of porky and sullen looking, smoking two cigarettes at once. A couple of American guys getting off sort of poked him and said something like "hey cowboy"------he looked pissed off and puffed up his chest but didn't do anything. At the next stop (it's illegal to smoke even ONE cigarette on the metro, by the way)---------he got out, lit up ANOTHER (the 3rd) and got back on-------at this point everybody was watching him and laughing-----one of those rare moments of esprit de corps on public transportation. So this fat boy is pacing around the train car, smoking 3 cigarettes at once, two in one hand, one in the other. Finally he said something to the guy sitting down next to him------I don't know what, but it must have been rude, because this guy jumped up, threw the smoker against the door, and then flipped him over onto the floor------when I got off, he was still lying there, belly up------everyone just staring. As Bill would say, "it was a sweet fight"--------I thought it was pretty exciting.

Picks for week 8

Picks for wk 8 : same as wk 7 except pupunu instead of mitchell, carter instead of jefferson

Those Slovenian girls

My Czech roommate just dropped out of university; she says she wants to go to America. Supposedly, though, my accomodations are not in peril---she says she'll try to get her brother to move in there. I don't care, just as long as I have a place---and as long as those Slovenian girls leave when they're supposed to. Their stay may be somewhat briefer than they think--as La Tcheque told me yesterday that she can't stand the sight of them and plans to ask them to leave today. She said their presence just irritates her---apparently they acted bitchy about having to pay her 2000 crowns apiece rather than together----and she hasn't fogotten it. She told me she thinks that her telling them to leave "will be very good school for them"--translated into American I think that means she plans to teach them a lesson. I don't really mind them as much---granted I'd rather have my own room, and the cigarette smoke pisses me off, and they DID come home at 7 AM this morning---quelle scandale----come to think of it, yeah, I hope she kicks their asses out.
They have this stuff here, this liqueur I guess it is, called Becherova---apparently it's made of a secret blend of eleven herbs and spices---and I rather like it--also, they have absinthe, which I haven't tried yet----but it sounds quite glamorous, and it's illegal most places, so maybe I'll give it a try. I've been drinking this vin rouge called Perla Moravy, which I think must be the Czech equivalent of, I don't know, Livingston Cellars, or something. It sells for about $1.50 a bottle--cheap even for here; it doesn't have a screw top--but I haven't managed successfully to pop the cork even once--so I've been drinking cheap, cork-fragment-filled red wine--Mmmmmmmm.
Apparently a popular drink among Slovak youth is red wine mixed with Coke--sounds nasty to me----but une Francaise qui a habite a Bratislava m'a assuree que "c'est hyper-bon".
Unfortunately my search for a husband has slowed considerably----no time for socializing----so at this point Myrna needn't worry. My heart still belongs to Scott---well not really------like you said he's a pompous ass. It's a pity John is kind of a nerd, because he's much nicer.

I just want to tear this city apart till I find you

Rah, rah, rah I love you like King Kong loved that blonde actress. I just want to tear this city apart till I find you and then carry you away. Don't worry about people reading the email. You can tell when it's been read and I think we're ok. About working here in Prague I think the key words are be creative, there's the standard teaching and bar jobs, but there's radio (I found it), all kinds of foreign companies, 100s of clubs, live music venues...and the list goes on. Its really just having the patience and getting creative. I can't wait for you to be here.

Me cague de frio

Estoy refriada y no me siento muy bien. Ayer pase el dia con Maria, Juan, y un amigo de ellos en la "country house". La casa es muy vieja y necesita muchos arreglos como dijo Alena. Como mami hubiera dicho: me cague de frio. Hizo mucho mucho frio ayer y la casa estaba helada. En un cuarto habia una estufa pero el resto de la casa, fria fria fria. El campo es muy muy lindo. Fuimos a caminar por un rato porque salio el sol y el dia se calento un poquito. Todavia no he hablado con o vistoa Konstantin..por suerte, no..

Sylvia has decided to go to America to clean hotel rooms

Well---I have to move, apparently, as La Tcheque (Sylvia) has decided to go to America to clean hotel rooms for minimum wage under the table. Family politics make it impossible for me to stay, but she says her mom has a flat (I can't believe I actually use that term) also close by, and that I should be able to stay there. Or if that's not comfortable, La Marseillaise cherche encore "un apart" avec deux garcons francais---so maybe I could join them. One of these guys, Tomas, has the most absurd French accent I've ever heard when he speaks English. But just imagine how much my French would improve living with 3 francais.

Something larger than the present

I just saw a thriteen foot ostrich here in Prague. Yes this city is truly amazing, you wouldn't believe it. The architecture is just teeming with meaning, there are tourists everywhere, I am so happy that I am not here in the summer.
This city is perhaps the closest thing to a fairytale that I thought I could ever imagine. The churches and the spires are all a little too incredible. The facades on the buildings are really amazing. The architects and the workers in this city have such an influence on the surriundings, the mood the people. They must have truly believed in something biogger than themselves, something larger than the present, for most of the buildings tok about a century to build.

He starts stroking the dong

I just got back from Amsterdam a few days ago. It was fucking insane. Here's a highlight: We were at a live sex show, where they show about 6 or 7 different acts. The first act was a guy & a girl dressed up like robots fucking on the stage, about 10 feet away from my face. The second act was a dominatrix. She spent about 5 minutes dancing around cracking her whip, then she went into the audience to get a volunteer. There were about 50 people in the audience, most of whom were Japanese businessmen (who I think were beating off during the show). Of course I was the volunteer. She brings me up on stage, puts a dog collar around my neck and a hood over my face, then leads me around by a leash and makes me bark like a dog. After that she hancuffed me to a pole and started spanking my ass with a stick. At the end she had me lay down and balanced a bottle upright on my chin. She then proceeds to squat up and down over me so the bottle is going into her snatch. And by the way, all this time I'm completely loaded and stoned on hash.

The last act in the show was also good. There's some trash chick dressed up like Princess Leia on the stage laying on a mattress. All of a sudden, the music starts, and this big shine IN A BATMAN SUIT comes on stage and starts getting on her, all the while he's lip synching to the music, which of course is "Batman" by Prince. Then a guy in a gorilla outfit comes on stage wearing a plastic dong. He starts stroking the dong and soon enough, water shoots out of the dong over the whole audience. That sums up my trip to Amsterdam.

I haven't been working but here's something good: I might be hired by a Czech family to be a nanny for their two kids.

I miss you terribly my love

IT would be so fantastic to have you here, to be able to see these things with you. I must admit that I feel a little lonely, as I meet one or two people ech day but they are all transient, and it is hard to make lasting bond. I miss you terribly my love and it wouldjust make my world to have you here. YOu would love it. the people are rugged and unusual, they are at one time nice and courteous and then at others not too accustomed to service, as things are reminants of the communiost days. The city is really booming and it is just amazing the amount of construction that is going on. I am trying to find an apartment with little luck.
Janette, I love you so much I long to be with you. I hope that you are OK with my absence, you with me in all my thoughts and I spend most of my day talking to you, imagining that you are here, 'cause often times I don't have anyone else to talk to. I can't wait to come home to see you, I will have so many stories to tell. I don't feel like I am that far away when I sit here and read your emails, even though I am half way around the world. I must get going as I am running out of time.
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