From Writhe’s journal:
My train arrives in Prague and I immediately try to find a city map or cash station. I find the information office, but it’s closed on this day every week. What luck I seem to be having. I ask at the currency exchange where the nearest cash station is and she tells me that I would need to take the U-Bahn… But I would need the right money to buy an U-Bahn ticket! What the hell! I ended up exchanging some of my left over cash for Czech.
I soon find out that everything here is dirt cheap. I try to buy a ticket at on of the machines, but I can’t figure it out. They have all the instructions in Czech, but no internationally understood symbols or English on how to buy tickets. This old woman comes up to me with a handful of change and starts talking to me in Czech. I say “English” and “I don’t understand” but she keeps talking and points to her hair and looks at mine…I have no idea what the hell is going on. Anyway, this large man, probably her son, asks me if I need help. I point to the hostel in my book. He presses two buttons on the ticket machine and says “no problem.” I put my money in and it gives me change and a ticket. I remember thanking him, but not if I gave him some of my spare change. I suppose I should have. I think that’s what they do to make money off of tourists…
I take the U-Bahn to my stop and wander down the street a bit, find some street signs, place myself, back track, and finally find the hostel. It’s on an island on the river. There are posters and paintings of a cartoon man and woman all over the place. I think they’re some kind of governmental figures or something. I lock my stuff up and go for a walk around the city. I need to eat. Of course, I get lost several times, but I find a restaurant. I order a very inexpensive roast beef, cranberries, potatoes and a soda. When it arrives, it looks like one of those very small government meals on a large plate. It’s very tasty, though. Instead of potatoes, they gave me some dough/bread stuff that I use to soak up the shit-brown sauce.
I wander some more. It’s hot. I find some cool stores and browse. Most things around here are very touristy. Some prices are very low and some are marked way up for Americans. I see a lot of marionette stores, I wonder what the deal is… One catches my eye, a nun with a sword through her neck. I think about buying it for Decay because I think she’d really like it. Then I start thinking about how much of an idiot I am. Ugh. I can’t let my brain start to get me down. I’m getting closer and closer to Berlin and to Anke and I’m both excited and scared at the same time. I’ve been in Europe for weeks and I’ve only received 2 messages from her. We have arranged to meet at a certain time and place, but everything else is all up in the air. I have no idea what I’m doing.
I take a picture of the marionette and think about coming back to the store tomorrow. Maybe I’ll buy it then. I wander back tot the hostel, pick up my laundry and head to the laundromat. It’s closed. The sign says it will open from 8-12 and I hope that means tomorrow. On my way back I get some shampoo and soap at a small supermarket as well as some OJ and a banana. I take a shower at the hostel. The faucet is leaky and the shower head sprays water everywhere. I lay down and start to read the Let’s Go! guide and fall asleep. I wake up periodically. I sleep until 7am. I’m waiting for breakfast so I can do my laundry.