Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dobrý den, od Praha!

I wanted to write this post on Saturday. I ran out of time.
I wanted to write this post from the airport in Budapest. I had lots of time but no computer.
Instead I sat down with an espresso and watched the Italian army walk this way and that, many of them watching me watching them. I spent the better part of two hours parked in that seat with another espresso and a mediocre croissant.

Sitting there, I thought, not for the first time, I could live in Europe even if for the espresso alone. Not to mention Budapest has such a pleasant airport - no crowds and no lines. My plane even took off on time and anyone who has travelled with me will tell you that every plane I get on is delayed. I'm not kidding. Every. Single. One. Somewhere along the line I must have angered the flying Gods who are now exectuting their revenge. Although maybe somehow unbenowst to me I have also righted things again because at 14:15 I boarded a bus to shuttle me and the other 47 passengers out on the tarmac where we boarded an exceptionally modern looking propeller plane. The kind some might call a puddle jumper, with a low enough ceiling to make my less-than-imposing 5'1" stature seem all but gargantuan. (It's situations like sitting on a tiny plane that I must remember to be grateful for because certainly I will be cursing my height the next time I am thrown about on the subway and unable to reach the handle to hang on).
By 14:25 all 48 of us had boarded the plane, stowed out carry-ons and tucked into our seats without a hitch. By 14:30 (designated departure time) the large, slightly intimidating fins of the propellor roared into action, the wheels lifted off the ground; and we were off without so much as a peep from the cockpit about mechanical issues, runway, congestion/construction, bad weather in our current location or intended destination or even an unidentified "funny noise" coming from the engine. (Yes, that actually happened to me 15 minutes into a flight to Paris, almost 10 years ago, causing us to turn around and remain grounded for over 6 hours).
I spent the next hour looking down on the irregular patchwork of the countryside with its meandering roads, rolling hills, and patches of farmland mixed with lush green forests. It was nothing like the even, square, quilted tiles of America's Midwest. In fact, much more interesting with small towns and cities clumped here and there.
Now I am writing this post from an internet room somewhere near center city. I honestly haven't the slightest clue where I am. I took the bus, the subway and the tram to the Charles Bridge, took some obligigatory pictures and bought some chocolates from a woman who spoke a tiny bit of english and then offered to take my picture in front of the chocolates. I obliged and took her picture as well, (both were blurry). I did not catch her name but she gave me a sample of a salted milk chocolate which was delicious and much better than the lindt version I buy at home.
I only have another hour before I need to catch a tram, the metro and a bus back to the airport for my flight to Yerevan so I will leave you with some pictures of Prague and head off to find a cafe for dinner. I seem to be in a touristy area so authentic food might be difficult to find. I'm on a quest for dumpings - that is if I can stand to eat hot food in this heat (36C/98F)!

Next stop Yerevan!
In case you are wondering the triangle is nougat of some kind, the long one is a Vienna truffle and the round ball is marzipan rolled in coconut (I LOVE marzipan). I'm saving them for after dinner though so I don't know how they taste yet.

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