Monday, January 16, 2006

The sun came out

But that doesn´t mean it warmed up anything. Still, after four days in this magnificent town, I'm starting to get the hang of it. But since this blog is about kvetching, I feel it is my responsibility to kvetch. So here goes:
I hate this fucking keyboard where I can't figure out the colons, the apostrophes, the parenthesis, and the z is the y and viceversa.
I found the oranges. I'm much happier now. They wish they were in Valencia.
On the wall of the hostel where I´m staying there is a plaque that says:
"In this house the gestapo ran a secret prenatal clinic where they had Czech women give birth and they took their babies away to give them to German couples so they would raise them as Germans. The women were sent to concentration camps. We will never forget".
Apart from that sinister little detail, the place is tres charmant. Actually, darlings, I'm starting to be very fed up with Europe, beautiful buildings notwithstading. I look around and think that only sixty years ago what was going on around here was the worst calamity man ever inflicted upon man, the most barbaric, retrograde, savage, evil, bloody, sadistic, insane, but yet incredibly efficiently organized mass torture and murder of humans in history, considering it happened in what is supposed to be the apex of civilization. The children of the perpetrators beat their chests with guilt and their country is thriving. The victims, and I don't mean only the Jews, but all of Europe, are reduced to putting plaques everywhere and to try to give the impression that they had nothing to do with it. Some were heroic resisters, others were eager sympathizers. The Czech had it bad, first with the nazis and then with the communists. And most of what came out of Europe in the mid 20th Century was the disgrace of the human race. Those who actually gave humanity something to be proud of were expelled, persecuted or exterminated, either by Hitler or by Stalin. I'm not an American patriot, but these fucking Europeans have no right to dump on the US of A after what went on here.
Darlings, do not fret, you are not going blind or dyslexic. You read correctly, your very own Jewish Aztec Principessa is staying at a HOSTEL. And will live to tell the tale.
Actually, I'm occupying the suite, which has its own private and very minuscule bathroom. Because I'm a trooper, but I refuse to use a communal bathroom. I'm too old and too spoiled for that. The great Mexican singer songwriter Cuco Sanchez, wrote a slash-your-own-wrists song called La Cama de Piedra, The Bed of Stone, which makes me think he may have spent a night or two in my lovely Praguer hostel. Stone does not begin to describe it. Except for the fact that the walls are paper thin and we have these strange neighbors who look Japanese but speak Russian, which makes me think they may be Mongolian. They never seem to go out but drink beers in the hall and don't really make that much of a racket but still they like to prattle loudly until way past midnight. Despite the fact that the heating here is not a boiler like in the US because people need to conserve energy and not spend all of it all at once like we do over there, so that the rooms and bars and restaurants are only just warm enough, and the cold seeps into your bones in a very Eastern European kind of way, I believe I'm handling the hostel life with great dignity and aplomb.
I wish I could tell you more about the sights but even in the dead of winter there are too many hordes of tourists everywhere.
Those who live off them try as hard as is humanly possible to make everything beautiful ugly and everything meaningful, vulgar. Still, Prague is incredible and I don't understand how it managed to survive such human putrefaction.

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