Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Czech this out

Mrs. Ref and I are in Prague visiting Monika, our last foreign exchange daughter, and her family.  This is our second full day in town, having arrived Monday afternoon after spending all day traveling.

We're here in essence because The Kid is traveling to England with her college class this week.  She took an extra week because she wanted to visit her host families from Germany.  So we're in Czech, she's in England, and we'll all meet up in Dresden.

A few quick notes to date:

Best moment of the trip so far:
It's a tie between the woman in the airport and our walk with Hannah.  Coming off the plane in Amerstdam we were behind a mother traveling with her 18-month old daughter alone.  She had her hands full with her kid and all the stuff required to travel with a young one.  We asked if she needed any help and she responded in a wonderful Scottish brogue, "No, thank you.  I just have a wee flight to Glasgow.  But thank you very much."

Our first day in Prague, we thought we needed to go for a walk.  You think that way after spending 12-14 hours cooped up in planes and airports.  Monika's mom, Hannah, took us up to a nearby park.  On the way we passed the Starinka Hotel.  "In Communistic times, this used to be a . . .  a . . . I don't know the words.  I will have Pavel (dad) tell you."

Mrs. Ref was absolutely sure that the word she was looking for was "brothel."  Turns out it was the headquarters for the local secret police.  And this is why Mrs. Ref is not an interpreter.

We spend yesterday walking all over Prague.  Yes, I will agree . . . Europe is full of really old and beautiful towns and sites, but Prague has to be at the top of that list.  I'm not sure what it is about this town, but it's got it.  Metropolitan and quaint, modern and ancient, it's truly a gem.

And finally (before we have to leave on our next expedition), I was once told that you know you are fully understanding the local language when you dream in that language -- I think our first exchange daughter, Juli, told us that.  I'm here to tell you that she was wrong.  I had a very vivid dream last night all in Czech.  I didn't understand a word of it.

If I ever figure out how to post pictures here, I'll do that.


Anonymous | 2:05 PM, March 12, 2014  

wait you are not getting the whole story. He forgot to tell you that Hannah was looking down at the ground, smiling, and looking very embarrassed about the topic. I now know she was embarrassed about not knowing the word. But instead of telling us to ask Monika which is what she had done earlier she had us ask Pavel. That combined with the books that I have read about the SS officers and their secret ladies, well.....

Anonymous | 2:08 PM, March 12, 2014  

Wait, you are not getting the full story. Rev is leaving out the fact that Hannah was smiling, looking embarrassed, and looking down at the ground. I now know that is the look for not knowing the English word. However instead of having us ask Monika which is what she had done earlier she referred us to Pavel. That combined with the books that I have been reading about the unsavory background of the SS Officers, well....

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