Prague Pride

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Pretty sure the above photo is from last year. Today it was overcast. The temperature was good though. Especially because the Prague Pride march involves many people dressed in clothes which are not good when it’s hot. I’d hate to be one of the leather guys in Summer.

This year I was with 4 people, my fiancée, and my friends Teddy, Siti and Jen. I wore a dress and pearls and looked very fancy and quite fabulous. For me this now just seems like a standard thing to do but I imagine this could do with some explanation.

From a youngish perhaps teenage age I have been pretty jealous about the variety of women’s clothing. It seems they put men in some strict box-shaped attire, primarily white, black and grey. Ladies meanwhile get to walk about in a huge variety of materials, cuts, and colours. At some point or other I just decided to fuck the universe, care a lot less about what everyone thought about it, and start wearing skirts and dresses from time to time.

That’s basically it. The clothes look good and feel nice. There’s a huge range of people living outside the typical gender setup. This goes from people without a gender to people with multiple genders that they switch between. Personally, I identify best with genderfuck. This is a great concept which involves playing around with what gender is in the first place by over exaggerating it. So I dress pretty but talk in a deeper voice than normal.

Of course, that’s just one other aspect of my character, and unfortunately not one I can generally express in my day to day life. You might have seen me rally against professionalism in previous posts and here is the same argument. Professionalism is an irritating concept that prizes conforming to some strict standards over individuality. People are expected to only be themselves in their free time. Any deviation is treated as something perverse and wrong. This is a horrible way to manage society.

This pushes people into fitting into moulds that they can’t fit into, it puts extra stress and pressure on people when they can’t conform. The only possible benefit of conformity that I can see is some sort of tribal identification method, where you can tell instantly if somebody is going to steal your food by what they are wearing. In the current world we’re living in stealing food is at an all time low. And so I hate narrow professionalism. Dress codes are horrible. Let a guy wear a skirt. Instead the only clothing choice most guys are permitted is what colour of tie they will wear. Patterns are often considered an aberration if they are too vibrant.

So that’s my take on Pride. I like it as a chance to see a lot of openminded people dress in ways that please them instead of their everyday uniforms. I could have addressed a few other things, like how lots of huge companies had rainbow coloured advertising, or what my own sexuality means to me* but instead I chose to talk  about gender and professionalism and fucking them both.

Happy Prague Pride Eveybody!

*It doesn’t take an intellectual to get that I’m bisexual, banging tune.

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“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

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You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Today I come to you with a trip, my love for Dr. Seuss, and a valuable life lesson from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!. It was his final work and one of his best-selling as it is a firm favourite as a graduation present. From beginning to end, the book thrills and delights. Even when I first read it at the age of 20 I could tell it was something special, something beyond ‘just’ a kid’s book. It is a tale of life. It follows an unnamed character as they adventure, and it is honest. It has the bad times as well as the good. For me, today was one of the good ones.

We, myself, my fiancée, and my friends Tom, Ray, and Yana, went to Czech Switzerland. At first I thought this might be a joke name, something slangy and self-deprecating. Even as a former visitor of the Scottish Highlands I will say it surprised me with how good it was. It had impressive vistas, a verdant forest, and more large rock formations than you could shake a decent sized stick at. The trip all started when Ray and Tom discussed it and sent word around. Never one to pass up a good day trip, I eagerly went for it.

I had been getting stressed. The heat of the city, the mugginess of the oppressive air, and the occasional existential question. A trip to the wilderness was needed. Why could I find not relaxation in the city, you ask? I will let the good doctor explain.

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And the next page!

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And this is why I love Dr. Seuss. He uses the right amount of space to express things. “It’s opener there in the wide open air”, indeed!

Some stress relief on a moderate hike seemed a capital idea.

The crew was made up of other English teachers. About half were American, two from Scotland, and a Russian. All of them are here for different reasons, but I tend not to discuss why other people are here. It hits me as too personal a question, even if I know someone well. They are an interesting crowd. The first thing to know about Ray is that’s he’s giant, and the next is that he’s very warm and personable. Tom hits me like a father-in-waiting, at that cool sepia toned photo stage of life that all our dads went through, when they were just cool dudes and not fathers.  Still tells a million dad jokes, though. Yana hits me as one of the most inquisitive people I’ve ever met. She must have asked me 50 questions, mostly about things or people I hate. I like talking and hate quite a lot so there were no specific problems here.

On the train here we talked shop and life. As we were leaving the greater city area, I took out my copy of Dr. Seuss and started reading. This developed into a round, each person saying a page. Poor Yana got stuck with darker pages almost every time. On the dark pages, the story gets a little sad as Dr. Seuss essentially says, “You know what kid? Life may suck and get bumpy from time to time. You might not be good at everything, but with the right attitude and mindset, you’ll go far.” It’s a valuable lesson for kids and for adults.

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This was the last page Yana read to us on her round. It is my favourite page in the book. To me, it says that even if you aren’t the best, you should push yourself and see what you manage. Most of the time the result is good and you might end up like this guy.

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Pulling a damn mountain with a smile on your face like it’s no issue. We made it up the hill in good time and look at the sights from the top. The Doctor was right, it is certainly open.

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The trip itself was not difficult and end to end it all went well. Still, there’s a brilliant sense of accomplishment that I think we all feel when we do something big on a weekend. It was also a brilliant antidote to the difficulty of city life. In a way, it was a perfect encapsulation of Dr. Seuss’s main point; life has its challenges and difficulties but if you keep on going you have a good chance of doing something amazing. As I go forward in my attempt to write something new every day this month, this lesson will surely be of use.


Extra words: We saw this big rock on our climb. It was so big that everyone had put sticks next to it to hold it up.

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Each of these sticks alone stands little chance of stopping the stone from falling, but with the collective effort of enough people they can hold back the tide. Here was my addition.

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Why I Write

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Insert cock-related pun 

“You’ve got to tell them a story”

Thst’s the short answer. The one that burns in my head and cuts through the narrative of adverts read, conversations had, and activities done. You’ve got to tell them a story. Just a story. One that grabs people by the lapels and shouts “Read of this and tell me I’m good!“. There’s also an element of pleasure in the result.

There’s that wee hit of dopamine; the feeling of having done something, of making something new. It might be derivative. It might exist already in some other form,  but this one is mine.

Even this post exists already in some form or other, out there somewhere, by other people. But this one is mine. You’ve got to tell them a story.

Stephen King in On Writing describes the act of reading and writing a story as telepathy. The writer creates something and the reader formulates it in their head. Picture a lamp. Everyone will come up with a different lamp, but the important thing is that a lamp now exists for a time in your head. King put the lamp in me. I have transmitted that lamp to you.

I picture quite a plush lamp, with a lampshade made of fabric that feels hairy or like it’s made of fur. It is a living lamp. It is brown and has textured lace on the sides and encircling the top of the shade and its bottom. It is fringed. I believe this lamp comes from memory, it existed in my paternal grandparents’ house, I think. Maybe it is still out there somewhere, or perhaps it was thrown out as the feeling of the shade was a little disconcerting. It scared me when I was young. It was like a monster’s mouth and I thought it would bite if my hand lingered on its hair.

As you can see, writers often write about things they have seen. “Write what you know”, as the adage goes. The keystone of realism. Sometimes it’s dialled down but more often it’s dialled up. For me though, it’s all about the story.

You’ve got to tell them a story. To pick the fractured and separated pieces of experience, the thoughts and the feelings of times long since past and gone, and put them together in a new form. There is nothing new under the sun, but sometimes it can be ordered differently. It is said that poetry is the right words in the right order. Or it’s the right words in the wrong order if you don’t like poetic grammar.

The main problem with writing what you know for most writers is that they know very little. Many writers don’t work. Some shy away from the company of others. Some of them seldom live, merely survive on small bits of gratitude. Some of us are indolent, lazy and not liable to do anything unless we have a deadline, a hanging sword above our heads. This was me for a long time, but I’m getting better. I got my parents work ethic, partially, and I like to work. I love conversation, in fact, it’s where I make my best poetry (often forgotten later). The vast majority of my written and posted things here are travel related (admittedly, my beautiful fiancée spurs me to travel more and does a lot of the lifting as far as planning goes – I am grateful for that, thanks love!).

For me, writing is alchemy. You’ve got to tell them a story. You’ve got to take basic elements and ingredients and turn them into gold. Spin phrases, add details, remember sensations which are too easily forgotten. You’ve got to pick the right words and put them in the write order. You’ve got to sequence events. You’ve got to tell them a story.

There are many things I’m bad at; remembering names, rugby, writing regularly. There are a few things I’m okay, not masterful, at; making friends, keeping in touch with people, being open and vulnerable about feelings. And there are a few things I’m great at; humour, maintaining eye contact, turning the common lead (Pb) of life to the gold (Au) of a story.

My name is Fraser Horn. I’m kind of a writer. And it pleases me.

Trying to do some daily writing and publishing for a week or so to get over my indolence. Watch this space and let me know how I’m doing! As I said earlier, I partly do this for the small hits of dopamine I get from views. That hurt to write but is totally true. So go on, punk, make my day!

 

Accents – “Where d’you come from?”

Take a minute and think about goulash.

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Goulash is a type of stew they make in Hungary and seemingly every Slavic country. In Hungarian it is written gulyás, from some root word that has to do with cattle-herders as the story goes. Thanks to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or just close trade links, the recipe and variants became popular around Central and Eastern Europe. As it exists in numerous places, it has numerous spellings, each reflecting a different emphasis and sound.

Why am I talking about goulash? Because this is an example of a word that has travelled and taken on new expression in a different language family. Incidentally, it is also one of the meals I ate when my parents were in town recently and they inspired this post.

My parents’ visit was a lot of fun and it gave flight to my accent again. Though my dad says I haven’t got a very strong accent, and he might be right – Irvine Welsh I ain’t -it was liberating to drop the English language teacher voice. It’s my least favourite part of teaching, having to change such an intimate part of me, my voice, in order to be of most use to people who are not ready for it. Even a light Scottish accent may be a bit much for people at A2 (Pre-int) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (try saying that while half-cut). But I can speak freely with my family.

i would like to be able to speak the same around my fiancée. She is into it and knows how it flows and sounds already. But I code switch too often and rarely switch back. Normally, in professional environments in Scotland, I would be able to speak “properly” during the working day and switch to my rougher accent in the pub. Here, I can’t go back so easily.

See, I noticed something about the logic of language and I can show you with a self-written joke for students.

Why does the English language have articles (a, an, and the)?

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It’s because you’re foreign and we hate you

Huge laughs!

Of course, we don’t really hate second language speakers of English, but all the best jokes are surprising.

Anyway, it’s absolutely the case that English grammar is just a messed up way to show who is part of the ‘in’ crowd and who is part of the ‘out’ group. The way we form our sentences in a strict word order, the fact we have 86 prepositions (in, out, on, above, etc.), the irregular verbs, and the weird pronunciation are just some of the problems for the second language speaker.

For these reasons, it is often instantly recognisable if someone is a second language speaker. For a start, people, who have learned other languages in their own country will have pronunciation like their teacher, often a non-native speaker of English. Even if they learned from a native teacher, that will often be only an hour or two a week and most of their conversation practice will be with other non-native speakers. *

What is the effect of recognising somebody is a non-native speaker? It seems to me like it turns foreign people into ‘others’. People get a little defensive and territorial about language because they fear someone else has come to take their goulash. How can a second language speaker escape this? By putting on an accent.

By putting on an accent it looks here like I’m saying to act one. It is far better to develop one, to consciously take pronunciations you like.

For I think I can notice in my own voice and manner where I come from. I’ve got my Scottish vowel sounds, sounds which will never vanish and for that I’m thankful, but I have increasingly anglicised and americafied consonants. My life has had a ton of different people in it and because many of them were from different areas, primarily American, I have had to soften it in places.

It was that or have people repeatedly misunderstand me with varying levels of politeness in their response. It has been a struggle and it goes on as even my softer level still sometimes invites criticism. If a person misunderstands even your first syllable they will often turn off trying to understand the rest of your sentence. It sucks when people make you feel like an imbecile for speaking the language like your forebears, friends and relatives.

For a long time it made me angry when people didn’t even appear to try. But now I realise I more often have to meet them halfway. People aren’t mindreaders and I fancy if you say something in a way they’d never expect it to be said, they’ll abandon any hopes of comprehension.

Still, it was good to see my parents and speak the same language in the same old accent. It’s exhausting having to put on a neater voice and change to fit other people’s understanding.

*I’m pretty certain every language is like this. Between language families the change is greatest. The jump from English to Czech is greater (Germanic to Slavic) than the jump from Ukrainian to Czech (both Slavic). Between these families there is both a difference in words and a difference in how they fit together. Czech can be confusing as all the words seem to change their ending all the time depending on the situation and it isn’t too great a change too from asking for a cigarette to demanding their entire pack with just a small change in tone and word ending.

Almost Autumn

Ever been walking on a staircase in the dark and misjudge the number of stairs, your foot flailing in empty space? Such bumps are a necessary step in the revolution of the world.

I have nearly witnessed all 4 seasons of Prague. Having arrived in February, I grabbed Winter by the tail and saw the roofs lined with snow which fell in great clumps onto the street. Spring popped up quickly and was gone in an instant, replaced by Summer’s fires. Autumn feels a second Spring, cutting with a new found rain and colder air. At least the clothes I arrived with are now suitable attire.

The foliage is still green, but the leaves are turning. By next month it may be something to really write about and by the month after that they will all be dead. Funny how seasons still surprise me in my advanced age.

The city’s energy has become somewhat lethargic after the heat of August, but it has woken with a new calmer vibration. This marrow deep resonance reaffirms the wisdom of former choices and suggests delights are to follow.

Besides the chill and the damp, Autumn also brings my old frenemy – darkness.

And darkness beings with it richer scenes to study the interplay of architecture and society. Buildings that would be abhorrent in other circumstances take on a new life here, mingled as they are with past structures.

The ticking of the traffic lights beckoning one to wait continues, but it is no longer a stupid tune of my own devising. It is a harsh logic.

All in all, the adventure of life continues. Make sure to make the most of it, and stop once in a while to take it all in.


Nest month I intend to write and publish one short story a day, make sure to stay up to date as it happens!

Brown paper packages, tied up with string

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Happy World Smile Day

Today is one of those days that went right. Excellent classes, where I know the students learned something, wonderful conversations with my colleagues, and an incipient evening of Irish stew.

Additionally, I got a call from DHL to tell me they were delivering something at that moment and did not know which flat. I was confused by a Czech text message I had received the day before and thought I needed to pick something up, not that I was being forewarned of a delivery. Luckily, my flat mate was in and signed for the package. My love, who had turned up on the street during the call, meanwhile seemed in similarly high spirits. The world was good and I would handle the packages later.

Did I say packages? I meant packages:

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My favourite things

Both my condoms that actually fit AND my passport arrived on the same day from the same courier. A big hand for Her Majesty’s Passport Office. It took less than a month for an application made overseas. In addition, said application involved having the photographs countersigned, no easy task from abroad.

I’m full of praise today, and thought I might give some advice to the bepenised people who practice, or at least want to practice, safe sex. A miraculous invention, so simple it shocks the mind that it took as long to happen as it did, condoms that actually fit are available from several different places. You can purchase them at sex shops, probably best use a measuring tape first to get your size right, or online. The particular company I used, theyfit.co.uk, even has a handy penis measuring print out. If you don’t have a printer, they also have a “feel” quiz where you describe the sensation of regular condoms and they suggest an appropriate measure.

These things are particularly handy, geddit, and increase your pleasure manifold. Invest today!

Your brain is correct. This has been a Public Service Announcement lauding both Her Majesty’s Passport Office and TheyFit condoms.

Now, to quote my good friend Teddy’s favourite and most important question, what’s made you smile today?

Good Habits, Bad Habits

Now for an update of where I’m at. As honest as a person can be at 10 in the morning before properly alive though, strictly speaking, I have been a bit of a morning person for some time.

It’s probably one of the Good Habits I developed at a young age. We only had one upstairs shower, and my brother and I had to race to get to it. First person in the shower was the first person to get breakfast. The second person was just left lolling around in a half awake stupor, unable to eat until the ritual ablutions. So from at least 8, I endeavoured to be the first washed and the first at breakfast and this has led me to be far keener and more active in the morning than in the afternoon. Still a Good Habit as there is a far greater pressure to be places on time than there is to be awake and 100% all day. First impressions are everything.

Now, the stuff I’ve kept from you, fellow travellers, in the interest of not scaring anyone. In the past months I have had two occasions where I lost important things.

The first time I lost my wallet and glasses, after a night on the tiles that ended when a Czech woman woke me in a park. A wallet is nightmare enough, but could you even imagine the crippling horror that manifests itself in a Czech bureaucratic building without the ability to even see the letters or numbers? Can you imagine having to do this multiple times? Being stopped by Czech police and asked for ID, feebly holding up a picture on an iPad and hoping it is good enough? (Apparently, it is not good enough for their purposes). That was my first week of July. I got fined by metro police.

It wasn’t pretty, but I survived. As I have said other places, I have an exceptional taste in friends – another Good Habit.

The second time was more serious. This is a cautionary tale for all travellers. Do not try this at home, even with adequate adult supervision.

One night, after leaving a party, I got drunk and woke up with no watch or bag. Contained in said bag was my journal, full of several irreproducible poems, and my passport.

If you love travelling, you must hold onto your passport. For the past two months I have been unable to leave the Czech Republic. This would be fine, except I want to wander around and see the cool things in nearby Austria, Poland, and Hungary. While the EU technically has passport free travel they do still perform routine checks at borders, and I do not trust that a photocopy and a police report, written in Czech, will suffice when it comes to border guards. It reads strangely to Czech speakers, what would a Hungarian make of it? They don’t even call their police police (Rendőrség).

Both of the above stories have one clear similarity. Yes, we’re talking about the most major Bad Habit.

I have been drinking too much. I have absolutely been drinking too much. I have been absolutely and terrifyingly out of control drinking too much. It makes me reckless.

And not reckless as in harmless reckless, I mean shit the bed reckless (not literal). Waking up in a park wasn’t enough for me. Oh no, I couldn’t rest with only losing the ability to see and buy food. I had to lose my poetry, graduation watch, and the one thing that is supposed to guarantee me legal protection around the world. What the fuck.

Fortunately, with careful planning, good friends, and some self-awareness, I am getting back on track.

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I got a pair of new glasses for a song. My love bought me a new wallet, which she gave me the day after I lost my passport. It took me a while to accrue funds and actually sit down and do it, but I have ordered a new passport. Most importantly, I have set myself a limit of three drinks in a night. I have mostly held to that for the past two months and I have lost nothing else.

I will finish with some pieces of moralising.

If you are travelling anywhere, you must pick up and cultivate some Good Habits and shake off the Bad ones you will inevitably have gathered in a long life. You should plan your finances accordingly as the types of incomes most travellers and wanderers get is very temperamental and you will have sudden shocks to contend with. When making friends, find good people who will help you if you stumble and who will encourage you to be a better person.

Do these things and you will have a considerably better time overall.

Then again, the good news with losing things is that it gives you more to win.

 

To the Lost, From Those That Remain; Or, Why Prague

So here’s a story, well-told, often repeated, containing a Lie and a Truth. For more detail, consult my first entry on this blog. 23 year old misses his friend, books a trip to see her, wine turns 5 days into 2 months. He gets a job, he gets a girlfriend, he joins a community, he embraces the culture with it’s plentiful meat, dark humour, and warm below the surface people. 2 months turns to 7, seasons change, and here I am with a fortnight’s worth of luggage seeing very good wear.It’s a good story, one I’m happy to tell, mostly True, fits my image well. It’s missing something.

No regular person or even an extraordinary one as I pretend to be sometimes would ever make that jump without something else motivating them, pushing them, or else driving them. As I have said elsewhere, in several places, teaching doesn’t exactly create fat stacks of wealth and prestige. It doesn’t by itself create greater freedom, there are still bosses and there are still customers even if the personal relations differ greatly. It doesn’t fulfil a person’s wildest dreams, though I have been exceptionally lucky/very deft in making good friend and occasionally wise choices. No.

This is the reason, the real, overriding, reason that I came to Prague.

A new story. A boy, recently finished university, out in the Big Bad Real World, making money, making networks, making some form of cobbled together life of drink and companionship, missing something important. Changes jobs to get out of his home city. It draws him back. Irrevocably. But something has changed, in the city, in him, hard to say. It does not feel like a home. It feels like a haunted house.

For the four years of university he had made friends and acquaintances, had the prestige of studying in one of Scotland’s top academic institutions, and had the pleasure of a fine setting and fine folks. At the beginning of every year, effervescent, adolescent joy at meeting people from around the world, a continual influx of new people to love. Every 3 – 6 months though, well, the tide goes out as well as comes in.

They leave. They always leave. The boy never realised such things though they happened all the time. Wrapped up in the moment, the eventual parting always seemed so far off and the company always seemed so worth it. But, see, they left. And he remained.

Part of them stayed. In memory. Every corner, every bar, every alley, every nightclub, every walk, in every part of the centre. Ghosts. Scores, hundreds, even. I couldn’t handle it. Each street became like that square on Monopoly you dread because it signifies the loss of everything. That one Orange property that some tactician has filled with hotels. Every street bore a flat that I recalled, and the recollections grew too many and too difficult. The first was hard enough. My Ex’s street, jutting like a dagger through the Heart of Newington.

Others followed, in varying intensity and character, and by 23 years old with all the uni pals gone and a new clutch of them, made through a Norwegian, going off to do their thing I’d had enough. I needed out.

So I got out, but I may never truly escape. I realise now that I’m back in a similar uni situation. English teachers are by nature rolling stones. Tide goes out as well as the tide comes in. Already the group recedes. The girl I came to see moved home. Others move abroad as the East is where the money is. Some find different opportunities. It’s easier now as there isn’t a time limit I just keep forgetting about, the outflows and influx comes at different times.

Still, I fear the eventual half life. That point where I can see the switch so clearly and memories again flood everywhere. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. One day the same will be true for all.

Cesky KrumLove

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This weekend, I was in Cesky Krumlov celebrating my girlfirend’s birthday – she was also there, in case you are wondering and can sustain a bad joke and the self-aware, self-referential, commentary which followed it.

It was, by all accounts, an amazing trip. The city is more like a town from what we saw, though there were definitely the houses of real people just outside the centre, behind the castle and on the far south bank of the River Vltava. It is the same river as that which goes through Prague, but it meanders more here and curls itself around the centre.

The weather was gorgeous, almost as gorgeous as the girl whose birthday we were celebrating – forgive the mush but next to good food, sunshine, and fun, mush is among my favourite things.

Speaking of mush, the Czech food is certainly not mushy here. It is strong meat, very flavourful. At one restaurant we visited, it was cooked over a log fire in the centre of the restaurant. It took a while to come out, but if you are there and eat meat it is highly recommended to give Satlavska a try.

In terms of places to stay, we were given an ideal recommendation of Hostel Skippy. Check out the view of the riverside private room!

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One of the major advantages of the hostel, other than a nourishing but surprisingly affordable breakfast, decent alcohol prices, cleanliness, good coffee, and friendly staff, was the fact that from the terrace you get to watch kayaks and canoes capsize.

“It is pleasant, when the sea is high and the winds are dashing the waves about, to watch from the shores the struggles of another”

– Lucretius

What more can I say as sound travel advice?

Well, the journey from Prague is a little long by train. You have to go to Ceske Budejovice, then switch to one going to Volary. The wait for the transfer is about half an hour, and the trains suffer from the same problem as many Czech trains. From Prague to Ceske Budejovice you are liable to look out the windows and see only concrete. The West Highland line, it ain’t. Furthermore, the train from Ceske Budejovice seems to venture through numerous small stations and I can’t help but feel that takes a while longer than you might want. The bus seems quicker and more direct.

Cesky Krumlov definitely costs slightly more than Prague, but what of it? It feels nice to not feel like I’m counting crowns – 1 of which is equivalent to 3p in UK terms – in order to survive in Prague. Fortunately, as I wrote about in a former post, I saved some before this month and even more fortunately, a bag of gold basically came sailing through my window before this trip. It’s great to feel like a provider, and my girlfriend seems to have appreciated it. I will know if, when she is finished reading, she kisses me on the cheek.

As a final sign off, presenting the most spectacular street name of the trip.

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Jam Today

When I was 22 or so, I wrote a comic play in which a flat’s money troubles are solved when bags of gold fly through a skylight at the end. It suffered from several problems along the way, the dialogue was gold but the direction was a bit dry, plus the plot wasn’t fully up to scratch. That endin though: so positive, so optimistic and, occasionally, so true.

A student paid me recently and this puts me in a far better mood for the coming month. Now, I havea weekend away with my girlfriend for her birthday and currently I am eating toast with jam.

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So no updates for a couple days. I will leave you with what I feel is some great advice for English teachers and for all people who earn their money in occupations with occasionally irregular cash flow. Plan accordingly.

if one month you work a ton and are paid well, make sure to put some of it away. Lean months do exist. Summer has been a bit temperamental, one month more than enough to live, the next barely enough for rent and other associated costs. Make sure you keep some surplus to balance out the shortfall or you will find yourself in a tickier bind than I have just escaped.

Beware the Summer shortfall. Rejoice in the Septmber inundation. Eat toast, frequently.*

 

*Unless you are gluten intolerant