Kafka and more

After a good breakfast - WiseMan enjoyed an English breakfast (who wants beans for breakfast?) and they even had soy milk for my cereal - we jumped on the next tram to pass our way. We had to change trains in order to get up to the Jewish part of Prague. It was cold, but the sun was shining as we walked aimlessly through the streets. The houses are often very ornamental and there are lots of nice little cafe and bakeries and stores. What a shame we had such a good breakfast, or we could have eaten in Madonna's favorite bakery (or so the sign said).

Madonna's exclusive kosher food supplier
We turned a few corners and finally landed at the Karl's Bridge, one of *the* tourist traps in Prague. The bridge was filled with artists selling stuff and beggars begging (until police strong-armed them away) and throngs of tourists pushing through. There seemed to have been a sale on trips to Prague in China, there are literally hoards of them pushing through the streets.
The three gentlemen from the police kindly request that the beggar quit begging.
We lingered on the bridge, I rubbed the saint for luck, and we headed off looking for the Kafka museum. Just follow the Chinese tourists.... They congregated outside taking pictures of the sculpture of two men having a pissing contest standing in a puddle rather shaped like the Czech Republic, but luckily there was no time for them to go into the museum. It was all in Czech and German, anyway.
Sculpture by David Cerny in front of the Kafka Museum, with Chinese tourists in the background.

It is an excellent exhibition - if you can read one of the two languages. You learn so much about Franz Kafka's life and writings. There are many excerpts from his letters and books, and after having wandered through the part of town he lived in just that morning, it was all so vivid. He really was a master of words, torn apart in the schizophrenia of a day job as an insurance company lawyer and his night-time passion as a writer. He died in 1924, mercifully missing the pogroms that killed so many of his relatives and friends. We definitely want to read some more Kafka when we get home!

After the museum we were hungry. I had read about a Czech restaurant on the water down the smallest street in Prague. It is so small, people can only walk in one direction, so you have to wait for the light before descending. We had a perfect seat right on the water with a little bit of shade. The boats passed right by us and we each had a nice - but different - view. I had the roast beef with dumplings, have to have some local food!

When the bill came, though, it was a hand-written deal although the menu said only to pay for what the official cash register strip says. But we just shrugged and paid. Then I recalculated - the bill was 100 crowns too much. Oh well, that's just 4 €, although we didn't get our change back, either, just 1€. As we were leaving, the waiter is all agitated, he forgot the second beer, could we pay another 50 crowns? I ask to see the bill again, and now we re-calculate exactly. And indeed - they added in 100 crowns tip. Nice. Okay, I said, give me back the 25 you still owe me, and I'll give you another 25. They didn't like that, but reluctantly agreed. Then they tried to pass a 50 crown bill on as change. No deal, they passed out brochures at the train station that these are no longer valid! What a shame, it was such a lovely lunch!

So, cafe with free Internet is closing - off to bed!

P.S. I found a link after getting home that explains that the peeing statues are actually writing letters with their water - you can send an SMS message to a telephone number and they will "pee" it for you. 

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