You know how we weave fantasies about ourselves, doing and saying things that we desire? And you know the sinking feeling you get in your middle when what you desire comes true and you realize it isn’t at all like what you expected?
Well, Prague gave me a reality check!
After much ado about European night life and party culture I was looking forward to the pub crawl. Calling it a crushing disappointment would be an understatement. I hated it. It was too crowded, the music was awful, the drinks were tepid and I felt like a fish out of water. And it was a pretty big water body! I guess that’s the facet of reality which was most apparent – I don’t fit in. Not in that conventional herd of pick up lines and come hither moves which to me seemed like an alien language that everyone else spoke and understood proficiently. So it took 5 shots of tequila, 3 beers and 6 hours of partying to accept I wasn’t cut out for this. Not this way for sure!
So, that’s one bubble of picking up someone and making out in the loo caught in the throes of passion that got busted. However, it came with the knowledge that decadent living comes in different forms, and you just need to find your own and own it.
And that’s what Prague is all about!
It is not about pretense and modernization. It isn’t boastful and loud about its culture. It is quaint and simplistic, which truly makes it a beautiful city. Prague has soul; in its cobbled streets, underground cafés, high and low slopes filled with small shops and restaurants, in the bridges that span across the city, in its lack of artifice in language, food and clothing. The city is about living with authenticity and not pretense. The city exudes bohemian culture with subtlety and honesty.
Hence, it isn’t a surprise that authenticity is what the city helped me remember. Authentic self, authentic pride and authentic relationships. Because it was also where I learned of spring and summer friends; spring friends come with the promise and beauty of the spring sun, they are exuberant and awe inspiring but leave you cold at night when you long for some warmth. Summer friends are annoying and sticky, they rub you off sometimes but on a dark night, linger. Summer friends are true.
And to have one, consider yourself fortunate!
And with this I leave to Berlin, to a new city with an open mind…