CLAUS

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Days 1-3: When in Prague

Hello, my name is Justin Claus Harder and currently I am an American traveling in Eastern Europe. I've decided to transcribe my journey, in hopes of providing an honest glimpse into the European culture from the only perspective that I can, that of a 31 year old single domesticated male from Texas, travelling in Europe for the first time.

I'll strive to document the journey in an entertaining fashion, given, of course, that we partake in noteworthy activities.

If not, I'll just make shit up.

Accompanying me on the journey are two lifelong friends, Shelton and Brad, whose names will appear often in the following detailings.

Subsequent following posts will find us later in our travels, and I pray they find us well, as I pray that they will find you well, too.

One more note before we begin: the following events are not in chronological order, so apologies ahead of time for any confusion this may cause.

Let us begin.

Not seeing a lot of other Americans here in Prague. In fact, when we mentioned our home country and home state of Texas to a local, he responded with 'you flew from America to Prague. Why.'

Notice the lack of question mark after 'why.' He wasn't asking, for in his mind their was no logical answer. This was a statement. He was implying our idiocy. Unfortunately, that idiocy has been implied and widely accepted for a little over forever now, so we laughed with our new friend and ate schnitzel in his company.



Even this early on in our journey, we've begun referring to ourselves as 'Typical American Assholes.' The locals seem pleased when we mention this to them. Beating people to the punch is necessary sometimes and takes wind out of sails.

I will mention European fashion often on this trip and the upcoming remark will be the first of that occurrence.
1983 called Prague and said they want their everything back. Prague, clearly, didn't respond, as their brick cell phone dropped the call.

Earlier today we dined on a patio. Our waiters' unfortunately grimaced countenance betrayed his affable mood and spirit, happily pointing us to a fun discotech to visit tonight. We thanked him repeatedly. He had family in Miami. I told him I'd been there before. We both laughed.

Brad has taken to wearing skinny, white pants, which blend him seemlessly into the Europeans around us.  I fear I may lose track of him on this trip, a fear which is somewhat rooted in hope.  Brad heard I referred to his white jeans as 'white jeans,' and has taken offense. He insists they are a 'light gray wash.' I'm sorry for wasting your time with that anecdote.

Last night, after we left a seedy discotech parlor at an uncommonly late hour, I partook in an unsightly schnitzel, for the charge of 60 Czechs. The schnitzel lacked but sufficed. Schnitzels have a tendency to do that.
The women! Let me speak to the women of Prague. Thus far, they've been stern and cold, giving me absolutely nothing to write about, son of a bitch. I suppose a few are striking, maybe, but ultimately a more fitting adjective is chilling. Perhaps their mood will lighten the less we loudly say 'whaddup baby baby' to them as they walk by. Fine, I'll try that.

The Historic Prague castle was a vision, and appropriately dubbed the Pride of Prague. Well, I believe Smoking is the true Pride of Prague, the Castle a close second. Or third, behind the Smoking in the Number One slot and then let us not forget Grimacing in Slot Two. I found the castle elegant and exquisitely crafted. I couldn't imagine storming that castle.  Most castles I visit I can see weak points, points of penetration, but not this one. Just realized the castle was like the Prague women in that respect. Impenetrable yet disease laden.

If I know anything, it's that a happy Czech is a smoking Czech. Smoking is the European pastime, more so than The Beatles or fancy hat weddings.  Before dinner, after dinner, even during dinner, the Czech sucks on their ciggy. If they can suck it they can smoke it. What.

I'll say this: if the smoke from Czech ciggy nears my personal space during an indoor meal, I have no qualms in staring directly at said smoker and wafting the air. Big wafting motions.  I'm prepared for their reaction, and if hostile, I'll send Brad over to scissor kick them in his white jeans.

On the first night in the City of Tobacco Miracles, Prague, I have found myself in bed between two men, in the space created by pushed together twin beds. Our hotel room seemed larger from the pictures, and the beds looked like queens. In the morning I looked over to my direct left, two feet from my face, and noticed Brad wearing those eye-covers that women wear. He also wore ear plugs.

Successfully scared away fellow patrons at the restaurant earlier. It seems each time we've entered an establishment of the dining variety, the locals scratch a Czech record and slam a tobacco pancake.

The Czech translation of 'thank you' is 'deekie'. Brad has taken to saying 'dickies' instead, to which the locals corrects him vehemently. This only makes Brad use 'dickies' more often, as it's hilarious.  (see: Typical American Assholes)

We're two days into the trip, we've got fifteen to go and Shelton has told me repeatedly that he's ready to go back to the USA.

It was unseasonably warm on the train ride today so I decided to open a window near our seats. As I was strong-arming the stubborn window pane down, foreign manufacturing be damned, Brad read a tiny sign positioned on the wall.
'Do not open the window' it read in English.

I will transcribe more from our next stop, Bratislava.  Yes, I've never heard of it either.  Shelton insisted we go, as his family is from there, so that's that.

I wave goodbye to Prague and their inhabitants, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. If you ever go, make sure to order the Pilsen beer, it's brewed somewhere nearby, probably by a smoking man.