Monday, April 02, 2007

Return from Prague

We left for Prague on Thursday at around 13:00. I packed enough stuff for the flight to last me until Ohio, but the flight was only an hour and twenty minutes, and I was so tired that I ended up sleeping for most of it. (That's me on the right, for anyone who didn't know that.)

The really horrible thing about the trip - the one really horrible thing about the trip - was that during the flight, my ears got stuffed up and they wouldn't pop. I was doing everything to get them to open up, but they wouldn't budge. At one point, it even became painful. Then suddenly, and with no warning or reason, they popped and I could hear again. I could hear before, but it was all muffled.

Unfortunately, they became stuffed up and popped throughout the weekend, which was annoying. On the flight back, my left ear was horribly stopped up and I was in so much pain that I decided to re-try something that Fred had suggested days earlier. I held my nose and imagined blowing air out my ears, sort of a pressure-reversal thing. It worked.

Our friend, Butch, is convinced that it's an ear wax issue. He had a similar problem years ago and a doctor came in to his room, squeezed something into his room, and "lots of stuff came out. I was so embarrassed." Fred thinks that it's just a combination of my cold and the air pressure in the flight. Of course I'm wondering if it has something to do with the fact that I listen to my ipod a lot. Not all the time, and not loud, but a fair amount. I hope it's not that.

Oh. And Prague was nice too. I'd never been to Prague before. For years, what I always thought of when I thought of Prague was my friends James and Suzanne turning to each other and saying, "Ah...Prague" every time the subject came up. I was jealous, I'll admit it. They were very young and probably traveling on the cheap. I'm sure our trip was with more frills. Fred likes the term "designer hotel." And I like being able to pay for what I want to do and buy what I want to buy without thinking, If I get that, I can't eat tomorrow. I like being an adult.

The exchange rate is about 27 Czech crowns to the euro. So every time I looked at anything, I multiplied it by four and divided by 100 - a Fred trick. It's a short cut, but it gives you a ballpark figure. Like I know now that 200 Czech crowns is about €8,00, when the actual exchange rate for today would be €7,15. Close enough for horse shoes and hand grenades.

Now what I think of is the Charles Bridge, and Old Town Square. There was also the Jewish Cemetery, which was interesting and St. Agnes Convent. There is a good amount of stuff to see.

It was a very walky trip. Strange how little streets can become so familiar after only a few days.

We were there to meet Butch. My Alma mater, Baruch College, was there on a sort of field trip. They were looking at steel mills and checking out things in developing Europe. They'd also been to Ireland. It sounds like a fun, but tedious trip. I was happy that we were just headed back to Amsterdam. Waiting two hours to sit on another plane for six hours didn't interest me.

So Prague is two thumbs up. We'll probably go back in another five or ten years. It was great to see Butch. He brought me some knitting books that I'd ordered. But it was also good to see him and just keep in touch with an old friend. Hi Butch.


Dorothy said...

Prague sounds and looks beautiful! It also sounds pretty reasonable in pricing.

My ears hate flying too. I have trouble for nearly a week after a trip from here to Newfoundland (three flights, nearly six hours). The blowing air out the ears thing works fairly well for me, but for some people, ears and flying just don't mix happily.

Anonymous said...

the exchange rate is around 27 kroner to a euro and a "place where nuns live" is a convent.

Andy Baker said...

Thanks for the corrections and the word. I knew it was 27. That was actually a mis-type.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brewsta said...

This "Daniel" person spammed my blog with the exact same post. He's looking for business on his hotel website. I wouldn't do business business who use such subterfuge. I get comments with a link to that website every once in a while. I delete them on sight.

BTW -- I live in Prague and love Amsterdam. I visit at least once a year.