Thursday, July 16, 2009

CZECH THIS OUT....

OKAY, OKAY... I ADMIT IT IS A CHEESY T-SHIRT SLOGAN, BUT IRRESISTIBLE NEVERTHELESS. WHY IS THIS IN ALL- CAPS? because the blessed computer i'm using in the hotel's business centre is pretty eccentric and has a mind of its own. LIKE THE PEOPLE OF THIS CITY! while prague is exceedingly pretty in a CINDERELLA'S CASTLE KIND OF WAY, LANGUAGE REMAINS A MAJOR PROBLEM. NOBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH OR EVEN WANTS TO. RESTAURANT MENUS ARE IN CZECH, STREET NAMES SOUND ALIKE AND THE ONLY VISUAL REFERENCE IS TO KEEP THE CLOCK TOWER AT THE CITY CENTRE AS YOUR GUIDING LIGHT. THIS ISN'T FUN FOR YOU OFTEN END UP WALKING IN CIRCLES . KHAIR.... THIS IS A SMALL QUIBBLE GIVEN THE RICHES ON OFFER otherwise.
OUR FIRST NIGHT ON THE TOWN WAS AT A HUGE AND HIGHLY RATED CLASSIC CZECH CUISINE RESTAURANT CLOSE BY CALLED' KOLKOVNA'. ALL WENT great TILL MY HUSBAND'S PHONE WENT MISSING! we had eaten well - let me qualify that - eaten a lot. THIS IS PORK HEAVEN, AND GOD HELP YOU IF CALORIES ARE A CONCERN. IT IS PORK OR NOTHING! vegetarians - go starve! there is precious little but mashed potatoes and a few salad leaves for you. HOWEVER, THERE IS A DESI RESTAURANT CALLED KHAJURAHO!! they claim to serve KASHMIRI CUISINE!!! is that supposed to be erotic or what??
while we were mourning the theft of the phone, our minds went back to the conversation we'd been having just before the instrument got pinched. WE WERE DISCUSSING THE BIRTH OF NARI HIRA'S GRANDSON ARYAN VIKRAM HIRA AND SAYING WHAT A TERRIFIC DAD\GRANDDAD nari MAKES. MY HUSBAND HAD A BRAINWAVE - NARI SHOULD GET HIS PORTRAIT PAINTED, he declared dramatically. AND HE SHOULD BE PAINTED AS ELVIS PRESLEY, DRESSED IN WHITE. WE EVEN NOMINATED THE PAINTER - JAIDEEP MEHROTRA - WHOSE WORK WE LIKE. MUST HAVE BEEN THE CZECH WINE ( dodgy, yup, i'm confirming it!), the PARTAGAS SERIE- D CIGAR HE WAS SMOKING AT THE TIME, AND ALL THAT CHOLESTROL BUILDING UP. WE STAGGERED BACK TO THE HOTEL PROMISING TO GO BEAT UP THE MANAGER AT THE 'KOLKOVNA' THE NEXT MORNING.
BUT THAT WAS TILL THE CONCERTS INTERVENED AND TRANSFORMED OUR MIND SET. PRAGUE DURING SUMMER BECOMES A CITY OF MUSIC. THERE ARE FREE CONCERTS IN EVERY CHURCH AND SYNAGOGUE. THE FIRST ONE WE ATTENDED IN THE ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH FEATURED A CHOIR FROM OHIO!
the second one in " europe's most beautiful synagogue" was indeed uplifting featuring a crazed jewish violinist with an elegant mother ( he dedicated a composition to her!) accompanying him on a piano. 'HAVA NA GILA' SOUNDED DEMENTED BUT LIVELY. WE HAD TO CALM THE NERVES AFTER THAT PERFORMANCE WITH SOMETHING COOL, TALL AND ALCOHOLIC. WE WAFTED INTO 'PRAVDA' WHERE A MELANCHOLY DUO SANG ENGLISH SONGS FROM THE '70'S, BUT ERIK THE HANDSOME WAITER PROMPTLY MADE UP FOR IT BY PRODUCING A HUMIDOR AND OFFERING MY HUSBAND A COHIBA ROBUSTO WHICH INSTANTLY ELEVATED HIS MOOD. he also recommended 'BUGSY'S BAR' FOR AN AFTER-DINNER DRINK. EXCELLENT RECOMMENDATION, BTW!
my mood WASN'T TOO BAD EITHER. EARLIER, WE'D BEEN TO FRANZ KAFKA'S AND ERICH MARIA RILKE'S FAVOURITE CAFE, 'KAVRANA SLAVIA' NEAR THE RIVER AND ENJOYED A DELICIOUS, WICKEDLY LUSCIOUS CREPE WITH WARM BERRIES, WHIPPED CREAM, HONEY AND COLD SOUR CREAM. I TOLD YOU, FORGET CHOLESTROL WHEN IN PRAGUE! vaclav havel used to hang out here as well and the pristine art deco detailing made me feel nostalgic for hotel SEA GREEN ON MARINE DRIVE IN MUMBAI.
DVORAK, MOZART, YOU CAN FEEL THEIR PRESENCE EVERYWHERE.
I MUST RUN. THE HUSBAND IS GETTING IMPATIENT. AND WE HAVE DON GIOVANNI TO ENJOY A FEW HOURS FROM NOW, FOLLOWED BY DINNER AT THE REPUTED ' LA PROVENCE', WHERE THE DUCK AND CASSOULET ARE SUPPOSED TO BE OUTSTANDING. CHEERS GUYS!! it's a tough life, but someone's got to live it, right???

13 comments:

obssesor said...

it's a tough life....seriously?
can we switch lives then?

milind said...

Oh ho! Veg ppl cant survive in Prague..Gosh.
Was thinking of visiting there but now i hv doubts.

Love and regards,

From Seychelles

Vidya & said...

You are marvelous Shobhaa. I can almost picture myself there. Watch out for you passports and wallets!Prague is the thief capital of the world! Try the Rybi Trh Fish Restaurant
Tynsky Dvur 5, Old Town if you are a fish and seafood person..............! I personally felt it was over rated and a bit seedy but hubby loved it.

cmpershad said...

"NOBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH OR EVEN WANTS TO"
....SO THERE IS A TAMILNADU IN EVERY COUNTRY!!!

Jogeshwar said...

Ya it's a very tough life especially when looking at yours :-)
just saw a video some time ago on internet and it says Prague's Franz Kafka International Airport Named World's Most Alienating Airport.

narendra shenoy said...

Hey, have a great vacation! I've never been to the Czech republic, but now thanks to your post, I'm going to feel bad about it:(

Nandinikakoti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nandinikakoti said...

I had a tough time reading those ABCD in Czech names...huh!.... Anyways, nothing can overwhelm me more than pork......wish there were some exotic recipes accompanied..(WINK WINK!!!)

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Times are tough, Not life.

*Aham* said...

suddenly capitals... aiyyyo have never seen you in this mood... hope u are well ...

Merlin said...

The T-shirt that you mention, I bought one of those for myself when I was in Prague, its my favorite, have a look at the link below :).

http://merlins-world.blogspot.com/2009/07/my-favorite-t-shirt.html

Gajendra said...

pork....wow....amazing

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