In Lord of the Rings Frodo and his band of misfits traveled all around middle earth in search of Mordor. It took them three entire films (at three hours each!) to actually do it. They went in circles, they suffered from lack of food and drink, and they even lost a few friends a long the way. It was a hard journey that was made harder from lack of sleep and exhaustion.
Summer and I had the same type of journey today. We went in search of a health food store called Country Life. Unlike Frodo and Sam we never made it. We never had a fighting chance really. There was a lot working against us. There were no Orc’s or any crazy wizard guy trying to kill us, but we had our own trials to deal with. For starters we were both hung over. I think we got home at about 5a.m. from a night of drinking and dancing at various venues in Prague. Add to that the fact that neither Summer nor myself have any sense of direction…at all. Those of you who have been anywhere with me know this.
Our journey began simply enough: we were going to go to the expat hangout, and default TEFL meeting place – The Globe. We had been there at least four other times so we figured it would be no problem. What should have been about a 10-minute walk from the Metro station turned into a half an hour of walking, literally, around The Globe. We walked up and down every street surrounding the café. The conversation sounded something like this:
“I think it’s up this street. I recognize that sign.”
“Yeah, me too. I think it’s up there.”
“Well, it must be over that way.”
“Yeah. I think it’s over there…”
Somehow we managed to find it. We relaxed there for a couple of hours, emailing, chatting and eating a sweet breakfast burrito. Is there any better food for a hangover? Anyway, when we were done we had our next mission: To meet Christina in Wenceslas Square and find the health food store called Country Life. We were both jonesing for some good fruit and veggies. (Side note: as I am writing this I am realizing that we were actually supposed to go to Old Towne Square, not Wenceslas Square…hmmm) We asked Mollie how to get there and she told us to walk next to the river and we would get there. Armed with not one, but two maps we headed out the door and towards the river.
It took us about five minutes to figure out which direction to walk, but after that it was smooth sailing. We saw some really beautiful buildings and fountains and a pretty cool view of the castle. It was a nice walk that led us right into Old Towne Square. We knew where we were because we had been there the night before drinking and dancing. Our afternoon would have turned out much different had we known that we didn’t need to go any further. Nobody ever gave Frodo and Sam bogus information. Geesh.
We broke out the map to try and figure out which direction Wenceslas Square was. I figured that if we just followed the tourists we’d manage to find it. We walked in the direction we kind of, sort of felt it was in. When we realized that we didn’t know where we were going we stopped and asked a cab driver. We got really excited when he told us we were about five minutes away and that we were headed in…the right direction! Woo hoo!
Once we got there we had no clue what to do. We had never been to the store, and didn’t know where to go. We walked up and down the Square looking for the street that the store might be on. We did this for about twenty minutes before giving up. We decided to go back the next day when we felt better and would be able to do some real shopping.
Is there a part in Lord of the Rings where Sam and Frodo get lost in a Metro station? No? Well there should be.
Summer and I managed to actually get lost in the Metro station. We walked around in circles a couple of times, took a few wrong escalators and had quite a time finding the right platform. Stop laughing. In our own defense, it is easy to get lost in a city where every street looks the same and you can’t read any of the signs. We have learned a little Czech, but I don’t think the phrase, “How much is the ham?” would have helped out very much.
So tomorrow we are going to wake up early and attempt to do it again. We will have strength, rest and some addresses this time. If all goes well we will make it back with some fresh fruit and veggies and peace will come to middle earth…at last.
Oh..and I will try to upload some pictures soon.