Dear Harriet...

by David Sturm

Dear Harriet,

Well, here we are in Prague. Lou and I arrived early yesterday and we're just getting aquainted with the Czech Republic (it used to be called Czechoslovakia but they changed the name for some reason). What a beautiful city! The architecture here is all called baroque, which, you know, means there's little angels on everything. It's so adorable! It's a style we already saw in Vienna, so I guess the Czechs borrowed the style from the Austrians.

Lou has been his usual self. We took a taxi yesterday from Wenceslaus Square to Old Town Square and Lou got all bent out of shape when the taxi driver charged us 800 Czech crowns for the ride. I had to explain to Lou that the currency is different here (Duh!) and just pay the man for heaven's sake and stop making a scene. Sometimes he is such a child.

We had a real "Czech night out" last night. We went to a place called U Fleku, which is the huge Prague beer hall serving lots of delicious Czech beer and wurst. The place was just packed with regular Czechs drinking and carousing and having a terrific old time. Lou kept looking around and saying these were all Germans, but Lou is always trying to find the "gimmick" in every good time.

A nicely dressed young man came up to us on Wenceslaus Square and offered us a good deal on changing money. Lou told the guy to get lost, but I thought, 'Hey, why not see what he's offering?' I ended up in an exchange where I got a much better rate than we got at the bank, but unfortunately it turned out they're not crowns but zlotys. Whoops. Teehee. Guess we'll have to spend them in Poland. Lou was not amused.

Down on Old Town Square yesterday we kept hearing this funny noise and it turned out to be this man selling these gizmos that squawk like a chicken when you pull the string. They were so cute I bought a couple. Then I had Lou take my picture with this delightful gentleman. Lou set up a scene where the guy pretends to be pulling the string out of the back of my head and when the squawk noises start I open and close my mouth and flap my arms doing the funky chicken. Lou got it all on the camcorder. We attracted quite a crowd. Wait till you and Leroy see it!

They have this bridge here called Charles Bridge which is very old and has statues of saints all along it. It's so inspiring to see and I just wish Father O'Donnell at St. Bridget's, bless his heart, could be here to see it. I never realized what devout Catholics the Czechs are. Americans could take a lesson.

On Wenceslaus Square yesterday we saw a man holding a protest sign in front of the big statue of St. Wenceslaus on his horse. Of course I had no idea what the sign said, but I must say, it made me see red. I hate it when people use important public monuments as their own personal stage to get attention for this or that grievance. I looked daggers at this yoyo, but he just ignored me. I'm sure most Czechs would agree with me that important public spaces like this should be off limits for politics.

It's quite late now and I'm alone in the hotel room because I left Lou down on Wenceslaus Square an hour or so ago. I was in Dunkin Donuts when he came in and said he had met a young Slovak woman who needed an escort so she could get safely to her aunt's house. That Lou, such a gentleman. I hope she's not putting him through too much.

Well, that's about it for now. Say hi to the folks in Scranton. How's did the team do last week at Leisure Lanes? I hope my three-game high score still stands.



P.S. -- No Hard Rock Cafe in Prague -- had to settle for TGI Fridays. Bush league!

(c) 1994-2001 David and Chris Sturm
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