Friday, August 04, 2006

Max’s Happy Morning

It’s Friday. Maybe that is why so many people seem to be in good spirits.

Last Friday the temperature got up to about 34ºC. That is 34ºC with high humidity and without air conditioning. The temperature right now is about 16ºC. Maybe that is why people’s moods have lifted.

I got up on time this morning, but I still left my house late. I’ve realised that most of the time it’s just because I don’t really want to leave my house at all. I got downstairs and a blast of air reminded me that it was cold out and that the coming rain would therefore be cold. I went back upstairs for a cardigan and an umbrella. I own two umbrellas in spite of the fact that I hate umbrellas, but I could not find either one.

The construction on the tram lines near my house has been under way for nearly 5 weeks. Still over 3 weeks to go. The middle of the main road of my part of Žižkov is an open pit. The tram rails have been dug up and everything under them is being repaired or replaced. The pavements have also been torn to pieces because there are electricity cables for the trams and who knows what else under them. There is not a lot of room to walk. But because of the construction, instead of turning the first corner and being at the tram stop, I have to walk about a kilometre to get to the next one. Sure, there are buses, but I prefer walking.

There were lots of old people out this morning and as I was walking towards the tram stop, they kept getting in my way. But I held my swearing under my breath and didn’t knock anyone over. I only sneered a little bit at the Jehovah’s Witness who stands glassy-eyed by my tram stop with her magazines.

I got off the tram in front of my bank. I walked in and saw the same young man that had helped me two days ago. I approached his desk and he looked up. I smiled and he smiled. He remembered me. Being foreign is sometimes an advantage. When I told him that I was again having problems with internet banking, that I had already fucked up the new code he had given me on Wednesday, he just smiled some more and said he would give me another new code. We talked about what had gone wrong and how to make sure nothing goes wrong this time. He was really sweet and didn’t treat me like I was stupid (which I probably would have done if we had traded shoes). I left the bank feeling good.

I decided to stop and get a coffee on my way to the office. There are not a lot of places to get take-away coffee in Prague, but a bakery near my work makes a decent latte. In Starbucks sizes, it would be “teeny-weeny”, but it’s normal over here. Every time I go to that particular bakery, it seems they have hired someone new who has not yet learned to use the register and who will probably never learn because her iq is only 32. But this time there were 3 of them at the counter, meaning a combined iq high enough to not only use the register, but also to make the coffee quickly. And all three of those girls smiled at me too.

There has been no rain.

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