Friday, 2 October 2009

Ziel Praha (a).

In the name of God, most merciful most compassionate.

The main reason why I traveled to Prague is to visit Akmal’s brother who’s studying in Olomouc. At least, it could serve as an excuse to travel and to kill some time before the new semester begins.

I might have underestimated the long and tiring travel from Deggendorf to Prague but knowing that you’re not the only one to have fooled yourself is good enough to neuter the disappointment.

The station at Germany-Czech border is the famous Bayerische Eisenstein. Although it should be famous historically, visitors do not look that enthusiastic. There, were only the three of us plus one visitor in the history gallery. There were no ATM machine although there’s always a need for one. If one wants to use a WC then he or she would have to cross the red line separating Germany and Czech Republic, but it’s not as far as it sounds. Here in this secluded area, their get-together occasion is at best; a flea market. Truly, the ambience is not welcoming.

The only logical explanation why they don’t have an ATM machine there is they’d want to make extra profit from the dishonorable practice of currency trade. They would gladly take your one Euro for the value of 20 Kroners when the market value is about 25 Kroners.

So we proceeded. There’s nothing wrong with the Czech train that we took from there except that it is relatively slow (compared to the DB) and that the toilets in that train ‘opens’ directly to the railway instead of septic tanks. I for one would not walk that trail.

After a long while in the train, from one station to another, we arrived at Prague or what the locals would call; Praha. This place is full of beautiful buildings, tourists, ‘restauraces’ and rubbish. I personally think that Czech people love to put unnecessary decorations on their buildings. I learnt that ancient Egyptians had lots of columns to support their structures because they couldn’t quite make up the use of arches. I learnt that they had Pylons to make sunrise and sunset clearly visible. But why on earth would someone attach a gigantic door knob on his or her wall? Why would statues of fathers and sons (bulky) be erected on the corners of a fine building. Verily, they are trying hard to look good.

From Praha, we took another train to Olomouc. Before that, we took a short walk in the city. Not far from the train station is the building of Malaysian Diplomatic Mission to the Czech Republic. I thought I could use this facility to perform my Prayer as it was already getting late, but to my disappointment, this one is just as dysfunctional as many others. I later performed my prayer in the train.

We were so hungry that we decided to eat at one of the many ‘restauraces’ by the pavement. We sat down and waited and thought about what we would like to eat and waited some more. No one attended us! The waitress and waiters saw us raising our hands, but they were too busy standing and looking around. A ’white’ couple took of after a while, not able to withstand the unfriendliness anymore. Then a waiter came, slow and sluggish as he approached us, unfit for the world as he seemed, but nonetheless; friendly. The special deal for the day was mushroom soup poured into a container bread. Looks nice and delicious and it’s only for 199 Kroners. Why not.

Me and Akmal ordered two of those. If I were to be the waiter, I would immediately know the type of customer I serve from the way he or she orders his or her foods, as to say; I could definitely tell a Veggie from a non-Veggie.

They prepared the soups amazingly fast. When it was already ready for serving, we learnt that the soup, what the Menu describes to contain only mushrooms (no trace of the word pig or ham or the like in the English description) has ham slices. The waiter tried to talk some sense to us and tried to convince us to see that somehow that was our mistake. He said that Czech people would always include pig flesh in their cooking as to not have it ‘bland’. For Pete’s sake. We were then, too careful with our choice of food, which is really a good thing.
I ate only the Omelet, but I also have to pay for the soup. So I ‘mutilated’ the soup without eating it as to deter the waiter from hogging it later on or to prevent the owner from re-selling it. Akmal did the same thing.

Before long, we were already on our way to Olomouc.

We arrived at Olomouc hl. n. at about 22:54. The train station looks rather ugly although it is adequately facilitated. Akmal’s brother was already on a bench, waiting. It’s the trains fault we’re not punctual.
We took a tramp to the university campus, the ‘DPMO’. It was a joyride, but they should have regular ticket checks…to be continued

No comments: