Monday, October 31, 2011

Devil in the Wee City

Ustek had a wee widdle synagogue.

It was small for political reasons that are not so wee and cute but there is not ample time to explain them here.

[Rather artsy photo of the interior]

Ustek had some funky homes called "The Birdhouses" which were built by Italian trainworkers. (Maybe for political reasons again, but who can say really?)

[See how they're all stacked and whatnot? That's what I call funky.]

Ustek also had a Devil's Museum. I have no idea why such a museum exists. Perhaps it displays art and folklore related to devil's throughout the years? Sounds delightfully educational, the Hermione in me said. 

NO. This was not educational nor delightful. One couldn't even use the word "museum" for it really. It was more like an elaborate, drawn-out, shoddy "performance" with furry costumes and no English subtitles.

The opening act starred an aging artist who enjoyed carving devils out of wood. (Trust me, the man passed a wooden baby devil around for all of us to examine.)

[Actually, I bet some of his work is in this very photo...]

Aging Artist beat on a drum theatrically and shouted in Czech (understandably so, we Americans were very much outnumbered) while holding up different devil decorations: tall ones, fat ones, moving ones, etc.

The audience chuckled a bit; maybe one or two of the children were frightened, but their faces showed no sign of it. Aging Artist ignored the chuckles and kept a straight face. Best actor in the museum award goes to him.

[This one was a robot, just like at Chuck E. Cheese.]

Naturally, he made Hannah the volunteer, as everyone present thought it was HILARIOUS that we didn't speak Czech. This guy did know "hello" and "elbow" in English, but otherwise no dice. 

Next we crossed the road and headed into a cave for act two. 

This cave used to be a place to store hops for brewing beer, but today it contains sweaty teenagers dressed up like sooty-faced devils. 

A short time into the... er, show, Lenka turned to us. 

They're drunk, she whispered. 

Yes, I was in a cave with drunk sweaty teenagers dressed up as sooty-faced devils. 

Drunk and bad at acting. Though that was the last picture I took, this museum went on and on. We kept going into different rooms of the cave where they tried to scare us in new ways, still speaking in Czech mind you. When we got to the furthest point in the cave two new actors were introduced. Lovely. One was even a leading lady. By the time the devilish teens were making each and every person in the audience turn a crank for some unknown reason, we'd had it. We left the cave to get pizza.

One of the German guys was left behind though. He informed us that the show ended with the devils having a volunteer go in a cage and making the children sing a song before they would let the person out. 

Yep. The pizza was better.


  1. Oh my goodness Christie! That does not sound fun at all, I'm glad you went out for pizza instead!
    Did you have to pay to get into the museum? Was the caves part of the museum?
    Does Hannah always get picked to volunteer?
    I would hate that if everyone was laughing but I didn't know what they were saying :/

    Quite the adventure!!!

    Talk to you soon :0

    Love you Christie!

  2. This title reminds me of "Big Trouble in Little China."

    When you told me about the demon museum, I thought of something completely different and considerably more polished. Sweaty tie dye guy is really not what I expected.

    Everything else is very cool!

  3. Hahaha yeah, it was pretty lame. And yes the caves were part of it. Hannah and Julia both got picked, I was lucky! It was pretty awkward. Makes a good story though.