Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Sorry, but Fuck that Walk

(I have a great story to tell you, but only two (low quality) pictures. I guess I will revert to my old days of recreating my facial expressions at the time. You're welcome, of course.)

After Terezin, we returned to Rehlovice, Lenka's old farmhouse turned art studio and gallery.

Before Terezin, I caught a horrible coldish flu. I tried to set it free but it would not go. The night before returning to Rehlovice I was wearing all of my sweatshirts and shivering under two blankets. I felt a little better the next day, but still wanted to nap constantly.

In the morning, Lenka was running errands and her mom was left to entertain us. Remember how the first time we met her mother, she was wearing nothing but a black bra and underwear?

Her name was something Czech but her nickname was Bohous (Bo-hoosh). She was constantly talking to us but did not speak a word of English. Sometimes she was drawing pictures to tell us things and other times she was playing charades or motioning to objects in the room.

She also let us read her diary, which had a mini picture for each day. The pictures ranged from mini-doodles to elaborate, colored pictures to pages which utilized stickers and gel pens. 

Anyway, we woke up to this note:

 [Ignore Minnesota, that was me showing Julia the shape of Lake Superior]

Why the king was relevant, we had no idea. For some reason we thought the walk might lead us to pick up Lenka or else Bohous' grandkids (last night she had said the word "tomorrow" in relation to them during some mis-communicated story).

I had a sinus headache and slime dripping from my nose.

It was pretty hot out too.

We walked along the side of a highway, stopping constantly to learn the Czech words for grass, sky, horse, and anything else Bohous could point to. She made us stop next to an ugly bush and smell it for nearly ten minutes before we figured out that Pivo, pivo ("beer, beer") meant we were smelling hops.

At this point I may have felt something like this:

We also stopped at a tourist advertisement (in Czech) and learned where we were on the map in relation to historical places, but not why such places were historical.

Eventually we came to a park with a loonnngg path that lead to a statue of a plow. Of course, Bohous marched our sniffling faces right over there.

Photo number one.

I know, right? You can hardly see the tip of the plow. Bohous insisted it was a "tractor" (in English) but I knew better. She also pointed to the monument and said something about Vaclav Havel. We had no idea why this place was important, but it said 1945 on the side.

We walked, walked, walked walked.

Eventually, we came to a tiny bar in the middle of the countryside. (One can find alcohol anywhere in the Czech Republic.) There was a plaque on the outside; I think it was a historical bar.

Bohous obviously decided to buy us large beers at noon that day. A blonde three-year-old with ice cream smudges on his face carried them over to us. The bartender was so excited to see us there that he let us try a free beer with a really high alcohol content AND some port.

Now we were sick, hot, and drunk.

We thought at this point we would turn back or meet someone or...

Instead, we walked down a dirt road lined with cottages, yelling, "HALLO! HALLO!" (Bohous started it.)



"Why are we doing this?" I ask Julia.

"Why are we drunk?" A logical answer.

My last picture was wasted on a garden filled with kitsch. I was merely excited because the word was the same in German (Bohous is bilingual, just not in English) and English. The camera promptly died.

We walked and walked. Bohous pointed to some green gunk in a stream and asked Julia for the English word.

"Muck," she said, despite my argument that "algae" would have been more appropriate.

Next, Bohous walked up to a cottage and rang the doorbell on the gate. "Friend? Colleague? Boyfriend?" we asked in Czech.

Nope. A woman strolled out in her bathrobe and Bohous asked her for directions.
 Where were we going.

We made it to a little stone wall with a bronze lion head spitting water. Bohous told us to drink it. We weren't convinced until she drank it herself and washed her face. The water was refreshing, but it made my nose run to bend over and drink it.

Bohous pointed to the fountain and said, "Clean," to the river and said, "Muck." Then she taught us the Czech words for "clean" and "muck."

"Clean, muck." "Cisni, spinovae." said we. Over and over.

After doing some meditational pose per Bohous' request, we started walking back. It took a really long time if you were wondering. I was less drunk, equally sick, and more hot. 

On the way back, we wanted to learn the Czech national anthem from Bohous, but our only strategy for asking was to sing the American national anthem and then say, "Cesky??" This did not work. Eventually, she did teach us some sort of marching song. We sang it many times walking on the edge of a sidewalk-less road. Excuse me, marching. Bohous had us march, which is how we came to the conclusion it was a marching song.

When we returned, hours later, Julia said, "I'm sorry, but fuck that walk." I whole-heartedly agreed. Though now I love the story so much that I'm glad it happened.


  1. Hahaha oh gosh, all those details make it so much worse than you explained in your letter.

  2. "...I caught a horrible coldish flu. I tried to set it free but it would not go. " hahaha

  3. You've reached a new level of hotness is these pictures.

    My favorite part is when you're all walking down a path yelling, "HALLO," and you have no idea why.