London Bridge fell down

“What would you like to drink?” the airline steward asked as we flew over a sleeping continent. Next to the dark window, the Czech woman to my left lifted her head and said, “I’ll have red wine.” Till that point I hadn’t been sure of her nationality because her monosyllabic responses had not provided enough ground to determine an accent, but she said wine with a pronounced ‘v’ at the beginning. I chuckled to myself, how Czech of her to ask for wine with her meal. They do love their spirits.

Then, while still laughing at the stereotype sitting next to me, I asked for a coffee. I’m an American and some habits die hard. Conscious of this, I turned to the man on my right. Would he give us culturally-predictable tick-tack-toe?

“And you, sir?” asked the steward.

Looking up from his newspaper, the thin British man in his mid-40’s said, “I’ll have a spot of tea, please. Cheers.”

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Okay, who broke the sky?

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Outside the Rodulfinum concert hall in Prague.

Seriously, who broke the weather? I don’t understand. Wet stuff keeps falling from the sky. It’s like someone pulled the plug on a magical layer of the lower atmosphere and the galaxy is draining through the hole in liquid form all over Prague.

As pretty as everything looks all sparkly and wet… I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS. I came to Prague with one pair of pants, two pairs of walking shoes (which are already worn through) and several cardigans. I thought to myself, when it gets cold in November, I’ll buy a winter wardrobe. Even the people I talked to at the school said September stays pretty warm.

How was I to know that “warm” can also be translated as “chilly,” “windy,” and even “cold?”

I grew up loving the rain. In San Diego it rains like twice a year and those two days are our snow days. School doesn’t happen. Hot coco is made. Frolicking in puddles occurs. And when we’re cold and soaked down to our DNA, we head inside and get warm (I mean actually warm – none of this 62 degrees thing). It’s beautiful, it’s rare, and it’s very regulated.

But here I don’t have the option to head back inside when I’m done. I have to get to school to teach, I have to wait for the next bus. I certainly don’t get hot chocolate and – as we’ve already covered – I don’t exactly have warm clothes to change into.

On top of this, I’m also still adjusting to the basic practice of hanging laundry on a clothesline. It’s not as romantic as it always looks in books and movies. There is no running through white sheets blowing in hot summer breezes. There is not a magical glow that makes everything look clean and fairy-like. It’s just a bunch of plastic clothespins holding up your undergarments for the whole neighborhood to see. (I actually strung some dental floss between my bed post and the bottom of my bedroom window because some things just shouldn’t be aired in public – the only downside is that now everything I own smells a little minty).

I had just gotten used to this system of drying clothes when this rain stuff started happening. Like, c’mon.

I began checking Prague Weather on Google before starting a load of laundry to find out if I had enough time to wash the clothes (2 hours with European washing machines) and then dry them (and you have to start pre-4 p.m. to get the light or it’s pointless) before the next rain shower.

One particularly busy day I forgot to bring it all in. At 2 a.m. I was awakened by the horrifying spatter of rain against my window. My consciousness immediately jumped to one awful thought: my laundry!

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