Looking Back, 5

A re-printing of “April 12th to April 18th Prague Journal Entries” (THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2007)

So, I’ve decided to go back in time. Just a little jump back to April of 2007 when I went to the Czech Republic for eleven days. For a brief moment, I tried to keep a journal while I was in Prague; however, I found myself enjoying my time there far too much to write. (Note: This is a two part journal entry and my April 10th Entry is posted before this one, so you might want to read that one first.)

April 12th, 2007

So, life is on hold for I am in the Czech Republic, which is quite far away from Los Angeles. I have left so much behind me. I don’t want to go back. Not yet. Not now. Not today.

I feel that life is also beginning anew. That a chapter has been finished and life is starting a fresh, like spring. Oh life, what do you have in store for me? Will I be ready to go back to Los Angeles on the 18th? What is it that makes me want to return? I have a short film that I want to do… Part of me feels like eleven days is not enough. I wish I could rent a flat here and stay for a month or even longer. I like that idea: going somewhere and renting a place for a couple months while I explore, write… And part of me likes the idea of living here in the future.

Prague is so beautiful. It is a magical wonderland. I’ve written to Mother and some friends. I love it here. I’m a bit nervous to be on my own in Prague (as I am now) but I like the city’s vibe very, very much. I think I’m going to get a phone while I am here. To be in contact with Tara and Jaime.

Here are some photographs from that day:

April 13th, 2007

I was walking down an archway and realized that there was a couple behind me. Quickly I stepped to my right and let them pass while taking my camera out and snapped a photograph of them.

April 14th, 2007

Reading the entries before this, I know that it was a good idea to come to Prague, because I feel re-energized.

Jaime, Jack and I walked up to Petrin Hill to met everyone. We had seen Tara the night before with her boyfriend, Steve, and their friend, Rian, who are here to shoot Rian’s movie, “Brother’s Bloom.” I was excited to see Miss. Tara, who is the instigator of this trip; the author; the reason why I ever flew across the Altantic on a whim. “I’ll be there. Why don’t we meet up?”

And boy was it a whim. I remember sitting in the Pig as we looked at plane tickets online for her. We started talking about how much fun it would be if I met up with her. I thought, “Oh, I don’t know. Would everyone be weirded out if I showed up? I only know Jaime…’

But it was fun just talking about it, but then she said, “Well, are you going to buy a ticket? You should fly British Airways. I am.” I thought about it for a couple days. Should I jump on a plane and go to Prague? I thought about going for a week, while Tara was there, but then I decided if I was to go that I’d extend my stay to eleven. I hoped Jaime would be alright with it, which she was when I asked. I have a place to stay. I have the money for the ticket. What was stopping me?

Fear.

But I picked up my cell, called up my Mother’s travel agent and got a good deal on a flight. Bam! I had my ticket in a matter of minutes. I was going to Prague. Holy cow! (However, I might just purchase the ticket myself next time, unless I do a combination of flights.)

Jaime, Jack and I met up with Tara and the crew up on top of Petrin Hill. We all took out our cameras and started taking photographs of the hillside – beautiful white flowered trees peppering the hill with a devastatingly beautiful view of Prague and the Castle. One of the most beautiful views I’ve seen in a long time.

The View From On Top of Petrin Hill

When the film changed locations, Tara and I left Petrin Hill. We took the “trolley” – it’s not really a Trolley, but some space like ride – down the hill and walked past a statue that Jaime had pointed out to me the other day. Not knowing its name, I dubbed it the “Freedom from Communism” statue. (I seem to remember that Jaime said it was called something like that.)

It’s beautiful and affects me differently than most tourists, who have never lived in a Communist Country. If you have any experience with Communism, you’ll be affected. What affected me so much about the statues was that it shows a man walking OUT of Communism. As he moves forward, he becomes more and more of a whole human being. The last man is half a man, while the man upfront is whole. Stunning!

“Freedom From Communism”

Close up of Man

Thursday we spent all day at the Charles Bridge while they shot and Tara and I snuck into the Old Town Square on several occasions. We found a health food store in one of the alleys and would periodically return to it for food. That night a group of us went to a fabulous restaurant called Pravda. It was a wonderful night out. There was a table of maybe ten of us and we sat around laughing and talking and were just in a jolly good mood.

Old Town Square

Yesterday, Tara and I hung around Wenceslas Square (Vaclavski Namesti) and Old Town Square. On my way to meet her, I took the tram from Jaime and Jack’s flat to the metro. I had to change from, I think, the yellow to the green line in order to get off at “Museum” stop. Unsure of exactly where I was going, I saw an older woman standing by what I thought was the train going to “Museum.” So I decided to approach her and ask her directions… This is how it went, sort of…

– “Dobrý den.” I said and I could tell immediately that she knew I was a foreigner. Although my Russian accent is quite good, it did not help me in Praha.

– “Dobrý den.” She said with a smile.

– I pointed to the train, or rather in the direction of where the train would be pulling up to let passengers on, and said “Museum, yo?”

– “Yo.” She nodded. Great I was at the right spot!

– “Děkuji.” I said and nervously walked a couple feet away in order to wait for the train.

Although that conversation was made up of six little words, I did it all in CZECH! Ha!

So, as I floated on my “I spoke six words of Czech and asked for directions” cloud, Tara and I roamed around the Vaclavski Namesti and found our way to Kafka’s house, which is in Old Town Square. Not much to see in there sadly.

Looking at Jaime and Jack’s Prague Travel book, I’ve covered the majority of the bases. Maybe I should walk around and take pictures.

April 18th, 2007

I spent yesterday walking through Josofov with Jaron, the 2nd Unit Director of Photography. Great guy! We saw the Spanish Synagogue – where I started to cry, because it was just that beautiful. I was in Josfov ten years ago, when I traveled to Europe with my parents – and remember it quite well. It is, by far, my favorite part of Praha.

Josofov Street

Met up with Kevin and Jessica. We made our way back into the Old Town Square where we went to the Mucha and Dali exhibits. The arwork was placed in different rooms of what could have been someone’s large apartment. I wish I had a photograph of the view from one of the rooms overlooking the square as the sun came down over the darker of the two churches.

Afterwards, Wade, Jaron and I had drinks in Vysherad as the sun set over Prague and then he had Thai with a group of people from the film…

Sunset from Vysherad

A photograph I had to take. It was like he was begging me to take it.

I do love Prague. While they were shooting at the Hotel Praha yesterday, I had a talk with Kevin, who said something very inspiring: Watching Rian do his film inspired Kevin to follow his filmmaking dream. As I thought about what Kevin had said, a strong feeling came over me. I am not truly happy in Los Angeles. I want to be somewhere that makes me as happy as Prague makes Jaime. I want to wake up excited about where I live.

But something else Kevin said made an impact as well. Rian was following his dream. We were witnessing his dream come true, after all his hard work. Rian inspired me through example. And so, standing on the back patio of the Hotel Praha, I picked up my phone and called my Mother and told her that I had made the big decision to move to New York or London in 1 to 2 years. When I told Jaron, he said to do it in 1 1/2 years and to make a date… which would be September 1, 2008.

You have to believe in yourself. I have to stop questioning and wondering and worrying and just know that it will be beautiful and good.

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