Today was Prague's last chance to reveal its charms to us, but because of yesterday's rapid-fire tour there was no big sights left to see. The clouds still loomed above us, so we looked for a museum to hide in during the morning. The large natural history museum was undergoing a five year renovation, and was operating temporarily out of a small ground floor exhibition space nearby. For two dollars entry fee we spent a bit of time admiring Czech inventors and in a display that had plenty of English descriptions - always a pleasant surprise - and some hands-on stuff too. Sadly, none of the natural history was on display at all, but from the sounds of the renovation the new museum will be seriously impressive upon completion in 2015 and worth a return trip.
We wandered outside in some light drizzle looking for a bite to eat, and found ourselves on a shopping strip. After finding a smoothie bar and having a baguette myself and a cup of muesli in Sam's case, we decided to head our separate ways as Sam didn't feel like going to another museum. I took the opportunity to do a video call to my cousins, who then insisted I find a Prague person to speak to. Reluctantly I returned to the smoothie counter and turned the phone to her. An awkward wave and hello from both ends and I said thanks, hung up, and left the country in embarrassment.
I had intended to make my way to a modern art gallery but at the location given there was nothing there. Apparently some of the museums have closed down in the last few years. I was in the old town and so wandered back through the streets to the square and astrological clock we flew by previously. I then spied a banner than had caught my eye yesterday - a Salvador Dali exhibition - and made a beeline for the gallery. While many of the works were numbered pieces from editions up to three hundred prints, and thus slightly underwhelming in that respect, a couple of original sculptures and a large copy of "Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening", which inspired a great album and song by dredg, made the visit well worth it. And hey, with the currency, the entry fee was basically nothing.
I purchased a new backpack, as the one I had brought from home was old and had begun to fall apart. Given the risk of pickpocketing or losing something out of a hole, the $75 seemed like money well spent, particularly for a light, cool Samsonite bag. The old one will be donated to our hotel when we leave.
And there we have it. A new nadir of the blog. The least interesting day in our least interesting city on an already boring website. Sam is constantly looking forward to something coming up, be it shopping, a musical or cupcakes. I feel an odd resentment of the future, a tendency to want to wallow in the now. Not in a 'do as much as you can because you never know what will happen next' way, but in a mix of clinginess and apathy to the way things are. I enjoy spontaneous opportunities happening to me, but I find it difficult to go out and chase them. How's that for uninspiring?
Can I fairly be sick of something if I didn't engage with it? Is it my fault for not trying harder to see the appeal of this city, or did Prague just not try with me? Or did it try, but what I got is not what I hoped for? I did not have a bad time here, but I did not have a great one either. The best thing about it was its affordability. (We just got back from a classy Thai restaurant - spring roll entree, massaman curry, side of rice, pint of beer, deep fried ice cream, flaming B-52 for $25.) There was a certain distance between the city and I, and I don't know why. I am ready for a new city, and Berlin sounds like just the place to go next.
Worst ending ever.