Monday, April 20, 2009

Good dates, bad dates and stuff in between

I have been meaning to update my blog with pictures of Africa for some considerable time but I’ve been so bloody busy I haven’t had time to eat most evenings, let alone hook up a camera.

It all started a few weeks ago when I not only started my new job, but decided I was going to tackle this hideous noise they call the Czech language, start boxing again and train for a 25km race in Berlin on May 10th.

The new job is actually copywriting (again). Which is a few steps down from my previous position and probably a zero off the pay slip, but in this economic climate who can argue? So my days of fancy apartments with sea views and 2000 Euro frocks are well and truly over. But bizarrely I am somehow happier. I work in the middle of a gorgeous park with castle views. The people are really lovely. The work may become a little dull eventually though.

The Czech course takes up 3 nights a week for 2 hours a night. Doesn’t sound that much but it does mean that I don’t get home until 9pm. I really do wish the Czechs spoke something reasonable, like Spanish. Or at least didn’t think you were a total idiot when you got things wrong. An example of how unforgiving the Czechs can be is the word for Germany, Nemecko, which actually comes from the root word Nemy which means dumb (as in can’t speak). So they even thought their neighbours were idiots for not speaking Czech. Actually the Germans ARE idiots for not speaking Czech… I mean really, who wants to speak German? Silly language. You have to question the logic of a language in which the word Schweinefleisch is considered appetising.

Ironically by the time I learn this language I will have nobody to speak to because I will have had absolutely no social life.

On the good side though I am in bed by 10, which means I can wake up at 5.30am twice a week and go to an early morning boxing class. When I am not boxing I run at lunch times. Sometimes my colleague, the art director, joins me. He is Serbian. He hates spring because it is ‘too chaotic, with all that green shit coming from everywhere and all that bird noise’. Cheerful people upset him. He doesn’t like any sport where he has to buy equipment, and so he runs in jeans and no shirt. We make an odd couple. Sometimes we drink vodka in the office. Often we take 3 hour lunch breaks and go to an exhibition, which I am assured is legitimate and deserved creative time.

I have learned lots of useful Czech. My favourite phrases are ‘mate smutney zivot’ (you have a sad life), To je ne smysl (that is nonsense), laska je slepa (love is blind) and Bezel jsem pomala jako snek (I was running but I am slow like snail). By using these sentences in varying orders I have managed to convince at least one person in the office that I can speak Czech and that I am pretty goddamn funny.

Running goes well, touch wood, this weekend I ran 17km on a hangover. The only reason I stopped running was that I got hungry. I like to run by the river and around Vysehrad which is this beautiful old walled village that got swallowed up by the city at some point. I am discovering new places all the time. I also became a bit of a twicher, I like watching the birds. An old shoulder injury is playing up a little when I run. It usually goes away after a few yoga sessions though so I have to try and find time to fit that in this week. The only downside to all this running is that I have become so super fit that I am not finding the boxing classes even remotely challenging. My friends collapse gasping on the floor and I haven’t even worked up a sweat.

Aside from Czech and running induced solitude, I also had a sort of date this weekend, which is a bit of a result in this manless town. And that is actually no joke. I heard that there are 164 000 single women in this city… the population is only 1.2 million, which means that if you can even get a guy to say hello to you its cause for celebration. The number of single men in Prague is two. And they are both gay.

Anyway myself and my ‘sort of date’ got shamelessly drunk until 4am. He is about a gazillion feet tall and has a broken nose which I sort of have a thing for. I don’t know why, too much time around rugby players and boxers I suppose. Which beats the sort of date I had last week...

The man turned out to be shorter than me, stranger than me (yes it’s possible) was outrageously late and then made me pay for half of my meal, which sucked because he had ordered a really expensive bottle of wine. Needless to say I will not be seeing him again. Bashed up face I can handle, shortness and wine stingyness is intolerable and unforgivable.

Many more dates like that and I will have to consider going back to England where the men are drunk and tall. They’re pretty easy too. Slags. Ho hum.

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