The moment you know you’re in the right place

It happens on a Wednesday, that is an otherwise unremarkable day. You wake up at 9:30 or 10 am, despite the fact that you were up until two the night before. You have an email in your inbox from someone you write for whose colleague wants to give you work. You want to kiss her on the mouth for recommending you.

You have a cereal bar for breakfast while you write an article that you have pending for another client. Then you teach a couple of online classes. You can sub a few more in the afternoon, but you haven’t done any substantial writing for yourself in a couple of days, so you pass and take a train to city center. There’s a part of the train ride between Borislavka and Dejvicka on the green line where the lights are on in the tunnel. Because you’re kind of a geek and super into that, you time it perfectly so you can film it as you pass. When the train gets more crowded, the young guy in front of you gives up his seat to the old lady that steps on at Mustek. And even though it’s what you’re supposed to do, you think it’s the sweetest thing.

Prague Metro

You go by the main train station to pick up a monthly transportation pass, because you haven’t gotten one yet and you’re running out of change. The guy speaks English which is already an improvement from the last time you did this. Now you don’t have to worry about buying a ticket every time you ride the metro or getting stopped by a transportation officer. And ironically, you end up walking 20 minutes instead of riding the train in search of somewhere to stop and eat. You end up at Paul, which is the European equivalent of McDonald’s, but they have outlets and it’s mostly empty, and you know you won’t end up being accidentally disappointed.

You spend the next three hours there, working on your computer. And you love Prague because this is the kind of place where you don’t feel weird or out of place doing that, because there are at least three people around you doing the same thing. After a couple of hours, you hit a wall, and even though you’ve had a latte, you keep yawning. You consider going home and having a nap, but decide to walk 15 minutes to a bar instead. You walk down a street you’ve never seen before. There’s a long craft market there, and even though you’re not looking to buy wooden puppets or paintings of Prague, you enjoy looking at the handmade crafts anyway. You come upon the Gallery of Architecture and Design, which you didn’t even know existed. They’re having an exhibit until the end of the month titled “Is Architecture Sexy?” Because you’re the kind of person who would answer yes to that question, you bookmark this so you can return before it’s over.

Is Architecture Sexy? at the Galerie Jaroslava Fragnera until 9/25/16.
Is Architecture Sexy? at the Galerie Jaroslava Fragnera until 9/25/16.

You finally arrive at your destination: Hemingway Bar. This bar smells better than any bar you’ve ever been to with the faint aroma of wood and bitters. You sit at the bar and order every cocktail made with Mezcal on the menu. Because it’s kind of a speakeasy and they don’t allow computers, you start scribbling notes on a random piece of paper in your bag. The two Australians next to you are drinking absinthe, but you don’t want to make that mistake twice in one week. You ask the bartender to make you anything he wants with Mezcal.

The Mezcal Sour at Hemingway Bar.
The Mezcal Sour at Hemingway Bar.

He makes you a cocktail with ginger and lime juice, which is one of the best things you’ve ever tasted. When you ask him what it’s called so you know to order it next time, he says “It’s called ‘Special Drink for Pretty Girl at the Bar.'” Could this guy be more adorable? Actually he can. A few minutes later, he asks you what you’re working on and listens riveted at the plot of the story you’re trying to write.

When you finally cut yourself off, you cringe at the bill, before realizing that after you convert it to dollars, it’s only like $25 and not $80. And as you leave, more drunk than you realized, you’re greeted with this view.

Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge at dusk

You don’t even have to walk across Charles Bridge to get home but you do anyway, because you can’t believe you live here. In that moment, nothing can wipe the grin off your face, and you realize that of all the places in the world you could possibly be at this particular moment in time, you are right where you’re supposed to be.

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