Thursday, July 2, 2009

City planners 1,200 years ago didn't think about how confusing their roads are for American tourists

As I am finding out it doesn't matter where you go in Europe, everyone is obsessed with Michael Jackson. Yes, Michael Jackson was a great musician and all, I get that his death made news but with only a couple channels in English it is pretty much all Michael Jackson. Both in Strasbourg and Frankfurt there was a channel running 24/7 as a Michael Jackson montage. Then we met some local who in broken English claimed to have cried for 3 days over his death! Seriuosly? He may have been on drugs and a bit crazy and not the best representative of other Europeans but still. And then we get to Prague and sure enough, more Michael... I can only assume the continuous coverage is worse in the States. Anyways! Yesterday was a long day. We had a presentation at the European Union Bank in Frankfurt. The presenter was a press secretary and was smart and knowledgable, but incredibly dry. After the first hour it was a struggle just to keep my eyes open. So I resorted to what any good student would do, I doodled; and made quite the kick ass flip book if I do say so myself. So after the less than inspriring presentation we piled onto the bus and took off for an 8ish hour ride to Prague. Low and Behold our bus breaks down in the middle of Timbuktu, Germany leaving us stranded for 4 hours until the repair men come and fix us up within 15 minutes. So we hit the road again, and pull into Prague around 11:00. So we got some local tip that there was a club within walking distance, but people were feeling lazy so we climbed into a cab which is good because not only was it a 15 minute drive (crossing the same river twice, perhaps not the most direct route) but Prague doesn't know what a straight road is. Every single road zigs and zags, some on cobble stone, some not, some with trains passing by, some not, some one way, some not. Whoever the city planner was some 1,200 odd years ago when this city was build clearly didn't take into account that American tourists could easily become lost. But if nothing else, we got an early tour of the city via a crazy speeding cabbie.
We had class this morning then followed up with a proper tour of the city. It is a beautiful place with so much history. We saw all kinds of interesting things and although I took a ton of pictures I fear they will hardly do it justice. It got its independence back in the early 1900 but since then has been under both Nazi and Soviet control until about 20 years ago. It is by far the most Westernized city and since freedom from the Soviets they have been trying to catch up on everything Westernized (there are a ton of McDonald's here).
That's all for now!

1 comment:

  1. MJ's death was pretty big for all of 48 hours I think. Then most normal people went back to their lives.
    I think Europeans and Asisans are mourning his death more than America. (The way I see it, we Americans may not have the best school systems in the world, but at least we don't go crazy over the death of a guy who was psycho for his last 10-15 years.)

    I don't know how much TV press MJ is getting, but it's thankfully quieted down. I think the best part of his death was going to the Madison Mallards game---all the songs they played over the loudspeaker were classic MJ. It was great! Lots of people tried to moonwalk, as well as do the Thriller choreography.