Sometimes you get on a bus to Prague. Granted, usually you don’t. Usually you wake up and go about your business. But sometimes, if the conditions are just are right, the only acceptable course of action is to get on a bus to Prague.
That’s how it was this morning, or rather right now. This morning the only acceptable course of action was to buy a bus ticket to Prague, since I couldn’t stay in Berlin because it was too expensive and I have it in my head that Berlin hostels are dirty and full of dirty people. This probably isn’t true. But maybe it is. And in Prague the hostel will cost $6 and if it’s dirty (it won’t be), or people are snoring (I’ll be snoring), I can just get a room for $20 a night and bask in anonymity and loneliness and a strange desire to drink gross amounts of pivo.
Though to be perfectly honest, I prefer tea.
People are filtering onto the bus, and one of them looks oppressively Czech. Maybe it’s the mustache. This bus continues on to Vienna, which seems a small miracle. Travel in Europe always seems like a small miracle. If you get on a bus for five hours in Washington State, the most interesting place you could go is Spokane, a city known for cold weather and felonies. But if you get on a bus for five hours (or less) in Berlin you can get off in Hamburg, or Denmark, or Poland, or Leipzig, or of course Prague.
After Copenhagen, Berlin was a boost for my soul. I’m going to be honest: In Copenhagen I went off the rails a bit. What does going off the rails entail? For starters, it involves spending too much money. It also involves drinking too much beer, though for me at this point in my life anything more than a sip is too much. I don’t know what happened, but my body no longer tolerates beer. It makes me tired and cranky. Wine I can still sort of drink. I like to have one glass of wine, sip it slowly, barely feel the effects, and then after an hour inexplicably feel relaxed and jovial. If you don’t want to drink beer, you’ll feel like a bit of an outsider in Berlin. Though to be fair this is probably also true in Prague. I don’t know. This is basically my first time in Prague, since I don’t really count the real first time. The real first time was in 2012, and it was not ideal. I stayed with a girl who I thought liked me, but it turned out, to make a long story short, as they say, to sum things up, as they say, to put it in a nutshell, as they say, to cut to the chase, as they say, to “go to the grain,” as they say in Spanish, to get to the point, as they say, to spit it out, as they say, to tell it like it is, as they say, she didn’t like me. Not even a little bit. You might even say she “disliked me,” though at this point it’s a hard to tell. The whole situation was confusing and involved sleeping on a couch and hugging at a bus stop. The situation also involved not really seeing Prague, since my mind was in another place. But this time my mind is in the right place. My mind is focusing on the already waning light of this Berlin afternoon as we struggle to make our way out of the city amidst confusing roads and hordes of cars. My mind is more at peace than it was this morning, because I know what I’m doing, at least for the next few days. I’m going to Prague. I’m going to the Czech Republic. Who knows after that, and, to be frank, who really cares?