Prague, January 1999
I was getting a bit sad recently since I had no good travel plans in sight. This year has been a banner year for me in terms of travel (well, except for the year with Semester at Sea) and I am thrilled to add another trip to such a great city. The trip is not until November, so I have plenty of time to plan and get excited. Even though I am going for work, I am thinking about extending my trip and possibly hitting either Vienna or Budapest (both remain unvisited) while I am in the neighborhood.
I've ben to Prague once, in January 1999 to celebrate my 25th Birthday. We had all just moved to Amsterdam and it wasn't so shocking that I couldn't convince any of my colleague/friends to travel with me to the Czech Republic in the fridgid month of January. Of course, this was before Ashbloem moved to Amsterdam-- I am sure she would have accompanied me without question. And we would have had a damn good time.
So I went on my own to celebrate surviving my first quarter-century.
I've travelled a lot on my own, albeit mostly for work. Traveling alone on purpose for vacation is totally different (at least to me it is). In some ways it is liberating. You see exactly what you want to see, when you want to see it. Sleep in until noon one day? Sure! Stay up late chatting with people in the corner bar? Why not! Spend hours hunting for the perfect garnet ring? Great! Of course on the downside I had no one to point and giggle with when that crazy parade chanced upon me with people wearing the most outlandish costumes possible (one guy with his face painted bright green had a costume made out of barbie dolls and was playing a trombone. Seriously). And there's no one I can reminisce with about that time we froze our asses off in Prague in January.
One of the most memorable parts of my trip was going to see the opera, La Boheme, all by myself. This may not be a big deal to some people out there, but for me it was. I felt suddenly, and appropriately, very grown up in my smart dress in that very lavish opera house having turned 25 years old on that very day.
Even though my colleagues didn't come with me, they sent me a huge bouquet of flowers, champagne and a fruit plate so I felt loved despite their absence.
In other news....
I had lunch with the new president of my division last Thursday. He asked me one strange question that I am a bit nervous about... whether I would consider moving to India (either Delhi or Chennai) to further our presence there locally. As much as I would jump at the chance to move abroad again, I am not sure that I could do India. It is, after all, the place responsbile for my loss of the ability to eat delicious treats like cheese, ice-cream, cheesecake and all other things dairy. Funny, when people learn about my aversion to dairy I am often asked if I can eat eggs. I've got news for you: EGGS ARE NOT MADE FROM DAIRY PRODUCTS. They come straight out of a chicken. Not from milk, a cow, a goat, or a buffalo. OK, I'm glad that's straightened out now.