prague

[written 27/5/18]

what i wanted was: a city that would remind me that there is love to be found and life to be had. what i got was: a couple of expensive meals, some stares from locals, many awkward & painful silences, sweaty foreheads, interrogation … what i wanted was a Romantic city, i wanted “having a coke with you”, i wanted kafka’s presence in a cafe. i wanted to feel intelligent and to live out a brief dream. i don’t really know what the dream was — i just wanted to leave myself, but all i returned to, over & over again, was myself, and not the parts that i like. all i got was a girl who picks fights, who feels nervous & tense all the time, who puts on an accent to distance herself from the other “chinese tourists” etc. etc. etc. travelling is not romantic: it’s long as hell. why do people do it? the feeling that you have to see as much as possible, try as much as possible, feel something etc. but mostly i felt tired & anxious. today, though, i felt happy because we stopped to have ice cream and we could sit under an umbrella at a cafe with an ashtray. and j said, “you’re such a simple girl.” because all it takes to make me happy is ice cream and the allowance to smoke. but it’s not true: i’m not a simple girl, not easy to please: it’s not that ice cream and smoking are all it takes to make me happy: it’s that they’re the only things that make me happy. there’s a difference. otherwise i would have been happy when i saw the view before the prague castle courtyard, otherwise i would have been happy at the sight of the castle itself, but i was not. perhaps that’s what i wanted all along: coffee, ice cream, cigarettes. i wanted to go somewhere else to smoke. i wanted to visit where kafka lives and write something that would be loved by someone else. but the gift shop at the kafka museum didn’t even sell his journals or letters. what kind of gift shop is that? what do you really know about franz kafka? he had problems with his father–he worked with an accident prevention insurance type company–he wrote many things–asked his friend to burn them–and then he died. he lived in prague. the museum was good, but i couldn’t read any of the artefacts because they were in czech. i don’t have wanderlust–i don’t ever want to travel anywhere–i just came here for franz and then i forgot about him/didn’t know how to read him/ran out of time because we arrived at the museum an hour before closing.

you can’t change people and you can’t change the place you’re in. i wish i knew what to do, but i don’t. i wish everything had been different from the start, but it isn’t. you can’t change people or the place you’re in. all you can do is choose to be kind to them. “you’re such a simple girl.” all you want to do is drink coffee and smoke and stare at the people and things around you until you love them.

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