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Last Day in the Czech Republic

August 26, 2012

Well, it’s my last full day in Prague.  And my last day in the Czech Republic, except for a short visa run I’ll make to Ostrava in a couple of weeks.  I barely scratched the surface.  But since my destination is now Poland, it’s time to focus on that.  Here are the main things I have to do today:

LAUNDRY: Laundromats are apparently not common here; everyone has washer/dryers, even in apartments.  (In America, we only have them in houses.)  But there is one 2 km from my hostel.  I will save perhaps 100 CZK if I walk there and do my own laundry.  That’s not a lot of money, but I have this odd notion of travel; one of the main things I like to do is figure out how to accomplish these everyday tasks away from the tourist economy.  This laundromat is clearly designed with foreigners in mind, (the website is available in English), but it’s better than having the hostel do it for me.

PACKING: I need to figure out what to carry while I am backpacking in Poland.  My thought is to take my guitar and only what I absolutely need and can fit in my guitar bag.  (Which means no computer, for one thing.  I’ll have to find internet cafes.)  I love the idea of minimalist travel.  I’m kind of excited to see how little I can pack.

TRAIN TICKET: I need a ticket to Kadowice, from whence I will take one of the hourly, regional, Polish trains to Rybnik, where I will meet my employers.  (The school is in Żory, but they live in Rybnik.)  We are going to have a few beers and plan the next few weeks.  I walked to the bus station yesterday and inquired about buses to Kadowice, but they were not encouraging.  The ticket seller directed me to the information desk, where they informed me that the bus connection is “very bad,” and I should take the train instead.  I could get my ticket tomorrow—the train doesn’t leave until 10:17—but I’d rather do it in advance, so I can go to bed tonight feeling like I’ve taken care of everything.  (I’m getting a little better at not doing everything on the fly.) I am also going to try to buy a second class ticket, which will involve practicing some phrases from my Czech phrasebook.  While I’m at the station, I may look for a map of Poland and a phrasebook.

Once I get all that stuff done, I’ll feel free to wander around Prague a bit, one last time, but I’m going to go easy on the beer tonight and get to bed early.  Tomorrow I meet Poland, my new home!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Nörbert permalink
    August 26, 2012 1:52 pm

    A train journey through continental Europe? Hitchcock would be pleased. Just beware of nuns wearing heels, and say hello to Miss Froy for me.

    • August 26, 2012 7:11 pm

      Believe it or not, I haven’t seen that one. I love that there are Hitchcock films waiting for me.

      • Nörbert permalink
        August 26, 2012 8:20 pm

        The Lady Vanishes is one of my guilty Hitchcock pleasures. Maybe wait until after your train journey to watch it though…

  2. August 26, 2012 2:53 pm

    The Czech chapter of your adventure has not disappointed. Even finding a laundromat is a nuanced journey filled with struggle.

    If it were me, a hundred CZK and the saved time would be enough for me to let anyone else do my laundry for me. I would run out of money WAY before you though. I also might have instigated and escaped a conflict with a drunk German.

    What is the difference between a 2nd class ticket and other types? Is it nicer? Also, what do you think is “very bad” about the buses? I’m curious.

    • eroslane permalink
      August 26, 2012 5:11 pm

      I agree with Jeromy (If it were me, a hundred CZK and the saved time would be enough for me to let anyone else do my laundry for me.) However, that is the beauty of frugality. When you save in one area that doesn’t matter much to you (like you doing your own laundry), you can then later spend the money on something that does have greater meaning to you!

      Still, I would run out of money way before you as well.

      • August 26, 2012 6:46 pm

        I like spending as little money as possible because it has allowed me to avoid having a real job for well over a year. Now it’s just a habit. But I spent 180 CZK at a Chinese restaurant on the way to the launderette, so it was probably a washout. One thing I’m not going to do is just eat in my room.

    • August 26, 2012 6:56 pm

      It wasn’t me who said the connection was very bad, it was the clerk at the information desk. I didn’t ask him to elaborate, but he did tell me there was no bus on Monday. I assume it means it doesn’t run often and isn’t reliable. Or maybe the buses aren’t very posh. In any case, I’m happy with my train ticket. I had no idea it was so cheap to get around Europe by rail.

      Second class is not as nice as first class. I don’t believe there’s third class, or I would have bought that. It ended up costing me 981 CZK, or about $50, to take the train 451 km, or 281 miles.

      I don’t know how you would have handled the drunk German, but I’m sure you would have. I always think you’re going to wind up getting stomped but you never do.

      • August 26, 2012 7:05 pm

        I’m sure there’s a good stomping coming for me. I’m WAY overdue.

      • August 26, 2012 7:13 pm

        But you’re also mellowing. I vote NO to you getting a traumatic head injury from some idiot in a bar who didn’t understand your sense of humor.

      • August 26, 2012 7:22 pm

        Well… this happened on Friday:

        I went to the Buxton show at the Continental Club. It was VERY CROWDED. I made my way to the bar, and on my way, I accidentally bumped into this big guy. The normal kind of bump that happens in a crowded venue as you are making your way to the bar.

        I heard him say something to me and tap me on the shoulder a couple of times. Something like “Hey! Dude! What’s your problem!” I ignored him, ordered my two beers, paid and started to walk away. That’s when he started poking me about twenty times.

        “Hey. What’s your problem?” Poke. “Hey. Dude.” Poke “Hey.” Poke. “Dude” Poke ….

        I looked him in the eye for a few pokes, and then I walked away. He got one big shove in before he turned toward the bar to make his own order. Out of cowardly frustration, I dumped one of my beers on top of him.

        Then I walked away. He didn’t follow, so I guess he didn’t want to lose his spot at the bar. Plus I cut my hair short, so as soon as I turn my beard away, I cease looking like a hippie.

      • August 26, 2012 7:25 pm

        Listen to me very carefully. I have two words for you.

        KRAV.

        MAGA.

  3. Sibyl White permalink
    August 26, 2012 9:51 pm

    Second-class trains in Mexico frequently involve animals, extra-close quarters, stops at every small town, vendors on and off selling home-cooked goodies (blood tacos, for instance), and pretty much holding your luggage in your lap. Or else a sturdy string attached to your bag and thence to your wrist if you place your bag in above-seat shelves. Oh, probably no toilets. This is a good time to wrap your bag in duck tape. Enjoy the ride.

    • August 26, 2012 10:19 pm

      I think here it just means a less comfortable cabin. Definitely the same train, so no extra stops. The Prague/Brno train was vintage and there were racks above for luggage. So far, I haven’t seen a crowded train. I’m not worried about my comfort.

      • August 27, 2012 12:17 am

        Same train is good. Mexico is definitely a whole other situation. Is your guitar also in the gig bag? I would assume you’d carry it, too, but you haven’t really said. Duh.

      • August 27, 2012 6:15 am

        Yes, it’s in there.

  4. Sibyl White permalink
    August 27, 2012 2:58 pm

    The duh was for me….for my stupid question. Of course it’s there. So you are on the train with Polski down the tracks. More adventure.

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