It’s been a lovely day. A friend, Dave, who I haven’t seen in about 15 years, that is, since he left Prague, returned for a visit. He’ll be staying at our place this weekend, but this afternoon we just wandered around a bit, talked about how much Prague has changed (more people speak English, more variety in the restaurants, customer service a bit better, prices way higher), and talked nostalgically about a bygone era, the early expat days of Prague. He suggested a beer, forgetting that I do not drink, which is O.K., everybody forgets that, and I suggested a joint and he declined, says he doesn’t do that any more and it made me think of that Ringo Starr song. So, we found a sidewalk cafe where he had a beer and I had a non-alcoholic beer, tastes roughly the same and looks very inconspicuous.
We walked some more. Some things do not change. The river, of course, still runs in the same bed and all of the bridges are still the same. The trams still run along the same tracks.
We went to a poetry reading at a tea room that hadn’t existed while he was here, although there had been poetry readings.
It was sort of a different concept in poetry readings, and everybody was expected to read from some other poet. I recited The Sneetches from memory because I’ve read it to classes so often I do have it memorized.
Dave knew at least one of the people there, and soon met many more.
At the end, he said he felt the Prague scene was as vibrant as ever. I feel very good about that.