PRAGUE AND SUNDRY
Hannes has done such a nice job summarizing our Berlin trip that it's hard to know what to add, except that we had a lovely time exploring Berlin--from the gardens to the many amazing museums, to the night we played pool with Hannes for some reason chasing me around the pool table; I showed amazing agility in avoiding him. Not to mention Hannes' and Sara's really quite fascinating rabbits: George and Elliot.
Prague, meanwhile, has also been great. Something new around every street corner.
Jeff: So what did you like most about Prague?
Ann: Chin chin chin.
Jeff: The toasting?
Ann: Yeah. The toasting. Right.
Jeff: That's a lot of chin, ya know.
Ann: Thank you.
Jeff: You're welcome. Obregado.
Ann: But, seriously, I loved the Adolph Born exhibit. It was amazing--and he seems influenced by early grotesque art. Also, the old Jewish center, the synagogues and the cemetery.
Jeff: Yeah. And Czech beer is pretty damn good.
Jeff: Yes, but I'm your philistine.
Ann: True enough. I also liked the gardens above the national palace. There was a concert going on--rock/pub punk/ska--and then we wound up in this really cool place drinking beer outside in the rain.
Jeff: Yeah, that was pretty amazing.
Ann: With our umbrellas and the dogs.
Jeff: Everyone seemed to have three dogs.
Ann: And all the dogs had enormous balls for some reason.
Jeff: Yes, this is true.
Ann: Except for the girl dog. She had to put up with a lot from the others...And the chairs were tree stumps with rain-resistant cushions.
Jeff: And there was a wrought-iron staircase curling up into nowhere.
Ann: And a cupola that looked like it was from the last century.
Jeff: And the beer was very good and someone was smoking a joint nearby, which was also good.
Ann: And there was an abandoned faery palace right next door.
Jeff: And we walked home over the bridge in the rain, with a thousand people streaming past us toward the concert where the Pet Shop Boys were going to play.
Ann: And there was a rainbow.
Jeff: And there was a two-spired palace rising above the bridge.
Ann: And the night before, you had a book store reading where you got to sign the ceiling and draw one of your Cheshire cats!
Jeff: And I tickled you!
Ann: That was bad. But the cat had a hat and a cigar, so it was okay.
Ann: We looked for Svankmajer, too.
Jeff: We looked high and low.
Ann: We have video footage of our search.
Jeff: Down cobblestone streets, past curved-wall buildings that looked like they came out of a painting by Hawk Alfredson.
Ann: When we finally found his gallery, it was closed!
Jeff: But I put my signed Czech copy of Veniss Underground through a broken gallery window anyway!
Ann: But I found the mail slot and got you to do it the right way.
Jeff: True. I was stupid.
Ann: This is often the case.
Jeff: And it was very nice meeting Czech SF/fantasy readers, and especially Martin, my editor, and Tomas, my publisher. Both very fine people.
Ann: I'll never forget Tomas popping open a bottle of champagne and pouring it over a corner of a copy of the Czech edition of Veniss Underground.
Jeff: Nor I. I thought he was about to damage a saleable copy!
Ann: [hits Jeff in the shoulder]
Jeff: Ow! Well, maybe I enjoyed that.
Ann: And I'll never forget Prague at night, on the river, with the lights on the palace. Just wonderful.
Jeff: And I'll never forget kissing you on the bridge!
Ann: You're a very naughty boy.
Ann: So now where are we going?
Jeff: Romania! Michael and Horia are going to show us around the country. 2000 kilometers in four days! Two book release parties for Veniss! The Black Sea! Dracula's Castle! And much more!
Ann: I can't wait! Why, this is like a dream!
Jeff: Yes, yes it is.
Ann: Thank you for not bringing Evil Monkey along with us.
Jeff: You're welcome.