Swans and philosophy: the little things in life.

Little things in life sometimes get lost between the bigger events. It is a sad loss, as those little things are often just as significant. They make up the fabric of one’s life story, after all, and all that major stuff are just occasional ornaments.

As we were throwing bread to the swans at Kampa on an unusually sunny Sunday afternoon of February 24, I was thinking about how many types of snow I used to be familiar with when I was a kid at my granny’s place… How we built snowmen and snow fortresses, had snowball fights… Collected icicles and the icy top layers from the snow that were so beautiful and ornate…

Now at this age the main reaction to snow was concern over how it will make the clothes wet instead of all the possible simple joys that playing with it could give… Maybe it’s called ‘growing up’, but something magical is inevitably lost or at least dulled in that process. It is irreversible. Almost… Unless you try, at least sometimes, to look at the world through the eyes of a child again, to react to it without inhibitions and to enjoy its small treats fully… It’s sad I can’t go back into my memories to snap pictures of it all for future reference to all those things that make life special, but that would have been an insanely huge photo album anyway. I hope my memory would hold them all for my use for many years yet to come…

Going through the inventory of the months between Lloret del MarBarcelona city and now, I recalled a few omitted ‘little things’ that I shall pay my dues to, not all of them bright and positive, but all of them memorable in their own ways…

It was shortly before Christmas. I was on my way to the city center – my friend and I were about to watch the Samsara film. A homeless man got onto the tram – not an unusual event in Prague. He smelled pretty badly… A few moments later someone told him he really should get off because he stinks. The homeless man started to slowly get up. Then a young lad sitting a few chairs ahead said something on the lines of “Yeah, make sure to get the hell outta here or I’ll beat you up”… I don’t know why, but I was so shocked by that pointless threat of violence I wanted to cry…

The homeless man, in the meantime, made his way to the door, but because he had bad legs, he didn’t make it out in time. He got off one stop later and so did I. I came up to him and told him not to listen to those stupid bastards who had never been in a situation like his. They had no idea how easy it is to lose everything and end up in the streets and how hard it can be to then regain a decent life… I gave him some change I had on me, crossed the tram lines, turned to a wall and burst out crying in the middle of the busy street…

Why? Why such aggression? Why the unnecessary threats? Poor thing was getting up already after the very first remark by someone… What asshole felt the need to self-validate on behalf of someone so much weaker and in such a terrible situation already? I wished I could punch him and break a few teeth… Those who know my aversion to physical violence would understand how extreme this feeling was…

It was a young lad, tall, just a tad bulkier than the average – maybe all that was needed for his brain to develop went into the muscle tissue instead? His spoiled, healthy ass has no inkling about life in the streets, especially paired with physical inabilities… He has a warm home to come back to and at least three meals a day and a decent life, and the one he lashed out at has none of it and none of his youth to give him strength either…

Anyone can end up homeless in a blink of an eye. Anyone. And making it through even a few days without a roof over your head is an ordeal most of us spoiled Westerners won’t manage with due dignity. Now imagine having to count winter after winter with no home, no friends, no family to support you and no money…

I think back to this and it still makes me mad… Mad, and grateful for everything I have. And mad… Mad on behalf of those homeless people I had had a chance to talk to in my life who were better and more intelligent humans than many of those who have their comforts and privileges intact… Mad at all assholes who continuously prevent subsidized facilities for  the homeless from being built in their neighborhoods because they don’t want the ‘scum’ there… They don’t want the ‘scum’ in the trams… Or anywhere, for that matter… But without such facilities these people have nowhere else to go, nowhere to get washed and to sleep and to be off of the streets where the assholes don’t want to see them in the first place… People are remarkably cruel and stupid :(…

I am one of the lucky few in this world… I have everything I need and much more. I have friends I could spend the 25th with, even though we don’t even celebrate Christmas on that date. But we had the luxury of deciding to organize a spontaneous dinner just because ‘why not’…

After the New Year’s, we paid a visit to one of the local ice skating rings.

Last time I wore skates was at least 10 years ago, so I was happy I did not fall that evening :).

We decided to go to the rink near Stavovske Divadlo: renting skates was the cheapest there and entering the rink was free 🙂

Best way to brake! 😀

Ready, set…

Go!

One fuzzy girl…

Another fuzzy girl…

And together we are two fuzzy girls 🙂

At Mlejnice restaurant, refilling the lost calories… Save me from the camera!!!

Check it ooooooout!!!

Results of some culinary experiments may be, on occasion, questionable… 😀

Back from the spontaneous trip to Amsterdam I had a chance to barricade myself inside the house from the winter cold. I went out only for occasional visits to the store and special events, like a hockey game on January 30th…

Some Russian team was playing some Czech team, apparently… I can’t care less about hockey itself, but family friends invited me to tag along :). I thought ‘what a hell!’ and went along – trying to honor the sheer randomness of my existence. Used the opportunity to test my Nokia N95 ability to post pictures directly to FB.

Those handy things with ‘goooool!’ (=goal) on them were given out at the entrance. They could be folded and used for banging on something to make loads of noise. I got two and used them throughout the game – for both teams :D. I left the game early because I had a party to get to, but I heard Russian team (with a Czech name though and from a Czech town…) won that night.

At a special Zouk Love party later that night at the 360′ Lounge Bar I got a chance to warm up…

Zouk Night – 30.1.2013 @ 360º Lounge Bar

Only a few days later I was exposed to a b-day dinner with yet another session of Twister-‘yoga’…

I also just started ballet classes for the flexibility-impaired… Highly recommended to anyone who wants to feel like an absolute, incompetent train wreck with little effort :). At the second class I discovered an old family friend of ours also was taking that class! I haven’t seen her in about forever! It’s a small world…

I briefly left the house – and Prague – for a weekend in Nancy (France) where a small delegation from Prague took part in the 2nd Tchic Tchic Boum Festival and came back to my bunker.

In the meantime, Prague was covered by an unusually thick snow blanket.

This view from the window on February 24th inspired a walk through the city in the hopes of capturing some of it under the spell of both the obvious winter and the rare sunshine.

We resolved to stroll around, armed with cameras, and feed the swans on the way… Like so many of us so many times, they also tend to bite the hands that feed them, so we had to be careful. At least they modeled for our pictures :).

Afternoon rendez-vous at Malostranska…

I don’t remember noticing this sun clock before!

Unsure why the picture turned out this dark… Could it be the siren on the roof?

Just a gate that closes the entrance to the metro station… Nothing special…

Sun and Moon meet on this gate

Snow-charmed Kampa

Hungry swans waiting for bread. Ducks were often quicker thieves though 🙂

Just hangin’…

One of the swans was very much into pinching others around it, even when they didn’t do anything and simply minded their own business.

Posing

Where is the food?!

Curious one…

Little swan or…

a big duck? 🙂

Can hardly call those beauties ‘little’, to be fair: out of the water and head up, they were over half my height!

Swans often mate for life

Youngsters were out partying somewhere and came late for lunch :D. Typical youth!

The sun was quickly working its way through the white shroud that was much thicker only a few hours before… Soon there were to be no more snow left again…

National pride… Those two gentlemen are peeing all over the Czech Republic map right in front of the Kafka museum 🙂

Open up, Pete!

Certovka

Is that the whole house?

Discovered this on one of the buildings at Charles’ Bridge… Any clue what this is?

Best shot of the day. As often – complete accident, taken on the run…

Cold…

Did you know that the Prague Castle is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest castle complex in the world?

Lovely building right across from Karlovy Lazne. Never knew what it is…

This begs for a princess to be locked in it!

Final takes before we dove into cafe Slavia…

Mission: accomplished!

Sunlight was on its way elsewhere on the planet as we dove into cafe Slavia for a bite and a coffee. While trying to select a table closest to the window and the view over the river, I’ve met the glance of no less than my university art teacher! Her mother took her out for lunch to ‘vent the brain’, as Natasha was way too submerged into preparation of her next exhibition… We joined them for lunch and had a few philosophical talks – second time that day, as I kicked the morning off with another highly intellectual discussion with my guests :).

Natasha’s mother is 92 – she remembers the time when Vltava river used to freeze over during winter and the kids went ice skating on it… You would never guess her age though. She is a bright and active lady, dressed with style, with enough energy to wholesale. She continues to teach languages and also yoga-based gymnastics for seniors. In her spare time, she studies psychology…  People like her make me want to live and accomplish and keep on going no matter what, showing that age isn’t quite as much of an issue. It was incredibly inspiring to meet them both. I even walked all the way home instead of taking a tram – despite the snow porridge and huge puddles on the streets that turned the journey into a cross-country challenge :).

The latest pleasant surprise awaited me at the Zouk Love party at Andel club on February 27th.

Zouk Love Night – 27.2.2013

It was a lovely party and most Prague Zoukeiros showed up. Towards what was supposed to be the end of the night I was thinking about leaving when, surprise surprise, Dadinho and Janaina showed up! I didn’t even know they were in Prague!

Happy to see you too! 😀 LOLLLL

Zouk chicas

We had a rare opportunity to mingle and dance with them at the party, which, to everyone’s joy, went on much later than initially announced :).

On the following Friday we ended up at Nebe (the one at Celnice). It was an unexpected, nice night out, not without a bit of staged violence…

First punch…

Second punch… (we also ‘changed colors’ in a good ‘football’ tradition, it seems: on Wednesday at the Zouk Love party I was wearing a grey/black horizontal stripes top and Dadinho was wearing a fuscia one 😀 )

 We seem to have impressed the club photographer, too 😀

Blinding flash…

Party people 🙂

On Saturday I received a FB message from an unknown to me person asking about stuff to do in Prague over the weekend. We ended up meeting on Sunday evening at Potrefena Husa (Na Verandach). A couple of Velvets on their behalf down the line all three of us re-located to La Macumba for the impromptu Zouk party, where I stayed while my fresh acquaintances proceeded to the city center. I caught up with them after the party finished and we paid tribute to my old time favorite Bombay bar :). Yet another unexpected, fun night…

Here they are: some of my little, memorable things of the past few months… Taking me down to the pits of despair and up into the clouds of inspiration, plus everything in between…

What are the little memorable things that colored your own few months with the texture of life?

Advertisements

About in shade

A cocktail of personality traits hard to digest for some but ultimately soothing for those who can. I observe, enjoy, travel, interact, photograph, dance, contemplate, write and love my way through this life's countless occurrences. This blog is a way to share with the world and its people some of the treasures they give me every day.
This entry was posted in All about me, Experiences worth having, In my spare time.... Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Swans and philosophy: the little things in life.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Love the pictures of Prague under snow, beautiful!

    • in shade says:

      Thank you! It doesn’t happen too often to capture Prague under both snow AND sunshine, so we tried our best to get at least a few snapshots 🙂

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s