Friday, June 24, 2005

it doesn’t work if he speaks German too

It was 9:30. The night was warm and balmy as I stood across the street from the National Theater waiting for my tram home. People were still pouring out of the theater. Sweethearts were kissing each other goodnight as they parted ways.

“Do you know if this tram stops at --- Nahmesti?”

I looked down to see a mediterranean man looking up at me. Sigh. I really didn’t feel like talking to anyone at the moment. I had just said goodbye to my Czech student who had invited me to see the modern ballet “The Butterfly Effect” with her. It had been a beautiful portrait of three different stages of a butterfly’s life, and I wanted to remember it in silence.

“Aih dohn’t knohw.” There I went again. Pretending to be German. It gave me an excuse to use short sentences due to a lack of vocabulary.

“You don’t know?”

“Noh, yuh muhst loohk on zhe sign.”

“I need to look on the sign?”

Sigh. Just look at the timetable already! I gave him a curt nod and went back to my revelry.

“Is this a theater?”

Sigh. “Yehs, zhe National Teahter.”

“Was there a play tonight?”

Why did he insist on talking to me?! “Noh, a ballet.”

“Oh?! The Nutcracker?”

“Zhe Buhtterfly Effekt.”

“I’ve never heard of it.”

“Iht’s modehrn”

Then he said something entirely indecipherable through his foreign accent. I stared at him.


He said it again.

Still no clue.

“Aren’t you Czech?”


“Where do you come from?”


“Ah, eine Deutsche Frau. Aus welcher Stadt kommen Sie?”

Gasp! The game was up! He spoke German too!! “Eh, Ich komme aus Hannover.”

“Ach, ja, eine schoener Stadt. Studieren Sie hier in Prag?”

At that moment, my tram arrived and I pressed forward till I reached the back of the tram getting as far from the little mediterranean man as I could.

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