“I’m not so sure that ‘brave’ is the right word for it.”
“Well, call it what you like. I couldn’t do it. Is it just personal conviction or is it religious?”
“I suppose it’s both.”
“Tell me this then, what did Jesus do with the water at the wedding?”
“He turned it into wine.”
“What did He drink with His disciples?”
“And why ...”
“Um, excuse me. I don’t think anyone’s actually arguing with you. What point are you trying to make?”
The past four weeks I had been the only one who didn’t drink alcohol and one of the few who didn’t cuss. And that was considered brave? I suppose when that is the only lifestyle you’ve known since college and everyone else you knew had the same lifestyle ... well, it might actually be brave of someone to shake the system up and order a glass of black currant juice while some of the others order beer and belch out curse words as they celebrate the acquisition of their TEFL certificates.
I was thankful, however, for my small group of friends (the “normal ones” as Jesse put it). I was thoroughly exhausted from long days and nights but I knew this would be the last time I saw some of these people. So there I was, in the basement of Tulip Cafe, a favorite hangout for English teachers in Prague.
Autumn, the Presbyterian from Alabama, would be staying in Prague hoping to get a job at James Cook Language Institute. I made sure to give her directions to Kava Kava Kava near my metro station. Not only did they have great spinach quiche, internet, and their specialty Kava (coffee), but they also had two of the most handsome, tall, blond, blue-eyed Czech waiters in the city who spoke excellent English.
Anie, the adorable little girl from Lebanon, was being forced to fly back to Cyprus because she couldn’t get her visa renewed. “That’s an adorable dress, Annie. Did you get it here?” “No, my sister sent it to me from the United States. Do you know a store called Walmart?” Do I know Walmart?!
Tami and Christie, the two Wheaton girls, were on their way to Rome the next morning. I tried to give them tips like carry around big bottles of peach tea, don’t buy water from the trailers near the Colosseum, and be sure to try a melon gelatto while you sit under the pillars of the Pantheon.
And last, but definitely not least, Jennifer, my Czech-American tour guide and dinner companion. She and her fiancé would be remaining in the city for the rest of the summer.
I imagine I’ll see the Jennifer, Tami, and Christie again since all three live in Chicago, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to visit that city for quite some time. But the others ... I can only hope.