Thursday, September 28, 2006

Further Rambles

Last Saturday seemed to call for a great many walks. After our walk along the Vltava, we required a good lunch, and it was rapidly prepared: leftover leek-and-potato soup, fried egg sandwiches, and herring in dill sauce. Is there anything more agreeable than returning from a long walk to enjoy a hearty lunch that practically makes itself but can hardly be regarded in the same light as a hasty peanut-butter sandwich? When Jesse comes to visit, we both go into a mysterious culinary frenzy (since I have a usable kitchen)... well, at least some of the time. It was a deeply satisfying lunch.
After digesting our meal, we set off for Holešovice in search of Pho. No, there was nothing rational about seeking Vietnamese soup shortly after devouring leek-and-potato soup, but Hubert had gone in search of Pho at a market in Holešovice some months back and not found it, and for some reason we felt compelled to repeat his adventure. Freud might have had something to say about that, although I wouldn't exactly call it uncanny. (Besides, is it a sign of trauma to repeat other people's experiences rather than one's own?)
After some trial and error, we located the Holešovice tržnice, which is a surprisingly large area of booths within a complex. Intelligent navigation requires a map.

It being Saturday afternoon, the tržnice was practically deserted. After all, who would ever want to go to a market on a Saturday afternoon? Sensible people have gone to their country cottages, or are out rollerblading.

The only remaining vendors were Vietnamese, and most of them were packing up.

This vendor, however, obligingly created a special display for us.

Upon leaving the tržnice, we noticed that the entry was flanked by large statues of cattle.

A closer look suggested that they were unquestionably male. We were not sure exactly what the artist had in mind with these bullocks. Perhaps some sort of fertility ritual.

In the evening, following the ingestion of some pizza, Jesse thought we ought to walk up to Vyšehrad so that he could record the church bells there. On our way, we realized that the sounds of Čechomor were emanating from Žlutý lázně, the amusement park near my building. At first we supposed that it was a recording, but as we drew near, we realized that the band was live. Žluty lázně is free after 5:00, so we approached the entrance. It seemed that a private event was underway, but the door guardian indicated that we could go in so long as we stayed on the correct side.
Well, Price Waterhouse Cooper was hosting some sort of extravaganza and had evidently hired Čechomor as one of the amusements, to the delight of the audience. We were able to get pretty close.
I have a couple of their albums but had never seen them live, so I was quite pleased. Jesse has been to some of their concerts and interviewed their fiddler, Karel Holas, awhile back, so it was not precisely new to him, although as I pointed out there was an entire dancing audience to take notes on. In any case, they put on a pretty good show.
After Čechomor finished their set (note: they will be heading for the US soon and playing in San Francisco and elsewhere), there was a massive fireworks display to the sound of the Carmina Burana and other, less imposing, accompaniments.
The fireworks were impressive, but the combination of fireworks and Carmina Burana did give the perhaps unintended impression that Price Waterhouse Cooper plans to take over the world. Well, at least they seem to have their bread-and-circuses well in hand.
We continued on our way up to Vyšehrad, where the church bells refused to perform but we were able to observe numerous other visitors to the fortifications.
By the time we returned to my apartment, we felt that we had given ourselves a thorough workout, but were not too tired to watch a shortish film on the Prague Spring festival, directed by an old friend of Štěpanka's who died in a tragic accident last spring. The Prague Spring film followed the backstage preparations of several performers and was a pleasant end to the day.

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Blogger Julia said...

Are you guys still looking for pho? I have heard that you can find it out in the big Vietnamese market down Cernokosteleska. It's also a great place to get large bags of tasty rice for low prices, delicious vietnamese vegetables and chickens still with their heads on them (if you so desire).

September 28, 2006 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps we can try that one next time. The Holesovice market was curious but didn't yield food results. We could've bought numerous pieces of cheap Italian hoodie sweatshirts emblazoned with the names of fashion designers or light up Jesus portraits, though. (Too bad there were no velvet Elvises. I wonder what aisle those were on?)

October 01, 2006 1:10 AM  

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