and our long dark night of the soul that involved facing the gruesome spectre of instant coffee every single morning at the crack of dawn gave way to the glorious prospect of lovely espressos. Oh, glory!
And, my obsession with the unbelievably beautiful sky in Prague continues apace, as a result.
Also, for people who would care about such things, I've put some pictures of my new flat up on my Flickr. If you are someone who thinks this is an incredibly boring thing to post on my blog, this post probably wasn't meant for you... come back later for more details about my going-nowhere love life.
So, yeah. I was in Paris, and saw Floyd Landis win the Tour de France (and, I know it's looking bad for that guy right now, but despite that, I want to go on the permanent record and say that, as bad as it all sounds, I don't believe Floyd is guilty of being a drug cheat for one minute). I love le Tour, and it was wonderful to be in a big crowd of NORMAL PEOPLE enjoying a bike race, rather than a little gaggle of over-invested geeks wearing cycling socks inappropriately with their street clothes. Plus, it was IN PARIS.
Paris was beautiful and monumental, and it was also crowded, thrilling, noisy, messy, and about one mile from the sun. Being in Paris made me realize, again, how much I love Prague. Prague is like a sweet New England forest to Paris's Pacific Northwestern/more immediately awesome landscape. Prague, despite the way it's beautiful in a way that I thought was only in fairy tales, is humble, unassuming, and homey, and I was so happy when the airplane brought me back here.
I know I don't say much about these things lately, here on my blog, but the story from here is this: I love my job, I love this city, and I am sometimes overwhelmed by the richness of my life here. It's been a year since I left Los Angeles, and while I miss my family and friends really keenly sometimes, and especially wish my sweet monkeyboy were here with me, the truth is, I am happy. I made the right decision in coming here.
Lately, I am teaching about 38 hours per week from Monday to Thursday, with Fridays free. I wake up every morning at about 5, drink my coffee while getting my business together, and start work at 7:30, teaching individuals and groups of students at Cez, a.s., which is the company that produces electricity for the Czech Republic. My students are all extremely lovely, interesting people, and for the
first time in my working life, I don't feel like my job is really just
a slow, aching death.
Teaching English is a pleasure, not only because of the fact that I am that kind of geek that enjoys being able to clearly elucidate when to use "who" and "whom", genuinely enjoys knowing what the present perfect continuous verb tense is for, and can tell you exactly how to correctly punctuate relative clauses of every stripe, but also because it means getting to know loads of nice people whom I would never have met otherwise. Apparently, despite my well-deserved reputation for violent misanthropy, and snobbery of the "maybe Aldous Huxley was onto something when he wrote Brave New World"-variety, I am actually a pretty friendly person, and really enjoy talking to people and hearing all about them. Jobs I've done in the past have always been situation where, while I'm there, I can't WAIT to escape, but in this job, when I'm there, I'm there, and I don't really think about what other things I could be doing. It's a good feeling. I really love to feel like I am doing something helpful for them, and take pride in doing a good job at it. It's nice. I'm happy. It's not going to make me a fortune, but it's good work. I don't suffer.
Last night, I went out for a couple of glasses of wine with one of my students (who is, let me just say, a lovely man, but I'll say no more than that...). He'd brought me a copy of a sort of a fictional documentary (partially true, and full of poetic embellishment) about a Czech folk/rock band called Cechomor and Czech singer/songwriter Jaromir Nohavica, called Rok Da'Bla, which means "Year of the Devil", and which was really, really beautiful. In it, Nohavica's partner Karel Plihal decides to stop speaking so that he can hear the melodies that other people give off, "like an aroma," and to hear his own melody. He doesn't speak for a year, but in the end, he can't give it up. Obviously, I loved that, and just about everything else about this film. Finally, on the topic of this film, I'll only add that Killing Joke frontman cum classical composer Jaz Coleman is really, really sexy. I'm pretty sure I can't possibly be the first genius to have noticed it.
I'm developing a whole theory about how the Czech people, despite their reputation for being closed, unfriendly, and secretive, have a beautiful, romantic soul that you can feel in every part of this beautiful place... but it would be so lame if I carried on about it now. Just suffice it to say that there is something very, very nice about here.
More later. I hope it won't be TOO MUCH later. In the meantime, if you want to see something awesome, have a look at this.
Lastly, I'm getting ready to move to a new flat in two days. Close followers of my doings over the years will be amazed to know that I am ALL PACKED with time to spare.