Archive for September, 2009

Prague Pang

Friday, September 11th, 2009

I’ve had a bit of a Spain hiatus.  Let me just say that it was marvellous!  I spent 53 days walking via the GR-11 trail (Pyrenees Mountains) and pulled a literal emotional (backwards) U-turn onto the Camino de Santiago trail, which parallels south and continues back (but further) towards the Atlantic Ocean.  Early on the Camino I walked three days with a pair of Spanish opposite sex fraternal twins.  Each and every time somebody passed us or that we’d pass  they’d cheerfully bellow out “Buen Camino” (Good Journey/Trail) or “Buenos Dias” (Good Day).  This continued on with as much vigor and enthusiasm at 3 p.m. as it did in wee hours of 6 a.m.   At about noon on the first day, Julia turned to face me and said, “Why do you not say “Buenos Dias”?

I turned facing her in bewilderment and said, “Well it’s, “Bueeenos Diaz“, no”? I even ended it on a slight Spanish lisp.  Then it dawned on me, I’ve have become….The Rude Czech.

No matter where you are in Spain, walking the Camino, in the grocery store, walking on the street, getting on the bus, eating on a patio restaurant, using an escalator, people watching, every single Spanish person greets you.  In the Czech Republic, people stare confusion if you mumble off a “Dobry den”.  I got used to not greeting!  How dare I!

I explained my rudeness as a effect of my Czech exile to Julia (pronounced: Hoolia).  She said, “That’s a weird country.”