As everyone who’s read my Twitter bio or spent more than a minute and a half talking to me knows, I’m an interesting, cheerful and sociable person by nature. This, of course, goes without saying. You have already sensed it. It’s not even worth the calories I exerted tippy-tapping it out.
And yet, somehow, there are still people doubting the verity of this assertion. “Ro,” they say, “I doubt the verity of the assertion that you’re an interesting, cheerful and sociable person.”
I would very much like to provide you with photographic evidence – since I believe that Anon was correct when she said a picture is worth a thousand words – but even my extensive archives of selfies have failed to yield even a single picture that encompasses all three of my trademark characteristics. Observe:
In this picture, whilst cheerful and sociable, I appear so disinteresting that my friends have nodded off or tried to entertain themselves by having a staring contest with an innocent commuter.
Whilst clearly cheerful in this snap and as interesting as everyone who works in the service industry (very), I am far from sociable. “Who took this picture, then?” you ask. I ignore your question and pretend I can’t see you. You have to admit that this is not a sociable thing to do.
Interesting. Sociable. Mardy as fuck.
Since photography is out, here’s a lexical rundown of my character traits –
- My job requires me to communicate with people (classically considered members of society);
- I’m on all the social networks;
- I’m constantly chitchatting, even when I’m on my own.
- I can often be seen dancing in public spaces;
- I know how to whistle, although I don’t always exercise this ability;
- the timeless classic I’m Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves is my personal anthem.
- People have described my fashion sense in these terms;
- I have chosen to dedicate my life to the study of Czech (unusual);
- I am living in a different country from the one I grew up in (atypical life experience).
Oh, yeah, by the way – did I mention that I live in Prague?*
*True as of the time of writing; however, my suitcase is already packed and by the time you, dear reader, lay eyes on this, I may be long gone.
The fact that I live somewhere I wasn’t born is by far the most interesting thing about me. I bring it up at every possible moment. I even bring it up with members of my own family, who know very well that I no longer live in their basement.
“How are things going with you, Rosie?” they ask.
“Oh, yeah. Pretty good. You know I live in Prague now and blablabla.”
“Yes, Rosie,” they reply. “We know you live in Prague. You have lived in Prague for a year. We all receive your weekly newsletter, Things I Do In Prague Now In I Live In Prague. We have read your thinkpiece about why baristas in laundry-themed Prague cafes should be paid more. We got your texts.”
Anyway, as I was saying, I live in Prague now. Prague’s a fantastic city that is mostly famous for its cheap pints, relaxed cannabis laws and trippy absinthe. And, sure, that’s all true*, but Prague is more than a whirl of hedonism. I’m in love with this place, and (as all of my exes/anyone who’s ever given me chocolate will refute) I don’t say those words easily.
*allegedly. I don’t have the language skills or the guts to oversee a drug deal.
As a pa pa for now to Prague, I’ve been compiling a catalogue of some of the city’s best elements. These will be my love letters for the city I’ve lived in for a year. This time, grab your reusable cutlery set made from sustainable bamboo: we’re talking food. The good, the bad. I plan to lay out a whole rundown of Prague’s eateries.
That said, it’s getting late. I’ll probably write about a couple and go sleep.
traditional czech food
Ah, Czech food. Truly a bastion of all that’s good in the world, if you accept that all that’s good is pork fat and dumplings. In my opinion, this is the case.
Have you ever looked at a pig and thought to yourself, Mate, that oinker has some tasty lookin’ knees? Shove a stick through it and roast it for a couple of hours, and you’ve got a Czech delicacy my friend.
Have you ever thought to yourself, Mate, I like bread, but I wish it was 20% more stodgy? By simply increasing the stodgedensity on your common-or-garden slice o’ bread, you’ve gone ahead and made yourself an authentic Czech dumpling.
Picture this: beef. Picture this: beef with gravy. Fine, right? Normal. Now – BAM – cranberries! POW – whipped cream! Weren’t expecting that, now, were you?? That, dear reader, is svíčkova, a creamy, sweet, salty, greasy slice of pure culture. It’s like you’re trying to save on washing up by playing your main course with your pudding.
“But, Rosie,” I hear you say, “you’re a vegetarian. Unlike your brutal and thoughtless peers, you don’t eat meat. What does Czech cuisine offer you?”
Two words, my beloved reader: fried cheese. I don’t know if you can conceive of the sheer power exuded by an A4 mozzarella stick, but that’s the veggie option at every traditional Czech pub, restaurant and miscellaneous eatery. I’ve gained an immeasurable amount of weight over the last year thanks to friend cheese alone.
When I’m not digging into a paving stone of deep-fried cheese, I can usually be found in my own flat, hunched over a bubbling cauldron of bean-based stew.
My cooking has gained notoriety in a very select circle – by which I mean literally just me, because I would never inflict that kind of suffering on another person.
Whilst they might not be “good” in the conventional sense, my forays into the culinary arts are certainly groundbreaking. Did you know that it’s misguided to make a savoury Thai flapjack? That’s something I learnt just last week.
traditional Hungarian food
Prague, as the capital of the Czech Republic, is famously not in Hungary. Despite this, some of the city’s most widely eaten dishes are actually Hungarian in origin. Take for example goulash, a paprika and pork based affair typically served in an edible bread bowl. Similarly not Czech is the epidemic of funnel cakes (swirly bread baked over coals and covered in cinnamon and sugar) in the centre of town.
Like, I know that wasn’t the funniest paragraph I’ve ever written, but hey. When you’re not laughing, you’re learning.