Prague

This was one of those cheater weeks at the university, when there are only two teaching days due to the holiday overrun. I taught Wednesday and Thursday, done at 12:30 and ready to rock and roll. Two of our guests left this morning before I did and the others were leaving this evening two hours before we started out to the airport ourselves. We leave for Prague tonight. Most of my time, I spent working on the computer, setting up vacation auto-responders, and answering e-mails, in between reinstalling programs and making a list of those that still needed installation. The flight was a quick 50 minutes, yet Click4Sky, the budget offshoot of Czech Air served sandwiches and soft drinks at no charge. The driver for the B and B was waiting for us, a lovely young woman who was chatty with Ron sitting in the front seat. When we arrived at the B and B and approached the large black metal doorway, Elena our driver, rang the bell, then said look at the animal. When we looked down, I could see something scurrying around at our feet, but could not make out what it was. When she said “I don’t know the name in English”, the word rat kept leaping to my mind. In retrospect, I am not certain why I was calm as I said it. Perhaps, I did not want it to be so. After all, who wants to be greeted by a rat where they are going to spend three nights? It suspiciously did not have a long hairless tail. Either it was not a rat or a rat that had escaped from some pharmaceutical research lab. When she opened the metal door, our new pet mate beat us inside, but this door only led to the concrete stairs leading to the house. In the light, this creature was easier to identify. It was a small hedgehog. Actually, it was more like a hedge piglet. It was so small and adorable. Before I could have any thoughts of adoption, Ron mentioned he read an article about a disease they are carrying. But can’t I just pet it? Killjoy! The room was lovely with a large double bed, but we needed some dinner. Jitka, our hostess suggested a restaurant not too far away, but warned the kitchen closes at 10:30. As it turned out, she was misinformed, it closes at 9:30, but they had cold platters. I did manage to get a grilled sausage. The waitress must have taken pity on me. The last time we were in Prague was 1996, in December. This balmy April night is much different.