Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow on the Charles Bridge

As I write this, Czech Republic is covered in snow and my only hope is that I will be able to take  my flight back home, next Wednesday, very late in the evening. Winter came early in this part of the world, it brought way below 0 temperatures and it seems that snow and cold are here to stay. Maybe I will eventually find the time to take some pictures until March.

End of November was a white hell. Snow storms almost every day, snow piling up to 30 cm very fast. And yet, the traffic was fluent, despite all the trucks breaking their metaphorical necks on the highways and people crashing into trees in the cities (First day of snow I saw 3 accidents). I find that the authorities reacted quickly, clearing the roads of snow (and the occasional truck). Now that the weather is a bit quieter, and the worst has passed, people are going about their daily business without minding very much the snow.

Tourists still come to Prague in large number, especially for the Christmas Market and I think that the City of 100 Spires is just as beautiful under the white coat of snow as it is in Summer. But the streets are full of melting snow and although not as dirty as I am used to see them, still not pleasant when you are on foot, running to meet a friend. Which is my usual situation. Personally, I like the snow but I don't like the effects it has on traffic, as it falls and on my shoes, as it melts on the sidewalks. The pleasant surprise is that people here do clean the sidewalks in front of their houses and so, after the first snow, in good Czech style, you see a lot of people with shovels in their hands, clearing paths for the passersby. No wonder Tolkien was inspired by Czechs in creating the peaceful, hard working and jovial Hobbits, I see this same spirit in these activities (and not to mention they love Fireworks too).

Luckily for me, so to speak, I spent most of my time at work or in cars, going from place to place so I don't have much to do with the snow on the sidewalks. I don't live in Prague, but for the holidays I find myself living more in Prague than in Plzen. With the end of the year close upon us, I have a lot of dinner parties to attend to, either related to my personal life or to my work place. It sounds as glamorous as it is tiring. In the past week I went to two office parties, one concert and one party with friends. All in the name of Christmas!

You will not see my on the Charles Bridge this Holiday Season, I am flying home for the holidays, but I did go to the Christmas Markets, in Prague and in Plzen and I did try the mulled wine and the Christmas cookies. Oh, Czechs love this time of the year so much. You should come and visit, it looks so different during winter, but still like a Fairy Tale, I expect to see the Snow Queen on her sleigh anytime.

I am sorry I didn't take any pictures of Prague but I think that from the picture you can see just how dramatic the scenery can look.

Source of the image: here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Carti care mi-au marcat copilaria (1)

Din lumea vrajita a plantelor

Aceasta carte m-a fascinat si speriat de-opotriva. Imi placeau foarte mult ilustratiile pline de culori si de viata. Chiar inainte sa invat sa citesc, imi treceam degetele peste desenele din carte si parca prindeau viata. Imaginile care imi umpleau mintea, poate nu aveau multe de-aface cu povestile din carte, dar asta nu aveam de unde sa stiu, inca.

Erau desene cu pasari ce pareau foarte reale, zburand prin canalele Venetiei, paduri de mangrove in care te puteai ascunde, plante veninoase, imblanzite de femei cu manusi. Imaginatia mea zbura cand bunica imi citea. Ii ceream sa-mi arate si imaginile in timp ce-mi citea: nu prea reusea sa ma adoarma asa, ba din contra. Si totusi cartea ma speria, plantele veninoase ma speriau. Si oameniii care taiau copacii. Dar reveneam mereu pentru culorile acelea vii. Si pentru ca mi-ar fi placut sa am o casa intr-un copac.

Din pacate am crescut si cartea s-a pierdut dar tare mi-ar placea sa o regasesc candva.

Povesti fermecate rusesti

Clar cartea mea preferata. Tot asa, imaginile ma fascinau, mi-ar fi placut sa fiu precum printesa Vasilieva, cea care se transforma intr-un porumbel si care era cea mai frumoasa si inteleapta dintre printese1. Copii mei vor cunoaste cu siguranta povestea cu lupul cel negru sau cei trei frati. Asta pentru ca am pastrat cartea. Este nespus de frumos ilustrata iar povestile te fac sa visezi cu adevarat.

Imi aduc aminte o seara, inainte de revelion, eram inca mica. Mama, care vroia sa scape de tata si de mine din bucatarie, l-a trimis sa-mi citeasca pana adorm. Asa ca tata imi citea povestile rusesti, si eu visam, dar cu ochii deschisi, ca orice fetita de varsta mea. Si tata adormea, si eu il trageam de maneca sa-mi spuna ce mai urmeaza.

Am gasit-o aici recent. E pacat ca asemenea carti nu se re editeaza.
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