A pig-tailed, snorting, snoring, pumpkin sat next to me inside the six room train compartment on the way from Berlin to Prague in the Czech Republic.
It was a belly-bulging man wearing a bright orange sweater. His sparse hair was secured with a rubber band.
I never got to know him; he slept for four hours.
The other four people kept to themselves, reading or looking out the window, being sure not to have any eye contact with me.
It’s the strangest human trait. I’ve asked it before: why don’t humans interact when we are sitting practically knee to knee in a cramped place, or in a tiny elevator close enough to lean in for a kiss?
I usually break the spell because I have a feeling other people feel the same way. I did break the ice a bit and discovered that three of the others were two sisters and a brother on their way to explore Prague. One young lady got off the train in Dresden, Germany, and in her place a man got on and looked around, being careful not to make eye contact with anyone.
I got up and explored the restaurant car and met Nicky, a young woman on vacation from an intern position in London. She was with her friend, Julianna. Nicky and I discovered we were going to the same hostel, and we got off the train and walked to the hostel together. They were patient with me.
So now, I’m sitting here on the bed looking out at a beautiful apartment building across the narrow street. I’m in a hostel called, Fusion. I thought that sounded a bit like disco dancing.
The man who got me settled is a funny and gregarious guy. I know I’ll have some fun with him. It’s so nice to come across some one who doesn’t take everything so seriously and has an easy laugh.
After getting settled in the room, I explored the city a bit, but walking around a few blocks. I came across a window museum of various historical decorating items including furniture, radios, typewriters, lamps and etc. It was interesting to see many items I remember from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Then I found a Christmas market which has hand crafted items as in the Christmas markets in Germany, but they are different here, to reflect the Czech culture. Painted eggs and linen objects and toys, are examples.
I saw evidence that America has made inroads into the Prague, with McDonald’s. TJIF and many other brand names, as well.
In a day or so, I’ll make some trips to visit the beautiful architecture. This is mainly what I have wanted to see.
The day before yesterday, Marilyn and I saw the temporary display of Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, in Berlin. We both admired his designs in many of the buildings we had seen in Berlin.
Schinkels’ exhibit showed the mans’ versatility and artistic gifts, in not only architecture, but in stage design, furniture, candelabras, chandeliers, glass objects, frames and paintings.
Queen Luise of Prussia, the wife of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. commissioned Schinkel to re-design her sleeping chamber (notice it isn’t called bedroom). He used a feminine color scheme of pink, light green and silver. He said silver was feminine and gold was masculine. I must remember that.
The world lost a great artist when Schinkel died Oct. 9, 1841. He had a God-given talent.
The impressive collection in the museum had three floors of rooms dedicated to his work.
This morning Marilyn left for Colorado, when I left for Prague. She was working out the details of the last leg from Denver to Durango, and learned that flight was cancelled. So I’ll wait and hear how she got back. We had a great time touring and learning all about Berlin.