Today Krumlov was beautiful in the sunshine, a few gentle flakes floating down into the snow-dusted streets. I walked home across town from the bus stop, passing all the businesses I have given posters to advertising my conversation club at the EgonSchiele café.  My leg problems seem to have returned so getting home was painful- it’s about twice the distance I can comfortably walk on the cobblestone streets. Also, before that I had a similarly painful walk from Greg’s place to the bus station in Ceske Budejovice. So I feel virtuous now that I have had so much exercise!

Last night I travelled to the city for Greg’s devotional. The bus ride felt like an adventure but was long enough to be a bit tiresome. I managed to figure out the quickest way to the town square and the restaurant was just a little way beyond it. The waiters know the Townshend staff because some of them eat there once a week or more, according to Rachel, a young, friendly, humorous British teacher (her husband: same). I wasn’t expecting such a crowd and sat on the end of the table so I could get up easily. Kindly, the whole lot of them moved down one seat to accommodate me.

We had a lovely supper and then walked to Greg’s. The huge wooden doors to his building are unmistakeable. We proceeded up what seems like a hundred stairs to his apartment, said hello to the guinea pigs and made ourselves comfortable in the little circle of seating in the corner of the cavernous living room.  Greg told me today that the building was once owned by the Lan family, after which the street is named, and that they were salt merchants, who received salt from Austria and shipped it to Prague for sale.

After saying prayers for the multitudes who are suffering as a result of natural disasters and human conflicts, the evening degenerated into a Snopesfest, with people throwing out urban legends they had heard of and wanted to check out. Rachel had heard that to cure warts, cut a garden slug in half, rub half of it on your warts and put the other half on a rose bush and when that half has rotted away, your warts will be gone.  Her husband said he’d rather have warts than rub a slug on his hand… sensible fellow.

Greg kindly allowed me to stay in his spare room, and in the morning we said prayers and breakfasted then walked to the bus station. Before the bus left from the station above the Mercury Centre, my favourite mall, we went to shop for groceries in the department store, where I found orange juice and my favourite cheese from 20 years ago in Slovakia, which I believe is smoked mozzarella, shaped like a cross between a space capsule and a football. It was expensive but I thought I should treat myself for old time’s sake. Greg picked up three boxes of a tea he likes. That’s the way it is when you’re carless in the Czech Republic… you take what you can, when you can, because you might not always be able to find it again! The same goes for the sunshine and the light blanket of snow on the rooftops… enjoy it while you can, leg pain be damned.