So Prague was everything I'd hoped and now I'm in Munich basking in the Bavarian sunlight. Except that it looks like rain. I'm already getting antsy and not wanting to go back home to Tashkent. I knew it would happen, but I'm trying to be Buddhist about it all and accept that everything in life changes and this vacation cannot last forever. A good selling point to this trip is that I almost want to go back to America now, since I really like living in the first world.
First World things I've accomplished include:
- Eating a Big Mac
- Eating bagels. (yes Dave, mmmm... bagels)
- Seeing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Drinking very good beer.
Basically it's going to be diet time when I get back to Tashkent. I can see my friends now: "Oh, you look so happy, but it looks as if you gained a couple kilos." Well, it hasn't gotten to the "couple" stage yet, but any more buttery croissants and I'm done for. Not that something like that ever stopped me.
There was a job posting for a web design position I think I would be good for over at Human Rights Watch. But it pays a little less than 30,000 USD a year and I would have to live in New York. The money isn't that big a deal to me (I'm a volunteer for god's sake), and it would be valuable experience for a good cause, but is that enough to even live in New York?
So I've been bumming around Prague for the past week or so. I've got some pretty neat stories so far. But here's the one right out of the airport:
So I'm flying into Prague from Istanbul and The stewardess says something to me. Since I make an effort not to look too "American" usually, I think she's speaking to me in Turkish. I tell her, in English, that I don't speak Turkish. She gets angry at me and says something in Turkish even louder. I say very slowly, "I speak English." She says slowly and angrily, "So do I. Do you want the chicken or the pasta?" With egg on my face, I blushingly say, "I ordered the vegetarian meal." She almost throws it at me.
But hey, not my fault her pronunciation is bad. I'm pretty good with thick accents, so I think that tells you something.
I think the biggest difference between here and Tashkent is well.... everything. But what do I notice the most? The size of everyone. In the 'Stan, I am daily surrounded by people that could give Twiggy a run for her money. Here there are women with hips and breasts and tummies. The men are tall and solid-looking. These people are more like me. And you know what? It looks good. I know it's the Hollywood stereotype that to look good men and women need to be thin, but really everyone here for the most part looks so healthy and much nicer than the people in Tashkent. Back there they look like they're starving (which they probably are), but here everyone looks delightfully different.