OK, now I'm in Česky Krumlov. It's a beautiful wee town on a very sharp bend of the Vltava. If I were to step in to the frigid waters and let myself go I'd end up in Prague. It is still snowing.
The town is very quiet, which is a large change from the summer when, apparently, the whole of Prague comes to stay. The hostel I have found myself is empty, which suits me to a tee, although I suspect that after a couple of days, some conversation wouldn't go awry.
Last night I found myself in a pub called na louži, which is just off the square, or stare město, to use the Czech, albeit without the cool Czech letters (I correct myself, just worked out how to use this crazy Czech keyboard). There were some Australian girls, who left soon afterwards (I chose not to take that personally) and for a few minutes I had some quiet, while I drank the locally brewed Eggenberg beer and read Joseph Heller's Catch 22. Shortly afterwards, three people entered. OK, so they were American. It appeared that they were parents and son, and the son looked about 45+. They noted what I was reading and one of them remarked 'classic book'. I smiled back. Their conversation was loud and it was hard/impossible not to listen in. After a few minutes I picked up that the son was from Utah. He made some remark about how gambling is illegal in Utah, but just across the 'stateline' is some town I missed (or forgot) the name of, where the folk from Utah go to 'drink, gamble, and whore.' Only Americans use the word 'whore' as an adjective, right? This made me smile. And then followed a rant that made me as mad as I have ever been.
Remember that the son is from Utah. But, he don't like Mormons. No sirree, he don't like them one bit. Apparently in the ninenteeth century the US army was sent to wipe them out, but due to a freak storm, the operation was stopped. This made the son very angry. He seemed to regret the curtailment of the mission. Once his anger at this faded, father and son launched into a tirade about Jehovah's Witnesses. Finished with them? How about black people? And Jews? They didn't spend to much time on those two groups, as the mother/wife appeared to pass out on the table. I'm guessing she has heard much of this before.
There was a short lull, before the ranting moved to Islam. By this stage I was glaring at them with open hostility, but they didn't seem to notice. They decried the funding of terrorists by the Saudi government (pot calling the kettle black, anybody? Or should that be cistern calling the urinal white?), and openly and vehemently advocated the invasion of Iran. They then spat venom at the inaction of the Europeans at dealing with terrorism, while waiting for the God-fearing good ol' US of A to come and do something. Seriously, how can three grown people be so damn stupid? And so fucking naive? Not to mention rude? Would I come to their house and piss in the fireplace? No, so show some damn respect. Being a very non-confrontational sort of person, (damn those pacifists) I don't like to cause a scene, but if I'd heard one more thing...
The mother was now looking at the ceiling with glazed eyes.
Finally they paid up and left.
I don't want to descend to their level of intolerance, but suspect I'm failed when I wanted shout 'Fuck off, just fucking fuck off you ignorant ignorant bastards. Actually, I wanted (and did, in an email last night to Justice) use a much stronger word.
OK, so now that is off my chest, I have to decide what I am going to do with myself today. I've just missed the brewery tour, which is no loss, so I think I am going to wander up to the castle and see if I can see the bears that patrol the moat.
It is still snowing. Man, this place is very very beautiful.
Oh, and I bet that when the son remarked 'classic book' about Catch 22, I bet he has either never read it, or read it and not got it. A bit like the marines in Jarhead singing along to the Ride of the Valkyries as they watch Apocalypse Now.