Oct 12, 1994

Dear Cindy,

So much I wanted to remember with words—steep slanted cable car ride up Petrin, heavy smell of paint in the car, two kids each wearing one roller skate blowing bubbles watching the ascent, old man with cane and no uppers nudging me to look at what on a clear day must be a spectacular view; alas, clear days here are a rarity.

Many days ago I got lost while running, ended up doing 7 instead of 2 miles and as a result could not talk for 3 days. The roses are just about dead on their stems in Petrin though the leaves are still green.

top: Dave on a visit in May '95. We shared some smokes
and rode the rollercoaster at Vystevyste.

It was the first clean air I’ve breathed since daytrip to Hradistko with Great Aunt Vera, 83, who tripped on a vine on the way to pick apples; she was peeved when I mixed windfall and freshpicked. Today on Petrin all the steep winding arched-over paths I walked were dripping wet though I don’t recall it raining. The intact remains of the city’s 600-yr-old mostly fallen wall looked flimsy from the observation tower, a one-fifth scale replica of Eiffel built in 1891.

A line of Skodas. Who says the Soviets didn't offer variety?

     Every word I read & understand in my daily travels smacks of special satisfaction: caution - driveway; close door; push/pull; exit; please make sure you close elevator door. Yesterday I had to walk all the way upstairs due to my not properly latching shut the elevator. I think the skinhead who lives across the hall wrote the elevator note; I seem to recall his latenight lumbering footsteps & wheezing breath. Last week, Jrcinka—who bakes my gifts of plums and walnuts into delicious warm-from-oven pastries she shares with me—showed me a note on his door from his loan shark saying that if he didn’t come up with the 7,000 crowns he was a dead man by the end of the week. Foreign intrigue.

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