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September 14, 2009

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My favorite part of the trip is arriving, that curiously disembodied state, 24 hours awake without ever having descended into night. I stand in place, hoping for my one checked bag to plop out onto the baggage claim conveyor, the wait made pleasant by observing two young airport workers in official uniform miniskirts who sit cross-legged watching the belt. Their function is not apparent--one holds a clipboard, the other touches pen to her lips but no marks are made. Before I know it my bag arrives and I pull out the handle and roll away through automatic doors and Honza meets me at ARRIVALS. 5,311 miles of travel was nothing more than sitting in cushioned seats and passing through a few doors and gates. The 119 bus from Ruzyne to Dejvice is asses to elbows, stuffy and ripe--the most trying part of the trip. I'm just in time for lunch, we quickly find a pub, three beers seems normal and it's tempting to continue but my body tells me it's time to get horizontal. My bag rattles over cobblestones and the sky is neutral grey, in the middle of the middle of the middle of the day. Halfway across, in the median where the trams run, we wait. Honza turns to me and says smiling, "Beer helps diminish the chaos in my mind." I laugh because it's so obvious. I hadn't come here searching for the truth but I found it. And on the first day!