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October 24, 2009

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It's easy and appealing for me to spend my days indoors plowing through images and occasionally writing a few lines. I need to remind myself to go outside, especially when the weather isn't all that nice. Went for a walk, finally, down around the pond where the leaves were gold and green and big fish (probably carp) feeding sounded like intermittent applause as they broke and slapped the surface. In dormant fields tractor furrows were filled with water. When I got back to the village I consciously chose to avoid the pub and went the long way around through more fields to adjacent Cirkvice, the sticky mud from dirt road accumulating on my shoes. I considered stopping in the pub there--every village has, if nothing else, a hospoda--but I felt so good and clearheaded that I decided not to. But even a little village is not without its dangers. That's when I ran into Pavel. He'd just finished working outside all day and suggested we go for one beer. Well, it's true we ordered only one beer, but he insisted on round after round of rum (pronounced rhoom, it's more like an 80 proof butterscotch liqueur than that drink from the Caribbean) and the beers kept replenishing themselves unbidden--as is usual in a Czech pub, you only order once. His friend went for an accordion and pretty soon it felt like a traveler's cheque commercial with singing, dancing, and trays of varicolored shots all around. Somehow I kept my head and we made it out of there without having done too much damage. That would have been the right time to go home but instead we levitated back to Jakub and called on Jarda, who joined us and we went across the street to the local hospoda. Again, we ordered only one beer but someone kept ordering rounds of Becherovka, rum, zelena, and slivovice and that's when the lights went out. They tell me it was fun. That's what I get for doing something healthy like going for a walk.