Today’s breakfast rolls were still warm when we returned from the corner store, at which we faced no excitement to match that of our last visit. The overheads in the shop deposited “The Hustle” into my brain – it will stick with me for a few days, at least. Fruit, fresh bread, and meat make a slow-paced meal really enjoyable. Having a French press for coffee helps to land my feeling quite at home in the apartment. We wait for family to stop by with a bicycle for Jana and watch a few episodes apiece of Community and Game of Thrones to pass the time enjoyably.
After our receiving Jana’s wheels, we head downhill to the mall near the Andél stop to eat, drink coffee, and access the internet. Internet time is once again sparse. The day, I suppose, is an average and boring (in travelers’ terms) day. I really love having these days every so often – at least once every seven to ten days suits me just right. A man in the restroom inside the mall is a superb whistler. He’s carrying the tune to Elvis Presley’s variant of “Only Fools Rush In” really well. When he begins singing in Czech, I am reminded: American culture has been transported in so many ways – many artists in the Czech Republic have built careers on singing Czech versions of American songs. It’s so odd to me, as I grew up with the stuff. I wonder why they thought it was so neat that they wanted to adapt and adopt it for their own use. From what I know about Cold War politics, it seems that the average citizen’s dislike for the Russian occupiers and influencers increased their hunger for all things American (and probably British, though their influence is less obvious to me because I don’t recognize it as such when I see it). The Americans and their Radio Free Europe, along with the Brits and their BBC, represented a different way of life. One of Nicolle’s family members and I communicated as best we could about these propaganda machines, and he told me that it was essentially illegal to listen to these stations for a long time in the Czech Republic, and – I imagine – it was similar across Eastern Europe. The culture they adopted was perhaps adopted/adapted for what it represented – freedom, in its purest and most obvious sense.