I’m amazed at how they managed to put me out in the boonies of a place that really isn’t all that bad. You can cross Pardubice in 20 minutes, but this part of town feels like it was exploded out, far-flung, set off in the Czech version of Mars. To get there you walk down a pissed-off feeling street framed with hedges that look like lesbian haircuts, cruelly chopped and asymmetrical. It’s bordered by houses whose backs are turned toward the front in the Czech style, cold architecture, hidden and removed. All the houses are protected by gates, and behind each gate is a barking dog.
I like to curse at the dogs as I walk by, trying out my few words of Czech: dopre dele, kurva. Roughly translated: Up your ass, whore. My students taught me the curse words one day, and in return I told them the story about how I once freaked out on acid-laced pot in Amsterdam. It’s all about bargaining.