I am feeling romantic. It was a glorious, sunny February day here in Prague. Mother Nature has certainly chosen this city as her valentine of the year. I am not trying to rub-it-in to my Baltimore friends and family that were just hammered with 2 feet of snow by pointing this out. Au contraire. In fact, I am envious that the opportunity to be snowed-in by the fireplace today with the love of my life did not present itself. However, just being in the city of 1000 spires on Valentine’s Day, with my soul-mate was an awfully nice way to spend the day nonetheless. I mean who could resist this face?
For Czech people though, Valentine’s Day was mostly unheard of until the fall of Communism (Velvet Revolution) in 1989. Today, they appear to have developed the westernized, and rather commercial aspects of the holiday including the giving of flowers (never a dozen though, as even numbers are only reserved for funerals!!), chocolate and romantic dinner outings. There is no lacking of romantic spots in Prague, but if you are single and just not feeling it, you can even un-celebrate at club Sasazu (which is conveniently adjacent to Sasazu — one of my favorite restaurants).
Personally — I feel bad for the teddy bear!
What IS lacking in Prague are Valentine’s Day cards, and I have been searching all week long. Maybe I just haven’t found the right venues, with the exception of he paltry and unimaginative few at the local bookstore. You would think after 25 years of freedom — someone would design and print them for public consumption. Maybe they just do it the old-fashioned way here, so since I now live in Prague…..I crafted my own for Steve. This gave me a good opportunity to combine my minimal Czech language silks with the technological wonders of Photoshop and Google translate. Having just learned possessive pronouns this week, I mistakenly used the feminine form of “my” with the word “husband”, to which “můj manžel”, who is not studying Czech and learns language by osmosis, did not hesitate to point this error out to “jeho manželka” (me)!!!!! Not very Diplomatic, so it is poetic justice that he will have to rely on Google translator himself in order to understand the sentiment. In fact, he did not have a card for me either, but plans to take me shopping for a Czech garnet necklace. I accept his apology.
Perhaps the lack of greeting cards in this city is a mini protest of sorts. After all, the Czechs have their own day for lovers on their calendar. In fact, they celebrate their “Day of Love” on the 1st of May seeking out a blossoming cherry tree to kiss each other under, or pay tribute to the statue of Karel Hynek Mácha who was a famous Czech romantic poet. This famous statue resides in Petřin Park which coincidentally I can see right outside my window, and is filled with cherry orchards. I can’t wait till they bloom.
So, TWO days to celebrate love in Prague. Nothing shabby about that! Hopefully Steve will surprise me again as he did this evening with another fantastic dinner at Chagall Club restaurant. Hint, Hint.
Finally, and because I didn’t get to spend the day with the other 5 loves of my life, I want to remind my children how I feel about them on this and every day. Pay attention you guys ’cause I am shouting it out all the way from Prague —- To the one wishing for a Tinder-esque pizza date tonight, the one stuck in the office this evening working harder than anyone I know, the cute one home alone eating Nutella out of a jar, the one who shared his breakfast with his “love bird” and last, but certainly not least, the one who called me and asked me if I would “be his” this Valentines Day — I love you all more than you will ever know.
Wishing everyone a “Veselého Valentyna”!!