Just got back from Prague yesterday. Woke this morning to realize it wasn't really morning, it was still Wednesday night. The alarm was ringing. I had gone to bed at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday for a little catnap, because I'd been up since 10:30 the previous night drinking in Czech pubs, watching world cup soccer, and generally trying to compute what time it was in Miami if it was 4:30 in the morning in Prague. I'd set the alarm at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, figuring I'd get up, stay awake till nidnight, go to bed and then wake Thursday morning totally refreshed and in tuen with Miami time. Good plan, I suppose. But I obviously need a louder alarm.
Prague is an amazing city. I had never been before, and I am part Czech, which proved to be a bit of an embarrasment, because the Czech name in my family translates to "little goat." I'm sorry, but I do not want to be known as the little goat. They smell bad, are not particularly friendly, and eat garbage. I have never met a goat I liked, and I suppose there is a reason we have scapegoats and not scapesheep, scapecows, or scapechickens.
Our Prague hotel was a place called Aria, which is in the Little Quarter of Prague near the Charles Bridge. We walked across the Charles Bridge so many times in the 4 days we were there that we eventually called it Chuck's Bridge. Aria is a fabulous hotel, on a par with the Four Seasons, and we had a room that overlooked the gardens by Prague's famous palace. We also ate dinner twice on rooftop with breathtaking views of St. Nicolas Cathedral, the Palace, and all the other things you see on Prague post cards. I mention this because an odd thing happened at our last dinner.
We had the best table in the restaurant. My wife and I had been guests in the hotel for 4 nights spending far more than we could afford on a suite. After we had eaten our appetizers but before our main course was served, a party of four comes up. The ringleader is a quirky looking woman with a strange hat. I heard her speaking (German, I think) to our waiter, and I had a feeling that she wanted our table. It was a table for 4, and my wife and I were a party of 2. There were 2 other tables for 4 availble, but obviously there is only one "best" table in the house. The waiter sheepishly (not goatishly) comes over to us and tells us that the woman had made a reservation and specifically requested this table. He asked us to move. I asked him if the party of 4 were guests in the hotel, and he either did not understand me or pretended not to understand. I told him that we were guests in the hotel, that this was our last night in Prague--but again, he either didn't understand or pretended not to. I looked at my wife, and she looked at me. The other three people in the woman's party couldn't even look at us, but the woman was clearly not going to back down.
So . . . what do you think we did?