Friday, February 1, 2013

Serendipity: Jazz in Old Town Square

Yesterday we went on a tour of the Jewish Quarter, but I pretty much have no pictures because, as our tour guide said, "Jews are stingy and they want you to buy postcards, so they don't allow pictures in the synagogues."

It was nice to go on an official tour and to learn some of the history, but we sort of breezed through the five of the six synagogues that still exist (most of which are museums) so I'm going to go back when I can spend as much time as I want.

This is the Old Jewish Cemetery. The first record of Jews in Prague dates back to the 13th century I think, and there's something like 12,000 headstones at the cemetery. As you can see from this picture they're all stacked one right on top of another. That's because people are actually buried "bunk-bed" style, and I think there's five layers of graves that built up over the centuries.
After the tour I went to find the post office to mail Naomi her birthday postcard (second time's the charm, I'm hoping--I forgot to write her address on the first one). On my way, I passed through Old Town Square and decided to hang out for a while to listen to this great blues-y jazz group that had set up there. The vocalist has the raspy blues voice down-pat! (If you go to around 1:10 in this video, you'll get to see a "tour" of the Square). 

There must have been something going on, because in another part of the square I found this guy playing with fire.

I realized that it was only ten minutes to the hour, so I stuck around to watch the astronomical clock do its thing, which was pretty cool. And then I stayed listening to the jazz band for another half hour or so until it started drizzling.

Last night I made challah dough, and today I baked them. I have yet to taste them, but the honey-egg glaze I made for the top made them toasty-brown--hoping that'll compensate for the ridiculously long time I let the dough rise because of class! And yes, I only made three--that tray is how wide our oven is and we have only one tray. Shabbat shalom!

A note about Czech class: I'm really enjoying it, and am actually writing down some of the activities the teacher is having us do because I think they'd transfer really well to teaching Hebrew! I feel like I'm picking it up pretty quickly, which is nice, and yesterday I asked for directions in Czech....I didn't get a chance to see if I understood them, since the guy just pointed on a map. But today our class went to a restaurant together and we had to order in Czech. I felt kind of bad for the waiter, but our teacher said she warned him. 

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