september, xvi.

I slept in. Thirteen hours in total. I should feel rested. I wake up to news of the typhoon that is tearing through South East Asia. I message all my friends in Hong Kong. I can’t stop replaying the videos of cranes falling down, trees being torn apart. It all feels a little apocalyptic.

By the time, we meet in the city it’s too late for breakfast so we just skip straight to lunch at 11:45. Svíčková with a half pint of Plzeň. I decide that this is my last day. He saw us from the car and called me immediately. “Who is that guy you are sitting with? And did I allow it?” It made me laugh and I had to call my parents to tell them about it. It felt good to know that someone is looking out for me even if it’s by sheer coincidence.

I chose the chair that was directly in the sun. I like the way hairs on forearms turn blond. Just like the strands of my hair. From chestnut brown to strawberry blonde in an hour. I couldn’t finish the half pint or the plateful of food. It was all too much. I could feel the way my body was revolting against it. The Czech cuisine is (still) too heavy for me. That’s how I know I am (still) not from here. I never will be.

I am counting off the days, minutes really until I’ll be alone again. I said no visitors and yet I still haven’t learned to say no.

From Kampa through Charles Bridge back to the National Theater all the way back to Old Town Square and up to the Fashion Club Rooftop. The view is spectacular. Then we carried on to Letna’s Stalin. Darkness descended by then. Hunger rose. Back across the river. A burger bar, cash only. Awful live music but we still endured it. By nine in the evening, I could barely keep my eyes opened. And on the way home I discovered Giovanni Kiyingi at Zázemí and I’m so glad that I walked past just at the right moment. I spotted him through a window, someone inside cracked it open for me so I could hear better. Zázemí feels like the most unlikely place to have discovered him. And yet. There’ll be more to this, I’m sure.

Before falling asleep, I check up on Hong Kong one more time. I decide I will go back in the spring again.