In England at noon and just a few hours later I am in Prague…flight, it still baffles me. We land in Prague a little later than expected. While in the customs line I email the company who is picking me up that I will be a bit late but I am at the airport. Now, I have never been picked up in an airport before by someone that I don’t know; this is a treat, a luxury for me and slightly scary.
Thankful the signs are in English as well as Czech, I make for the exit. Among the sea of people holding signs; I see a tall, petite women with ivory skin in her mid 20’s to early 30’s; dressed in high heel black boots, dark skinny jeans, a black shirt and black leather jacket. Her hair is jet black and straight as a board, it is cut into a bob with bangs that cut straight across her forehead almost covering her eyelids. Her eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea after a storm which are highlighted by a jet black eyeliner that makes her look mysterious, yet beautiful. This women is holding a sign with my name on it.
My head is spinning, are we about to hop onto motorcycles and fight crime in the Czech Republic or was she a super spy? Instead of a black motorcycle, we go to her newly purchased black Volkswagen. She loads my bag in and we are off to my apartment in Krizikova, which is a few miles from the city center.
On the way there, we chat about life and who were are. Instead of a crime fighting super hero/ Super Spy, her name is Regina. A 30 something professional translator from another country in Eastern Europe (I can not recall the country); she is divorced and looking for love; just because she is from another place doesn’t mean she is different. (side note: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover and everyone has a story if you just talk to them)
She weaves in and out of traffic like the super hero/Super Spy that I want her to be. In her wonderful soft spoken eastern European English accent, she ask how I found the company. I told her that Vladimir set it up for me. She says, “I don’t know him, who is he?” Me, in my head, “OH shit…” I avoid the question because I don’t want to admit I may have made a mistake by booking through him.
Driving into Prague is not the picturesque scene from the Travel channel or Instagram. It is a city still recovering from communism, which fell in 1992. Buildings are tagged with graffiti; I don’t see how they are still standing. Prague is healing one neighborhood at a time. I do believe, Prague will be a rival city to Paris, London and New York, one day.
Before I left home, I google earth my apartment so I would sort of know where I would be staying. This was probably one of the smartest things I have ever done in my entire life. We arrived 15-20 mins after leaving the airport, if I had taken the bus then the train, it would have taken me over an hour to get to the apartment but for only about $5. The personal valet cost me 700 czk or $28…the best $28 ever spent! NO hassle and time saved…done and done!
The beautiful super hero/spy/ valet hugs me and tells me to have a wonderful time and before I know it, she is off; hopefully to go bust up some crime. Ok, I am done with the cdr… anyway, my Airbnb host ask me to email him once I arrive. Within seconds of my email being sent a lovely dark haired, tanned skin man shows up and asks if I am Liz. Jesus, these people are pretty.
The apartment owner was at work and this was his friend to take me up and to give me instructions. Feeling completely inadequate, we get on the elevator that was built for 1 person and take it to the 6th floor. After a bit of small talk we enter the apartment that I would like to dub, IKEA HEAVEN.
It’s lovely a lovely one bedroom, one bath room, with a well kept garden terrace; seeing myself living her is easy. Dropping my bags I freshen up and decide to explore the neighborhood. (Again, thanks to google maps, I already new where the store was along with multiple bars and restaurants.) Before heading out I email Vladimir regarding our tour tomorrow morning at 7 am. His response is lightening fast and we are good to go, so maybe I haven’t made a mistake!