Summer Laughter in the Courtyards

IMG_7097-wwwThe city is melting in this unbearable heat wave. Brains closing down due to overexposure to plus thirty degrees. There are two boys about the same age as mine outside my window playing in two buckets of water. The buckets are so small they can barely fit their skinny butts in them. Most of the time they run around naked in the garden throwing water at each other. Yesterday I witnessed a toddler bathing in one of the fountains in Valdštejnská zahrada, and a herd of dogs fetching sticks in the Devil’s Stream. Seeking refuge in the cool parks seems now the only way to survive.

IMG_7210-wwwIn my walks in Prague I find myself wondering about rules and freedom. No toddlers are allowed to bathe in fountains in Finland. Neither are dogs allowed to run unleashed outside dog parks. In my travels I’ve grown to realize that our small nordic nation has quite a few rules, both written as well as unwritten ones. However, when I tried to enter a university building today I was asked to leave with the unfriendly ‘Ne turisti!’ Maybe I have just been lucky to find my way into campus areas around the world thus far, or maybe there is a growing problem of people with cameras entering the university buildings of Prague, in any case I was disappointed.

IMG_7217-wwwLast night when I was sitting in a café, listening to music joyously floating down from the open windows of the music academy, and enjoying the cool breeze coming up Nerudóva, I felt like I was taken back in time. It must have been the blue moment and the sound of the footsteps on the cobblestones that played a trick on me. There were two kids running past me back and forth, up the hill and down the hill, playing catch. And then gas lamps crackling at a precise moment. Bats circling around the towers. Summer laughter in the courtyards.

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