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Time for a scrub down

1 April 2008

While Prague is a very lovely city with its baroque architecture, medieval castles, and soviet era block housing, a closer look reveals how absolutely filthy this place is. Given the fact that I am an obsessive cleaner and compulsively sweep, dust, and scrub my flat, and still think it is dirty– I can’t even begin to tell you how disturbing it is for me to walk down the street and step over piles of dog dung, freshly spat loogies, and streams of urine left behind by dogs, construction workers, and stumbling drunks.

I would like to think I could find refuge in the trams, but if a third grader were to swab a seat, rail, or handle on a tram and compare it with a toilet, I think the tram would be more grotesque. I am almost certain the filth on the trams is why I am constantly sick. My body isn’t use to this many germs. It hasn’t quite acclimated to the bacteria left from the man who sneezed into his hand and grabbed on to the bar, or the woman who lets her dog lick all over the window, or the kids who stuff their faces with pastries, wipe their mouths with their hands and then smear it all over the seat.

Walking along the river to sit in the grass to enjoy the flow of the Vltava beside me is another challenge as grass is almost non-existent here due to the millions of dogs that run around this city with their owners in tow. No laws require the removal of feces so the “parks” are continually laid with fresh “manure.” So, instead I find a bench with Kinder bar wrappers, empty Gambrinus cans, and a gum wad or two nicely tucked into the cracks.

Eventually, I am up and off to find my way back to my flat and its un-erasable sulfur smell and remnants of John Glennon stink via the tram as I stand next to the granny who is too old to know about the invention of deodorant– Unfortunately for me.

To be fair though, city workers of Prague really do do an excellent job of keeping the streets litter free. They are continually emptying trash cans and sweeping up after the millions of litterbugs that meander through the streets. It’s the little stuff that that I find dangerous…

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