When the serious side of my mind has been in charge too long, I shift into a loosey-goosey mode and look for Players. These are people who share my sense of humor and creative mischief. During my recent sojourn in the Czech Republic I found an ample supply of Players.
“What do I do? Do you really want to know?” “Yes, I do.” “I’ll tell you – but you must promise not to tell anyone else.” She moved closer – whispered – “I promise.” I whispered in reply, “I’m a professional bank robber.”
After five weeks in Czechia, I am about to depart. Not for “home” – because I begin to think of “home” as wherever I am at the moment – and I’ve certainly felt at home here with the Czechs.
Three times now I’ve encountered pianos in public places in Prague. One, a rather plain old upright in a sheltered passageway near the national theater, was being played by a rather scruffy young woman – pounding out ragtime.
When I speak to a Czech audience, I always begin by saying: “Omlo valm say – Nem lu veem Chesky.” I’m sorry, but I do not speak Czech. Then my mischievous interpreter always says, in perfect English, “He says he is sorry, but he doesn’t speak Czech.”