I take five stops on the Prague red metro line to work every morning. It’s nice and clean and fast and it takes me to my ultra modern office tower in Pankrác, Prague’s skyscraper city, and the metro is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and I always get a seat in the morning and I get to read something or listen to music or just look at people from within my generous dose of personal space.
The collapse of modern civilization will probably look a lot like the closure of the red metro line this week, to the point that I am still not quite clear on how I manage to jam myself into the absolutely packed replacement bus this morning. I think I step on a baby.
The bus reeks of armpit sweat and salami. At nine in the morning.
How is this possible, I ask you? People having salami breath in the morning. Is that what normal people have for breakfast? Am I the freak with my cup of coffee and my greek yogurt and my apples?
And this is what the red metro line replacement bus looks like this morning as it departs Hlavni Nadrazi.
And about ten seconds into the red metro line replacement bus’ journey across the Magistrala (which is a highway built by the communists literally across the center of Prague like an asphalt middle finger), Salami Breath here in the red hoodie starts twitching and tweaking.
And about a minute later he is ranting.
And a little later he is screaming and scratching the window, because he is tripping balls.
And by the time we’re approaching Vysehrad, he has begun to take his clothes off.
And because the bus is full of Czechs, everybody pretends that none of this is happening.
And then I get a text from Jen in the UK with a link to a BBC article about a Japanese policeman who has the largest collection of Hello Kitty memorabilia in the world and I think that’s nice. How nice it must be to be a Japanese policeman and spend your days collecting Hello Kitty, and not inhaling predigested salami fumes on your way to work, and just as Little Red Tripping Hoodie begins reaching for his belt the bus pulls into Prazskeho Postavni and that’s my stop so I leave.
Later on I try the office gym for the first time, which looks like this:
And as I am working out I get another text from Jen who’s on her way to choose a puppy, and the text says “I just peed in the bushes and got stuck by nettles fml”.
So I guess it could be worse.