The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Over Your Shoulder

Brno is a city that nearly evaded all vowels. You can see the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul straightaway upon arrival. It leaps up and towers above everything.

From my bus, I watch an old man at a tram stop taking tiny, tiny steps to weave around girls wearing headphones. He will need a straighter path to the doors when the tram finally arrives. The girls are unbothered by him and he is unbothered by their scattered positions on the sidewalk. He moves like it’s an afternoon ski-less slalom. He has quite impressive speed given the minute, shuffling movement he manages.

In a labored circle to the bus station and back onto the highway, I saw ceaseless advertisements, billboards. Nearly every surface seems commercial. There’s Hornbacher home improvement store that looks like a circus–people wander from small cars through a stream of flags and into the tent-like doors and floors. Next to the perfect teeth or happy people enjoying toothpaste, I felt and sometimes spotted the shadow of the Cathedral.

Coming and going, the Cathedral can see all visitors. I catch the gaze of the steeples in the reflections of store windows. It peers over the goings-on, the commerce, the waiting, the shuffling daily lives. It evaded my attempts to get a clear photo as well.

–Brno, Czech Republic.

I must admit this is Prague, not Brno. I'd take reader photos, though!

I must admit this is Prague, not Brno. I’d take reader photos, though!

7 comments on “Over Your Shoulder

  1. billgncs
    November 5, 2014

    When I was in provence, my daughter and I rode our bikes to the cafe and would site and watch people meander by. A lady went into a store, and left her tram to be watched by two ancient men playing chess outside.

    Your story reminded me of that moment.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 7, 2014

      I love people watching. It’s a great way to see a city, to find the differences and the similarities among all people. I haven’t done a bike ride abroad, though. It may be a good way for me to get to know the pavement… 🙂

  2. joannerambling
    November 5, 2014

    Another post that painted a picture for the reader

  3. Jeff Walker
    November 7, 2014

    “Brno is a city that nearly evaded all vowels.”

    One of the best opening lines to a blog (or book) ever.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 7, 2014

      Thank goodness it made sense to someone other than yours truly! Thanks, Jeff! I’m delighted!

      • Jeff Walker
        November 7, 2014

        Growing up I had a friend whose last name was Srb (pronounced “serb”). We dubbed him “He whose name has no vowels”.

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This entry was posted on November 5, 2014 by in Travel, Writing and tagged , , , , .

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