Goodbye to Vroutek

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by Tim Burdick on 10 September, 2014

You know you’re nervous about missing the 3:51 pm bus to Podborany when you arrive 40 minutes early at the bus stop. A thousand fears ran through my mind. Making connections in unfamiliar ghost towns (Czech villages are famous for being empty on Saturday afternoon), running with a back pack for a bus, getting off at the wrong stop, I just kept repeating one thought in my head. Get to Zatec and you’ll be fine. 

But, now what?

The empty square had no shops open, except an ice cream stand. What could I do to pass the time? Count cop cars? The regular patrols passed every five minutes. These guys must not have a lot to do.

Two teens approached, “When is the next bus to Podborany?” They asked in Czech.

“In 39 minutes.” I sighed.

My answer launched a barrage of questions.
“Where are you from?”
“Your Czech is absolutely F#*@! Amazing!
“How long you are here?”
“15 years.”
“Wow, okay bye.”
I watched as they hitched a ride from a passing cop car. Probably they were about to be arrested or end up dead in a field with their organs harvested.

What to do? What to do?

Let’s practice my Waltz. No one was around except for this back packer chick who just plopped down next to me. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. 1-2-3.

Okay, I felt stupid waltzing at a bus stop without a partner, so I stopped.

10 minutes later, my drunk conversation buddies walked by. (They’re not dead or arrested.)

“You’re still here? Wow, are you vegan? You look vegan. Surfing? Where? What do you do? Really? You don’t want a beer? You can stay with us till Sunday and we’ll give you a ride? No? Okay, goodbye.”

The stream of conscious conversation was only interrupted by my one word replies. The teens and I did fist bumps ‘goodbye.’

I checked my watch and smiled. 5 minutes till my bus arrives. The people you meet in small towns. Thank goodness, they distracted me from myself.


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