Saturday, 7 April 2007

Bratislava

Last night, I ate goulash while a trio of old men (violin, cello, piano) played Misty in a cellar restaurant in the old town in Bratislava. It is very disorientating to be somewhere where you recognize nothing at all of the language; with the exception of "suveniry" and a very few other words, I couldn't even begin to guess what anything was. But the apartment I was staying in was beneath an sf bookshop, with Jon Courtney Grimwood's neoAddix in the middle of the window,
the churches were wonderful (and it was Good Friday), cigarettes cost less than a pound, they have lovely trams, the people are friendly and the historic centre is beautiful. Unfortunately, it looks out on to more Communist-era tower blocks than you can possibly imagine, and there is now a gigantic Tesco.
But I loved it there. And I believe they have flat rate income tax at 19 per cent, so I expect they will prosper, especially if they don't join the euro (as they plan to in a year or two).

I read Stephen King's Night Shift, which I didn't know (he is, unsurprisingly enough, a very good short story writer), Richard Morgan's Black Man (I shall probably review it) and have just started Timothy Mo's Sour Sweet, which I like a lot so far. I watched The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which I thought pretty disappointing.
today's neglected book is Mr Friend Mr Leakey by JBS Haldane.
got back home, ate prawns with noodles and chinese greens.

I am going to bed now in the hope that I can get up in time for the 5.30am service tomorrow. Happy Easter.