On the Flight from Prague

To the young man behind me on the flight to London from Prague,

Hello my friend. I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation with that young woman next to you.

You say you’re from Prague and ask where she is from. She says she’s from Newcastle, not London.

She’s polite and friendly, but is a little reserved with her answers to your questions. Please don’t take that personally. I think perhaps that may be a common English trait.

You say you want to explore London. That it’ll be your first time there.

I do hope you’ll have a marvellous stay. Just like we had in Prague during the last three days. It was our first time in your city and we loved every minute of it.

First, the food. It wasn’t bad! I tried goulash for the first time and it was delicious!

Secondly, I know you can’t represent everyone in Prague, but I have the overwhelming urge to thank you for the friendliness of the people we met there. They were so helpful and happy to return a smile or laugh at a joke.

If you’re my age and grew up in the west, especially during the Cold War, there were stereotypes of people living in Central and Eastern Europe. It was unkind and now I know it wasn’t true.

Thirdly, I found it incredible how we could get around speaking English. It was impressive. Your English is much better than my Czech, which is non-existent. Thank you for being so accommodating!

Finally, the history of your country. Ancient and heartbreaking in many parts. Victorious and magnificent in others. I’m so very glad your people are now able to rule your country. May that hard won democracy and that freedom to have your say continue for a long time.

Anyway, you were asking about some recommendations about places to visit in London. The young woman is from Newcastle and couldn’t help. I’m sorry about that. But I hope I can!

If in a million to one chance you find this blog post, here are my top 5 recommendations for places to visit.

First thing you’ll see is that London is huge! And each area has its own “flavour”. I’m dying to turn around and ask you how long you have in this city, but I don’t. My inner asian auntie is killing me!

1. Trafalgar Square

It’s big and grand and has a fantastic National Gallery there.

2. Houses of Parliament

You’ve got to see the Houses of Parliament. I think this country sort of invented modern democracy. Controversial statement, I know. Let’s just say this country has a long history of people having their say. About 900 years of it.

3. Westminster Abbey

Loads of famous people are buried or commemorated there. Plus it’s a beautiful grand old building. But I guess you may have plenty of those in your country too.

Anyway, it’s worth a visit. So much of this country’s history and culture can be found there.

3. The West End and Chinatown

Do you like Asian food? Because Chinatown in Soho is great if you do. There is a restaurant called Vietfood that has delicious pho. Prices aren’t too bad either considering it can get quite expensive in London.

5. Tate Britain

The Tate Modern is famous! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that place. But if you want to see British art, may I recommend Tate Britain? It’s a little out of central London, but I think it’s worth a visit.

I do hope you have a wonderful time. London has been a grand city for a long time. The modern and the ancient are found side by side here.

We had a fantastic time in Prague. And this is just a long blog post to say thank you for sharing your beautiful city with us.

If you ever plan to visit Australia, please do let me know. There are great places to explore there too!

Although my parents are Korean, I grew up in that country. It’s the home I’ve known the longest and the best. It would be my pleasure to give you a few recommendations!

All the very best,

Agnes

11 thoughts on “On the Flight from Prague

  1. Such a lovely post, Aggie! I’m always having to bite my tongue in these situations. Some of us Brits are more voluble than others. It is lovely to be greeted with a smile and enthusiasm though. I haven’t yet been to Prague. Glad you had a fine time.

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    1. Haha! I was so tempted to do that. But the seating was too awkward. I just asked for a pen from the flight attendant and started drafting the blog post in my journal there and then. I should have just turned around and given him the link to this blog! 🤦🏻‍♀️

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      1. We had a great time in that young man’s city. It could have been awful and full of cross-cultural misunderstandings. But it wasn’t like that at all. And I just had the urge to somehow return the favour.

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      2. I really liked walking around Prague castle and exploring Lesser Town. It was moving to come across the Lennon Wall and learn about its history. Made me want to visit Malta. It was kinda awesome of the order to allow people to graffiti its walls like that. Made me curious about their connection to the country.

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