Princess of the World
Days of eating our way through Europe had finally caught up with us. We’d been wined and dined across Slovakia, filling ourselves with Golden Pheasant beer, my great aunt Dada’s apple strudel and plum dumplings, halusky, salty korbáčiky cheese and mile high pieces of zemlovka, a savory cake baked with layers of custard-like french toast, tvorah cheese, meringue and blueberry jam (recipe on its way soon). We’d eaten like royalty and were now suffering the consequences.
Our destination on this warm fall day was the Prague Castle, across the Charles Bridge and up a few hundred steps. The five of us began trudging up the endless steps and I soon lagged behind, a teensy bit out of breath. “Go ahead”, I urged the others as I stopped to
rest take pictures. I claimed the burden of my small black clutch purse was too heavy to carry, blaming the weight on a newly purchased t shirt my husband had jammed into it. I had been feeling a bit peckish, and so grudgingly my betrothed walked back down to me and took the dainty purse as we kidded him about the security of his manhood.
My cousin Martinka encouraged us along by telling us about the magnificent sites to be seen from the top. After an interminable number of minutes of huffing and puffing, we reached the summit. And there at the top of the hill, lined against the wall in all their glowing natural beauty, were 42 young, nubile women dressed in evening gowns, sashes swathed across their chests.
We stood there, breathless, and took in the spectacular views. Of Martinka’s city of course, spread out before us over the stone wall. At least I tried to see Prague, but the view was largely blocked by these young women three feet in front of us who had obviously NOT been eating like royalty lately.
Jozef, our host, took a deep breath and sucked in his gut. Nick, my husband, said to me in a low voice “I cannot believe that I am standing here, right now, carrying your purse.”