Prague IV – Simple pleasures in life

Please find here for previous post, Part 3 PRAGUE – REDISCOVERY OF CREATIVITY

One of my favourite pastimes in Prague was starting out the day in the Old Town Square. Without a plan or any clues, and just letting intuition guide me in whichever direction it deemed fit. Time after time, in the absence of conscious intervention, I would be prompted to follow the same familiar route that offered much comfort and contentment. Perhaps this only proved that I was just another creature of habit. Even though there was the secret anticipation to be led to explore a new part of the town everyday, the desire of rushing around to visit every single tourism attraction quickly dissipated. Amazingly, I settled in.

A stroll along the riverbank of the Vltava river leading towards Charles Bridge was especially enjoyable. In the afternoons, you would witness groups of friends lounging, socialising and chilling out on the lawns along the river. The laughter and chatter divulged a youthful and lively facet of Prague, for an otherwise anciently historical neighbourhood. With Prague Castle ascending majestically in the distant background; Charles Bridge along with its magnificent gallery of statues in sight; glimmering sunlight dancing and skipping on the reflective surface of tranquil water, the view was breathtaking.

charles bridge prague

I caught myself stopping often in my tracks in awe. Inhaling in this freshness, this sweetness. When feeling lazy, I would pick a bench to engage in watching a spectacle performed by pigeons. They would gallop towards bits and pieces of bread that people threw at them, all the while busily coordinating a bobbing movement of their heads, as if to encourage “More, more”.

You could also easily identify the protagonist, the dominant male of the pack. It was the one fiercely defending its territory and chasing away all potential invaders. Triumphing at pecking each piece of bread was second to reinforcing its authority of leader-hood. However, as soon as the audience had shifted their attention to elsewhere, these little entertainers swiftly dispersed unflustered, and carried on with their other daily chores.

charles bridge prague

I slouched back into the bench, resting in peacefulness, in serenity. It felt like I hadn’t been able to relax in this state of carefreeness for a long time. Ah, this quietly blissful moment had been so welcome. Oscar Wilde had once expressed, “Simple pleasures are always the last refuge of the complex”. And I began to think about what it meant to enjoy simple pleasures in life, then found there was simply nothing to mull over. I just felt grateful.

The soft caressing sound of violin rose nearby. I gathered my bag and headed towards Rudolfinum, a beautiful music auditorium home to the Czech Philharmonic. I was ready for my first chamber orchestra concert in Prague.

Please find here for Part 5 PRAGUE – THE POWER OF MUSIC

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