Monday, August 04, 2003

ARGH. Yesterday I went to an ashtanga yoga workshop. Today I feel like Uday and Qusay combined.

Over the weekend I installed one of those Site Meters (found on PragueBlog and seen elsewhere), which is just a little traffic counter that you stick on your site to see who's a-comin' and a-goin'. Anybody can click on it and view my traffic, including such goodies as referring sites (i.e., which sites out there on the Internet are linking to me, and how many people are clicking to me from those sites).

Frankly, it's a very unsettling feeling knowing that people -- even if just a few -- are actually reading my blog. So go on then! Be off! Shoo!

Take Media Dragon, a blog with a vague Czech connection written by Jozef Imrich from, it appears, Australia. In today's post he refers to me as "Scott of Nota, Nota, Bene Fame." While I'm really grateful for the attention, I honestly haven't a clue as to what this means. Is he mixing me up with somebody else, or did I eat a brain tumor for breakfast?

For anybody who has a blog or a web site, this is all so very yesterday, but you lay people might want to check out this nifty map that shows where my many worldly-wise readers are located.

I also noticed that Geoff Goodfellow has begun posting a few personal reflections, rather than straight news articles, which is nice. I'm not sure I agree, for whatever it's worth, that American expats in Prague seem to mainly hang around other Americans. Of course there's a certain amount of expat aggregation, but it's rarely to the exclusion of locals -- and not nearly as bad as expat enclaves in other European cities I've visited, where all English-speakers tend to gravitate to the local Irish pub. In any case, I'm glad to see Mr. Goodfellow was listening to Thievery Corporation's Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi yesterday. That CD changed my life.

Almost forgot -- Saturday night I went to my friend Hana's apartment for some cheesecake (no, really, and it was really good cheesecake from Bakeshop Praha...) and came across, stuffed in her bookcase, an old New Yorker article called "The Velvet Purge: The Trials of Jan Kavan," the former Czech exile dissident who was accused of being a Communist secret service informer, then went on to become foreign minister and now heads the UN General Assembly. The text was ripped out of the magazine, and it was impossible to tell what the publication date was -- somewhere around 1993-5, I assume -- but the story was truly fascinating, not the least for its view of the origins of Klaus's right-wing ODS party (anti-dissident, anti-Communist, and that pretty much amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?).

The author, Lawrence Weschler, portrayed the anti-Communist lustration program as deeply flawed and the worst charges against Kavan as most likely unfounded; but regardless, Kavan came off as a liar and an extraordinarily neurotic creep. I've never really understood much about Kavan, as that whole drama was old news by the time of my 1996 arrival in the Czech Republic, so it was good to read about how things looked way back when, in the thick of things so to speak.


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