Today, Querido arrived in Singapore.
Today, Querido formally asked daddy and mummy in person for my hand in marriage This explains why I’m only uploading the Prague Proposal Post now. No prizes for guessing my parents’ reply, especially since my mummy has been evidently eager to get me out of the house for the longest time. ROM’s scheduled for September this year, while the traditional ceremony is likely to take place mid next year.
Prague. To be honest, after an exceptional time in Budapest, Prague wasn’t particularly impressive. This was coupled with the fact that our “first activity” in Prague was witnessing a “Portugal 0 – 4 Germany” scoreline in the World Cup. Anyway, I suppose Querido had his way to make this city really memorable for both of us
So, Querido popped the question at Charles Bridge. Charles Bridge, which crosses the Vltava River, dates back to the medieval times and links the Old Town to the Lesser Town. What makes the Bridge iconic is the collection of 30 statues, which line the parapets on both sides. The exact proposal spot was above the fifth arch of the Bridge (taking reference from the Prague Castle), next to the Statue of St. Chistopher and in the direction of the direct glance of St. John the Baptist on the opposite side.
The proposal was so unexpected and impromptu, to the extent that I asked if it was “the real deal”. Ha. Thinking back, its simplicity made it sweet in its own way Till today, I have had many friends asking me “Why Hugo?” My response – “What I really love about Querido is his consistency in pampering me with little gestures of love (over the past 3.5 years). Marriage is a lifetime marathon and not a momentary sprint. My life partner has to have an amazing stamina to motivate me to complete the race together. Precisely, Querido consistently reminds me that I’m loved through his small daily deeds. They mean sooooooo much and love breeds love.” Muito obrigada, meu amor It feels awkward to describe this private moment publicly, so I shall leave it as such. By the way, the idea of “I’m going to get married” did not sink in immediately. Hence, the following day, we returned to the momentous spot to “re-live” the milestone in our relationship.
Apart from Charles Bridge, there were many other memorable spots in Prague too. For instance, Prague’s Old Town Square has remained virtually untouched since the 10th century. The Rococo Kinsky Palace, the Gothic Tyn Cathedral, the Baroque St. Nicholas Church – amazing and varied architecture! The Square by day was lively and colourful. In addition, the Square by night emitted a romantic charm, especially with the Tyn Cathedral in the background.
The Prague astronomical clock is also located within the Old Town Square. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working. Every hour, the 12 Apostles would appear at the 2 small windows above the clock, and this was a hit with the cameras-ready tourists!
An interesting building we came across was the Dancing House. According to wikipedia, “the very non-traditional design was controversial because the house stands out among the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous and in the opinion of some it does not accord well with these architectural styles. The then Czech President, Václav Havel, who lived for decades next to the site, had avidly supported this project, hoping that the building would become a center of cultural activity.”
In addition to the Old Town Square, the other important Square is the Wenceslas Square. It is part of the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site and a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations and other public events. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia.
An unexpected observation was the larger-than-expected Thai community in Prague. We saw at least 10 Thai massage houses, and many Thai food outlets. For one of my lunches, I decided to try their green curry and it was pretty authentic!
Querido and I also visited the Spanish Synagogue. Its interior boasted of an elaborate Islamic-style polychrome and gilded patterns. We were really impressed and it was a pity that photography was not permitted. Despite its name, the synagogue was never used by a Spanish congregation and is in fact owned by the Jewish Museum of Prague. The Jews were believed to have settled in Prague as early as the 10th century. We also walked around the Jewish Quarter.
While in Prague, we naturally had to make a stop at the Prague Castle and its surrounding Belvedere, Lorento Convent, St. Nicholas Church, etc. Once again, the visit reinforced my low interest in royal palaces. The views from elevated grounds were picturesque though.
Below are some random shots of Prague. (By the way, that was Querido’s “we better get going” look while I was busy whatsapping Yvonne Chung while she was getting her hair done. That was also just before we headed for Charles Bridge.)
It’s going to be a busy busy busy year ahead – new job scope, ROM prep, wedding prep, flat search and renovation. *Jiayous* to us!