Monday, December 20, 2004

New Recruits

I got an email from a friend of a friend, of my sister. A 23 yr old guy coming to Prague and seeking some advice and small help; "can you give him some pointers, warnings, etc?". So I write him about the pickpockets, the crooked cab drivers and how he should avoid the panelak in favor of a run-down, Zizkov flat. The normal stuff.

I also framed some of my comments to reflect the fact that I am 45 and don't (can't) hang out much with the younger crowd. But I also wrote:
  • Oh, there are a lot of young Americans here and a bit of arrogance is the best way to be left out. Many of them are well-travelled and well, basically all of us have 'heard-it-all-before'. Just warning you that people who have been here a long time hate listening to the newcomers stories. Best to sit back and listen, and avoid 'where are you from, how long you been here' opening lines. Asking questions for help etc, is fine. Hope you don't mind my being frank.

Am I right? Don't we get a bit like the WWII soldier that didn't want to know the name of the new replacement? Or don't we get sick of the guy that has "lived all over the place" seems to know it all because he lived in LA and NY and maybe had a summer job at the Village Voice?

Kind of a wierd feeling being in a place and getting all the referrals from family and friends to help out one of their friends. Hell, I would probably like the same. But doesn't anyone else feel like a cynic?

I will help him, now that I feel guilty (and he probably figured out the link to the blog). I also told him:
  • Take it easy and enjoy the ride. Its a great place to live and a lot of fun. When you get here it might seem dark and dank, but January is a slow month in paradise.

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