'I'd like to say that my decision to move to Prague permanently was based on something grand and noble - a desire to trace my roots, a sense of adventure, my literary heart yearning to burst into flower in the sweet soil of Old Europe - but I can't. The truth is that I had nothing better to do.'
When Rachael Weiss left a good job, Thelma the cat and a normal life in Sydney for the romantic dream of being a writer in Prague she intended to stay forever. She lasted just three years, exasperated by the eccentricities of her ancestral city and the mind-boggling bureaucracy and customs of a country that values beer and potatoes above everything else.
In this surprising and generous memoir full of warmth and unstoppable sociability, Rachael attempts to write her great novel, buy an apartment (any apartment!), dodge unscrupulous employers, and perhaps find love. She gets lost in the woods with a Kyrgyzstani software engineer who wants to eat humans, finds herself leading services at the Spanish synagogue with no real idea of what she was doing and spends long nights drinking beer with a colourful cast of crazy, warm and slightly mad locals and expats.
Rich in absurdities and gentle humour, The Thing About Pragueis rife with insight, culture clashes, friendships and above all charm.
Rachael Weiss is an Australian author, currently living and writing in Dublin. Apart from her first two books, Are We There Yet? and Me, Myself and Prague, her greatest achievement to date is her fourth place in the 1996 New South Wales Scrabble tournament. She is currently working on her fourth book.
The Thing About Prague
Allen and Unwin
Author: Rachael Weiss