(Yes, I realize you don't know what I'm talking about, because beauty vanished long ago. It vanished under the surface of the noise--the noise of words, the noise of cars, the noise of music--we live in constantly. It has been drowned like Atlantis. All that remains of it is the word, whose meaning becomes less intelligible with every passing year.)
One of the many reasons why reading The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Kundera on the Charles Bridge was an excellent idea was because of the absurdity of reading such an intimate feeling story in such a public place.
I suppose that I could have read it in Vyšehrad cemetery, where there was no one and it would have felt eerily appropriate.
My favorite part was the cemetery plots that were long, human-sized flower boxes: full of roses and herbs growing in rich soil (presumably with a coffin somewhere deep beneath) and sometimes butterflies.
And now I am in Dresden, re-reading Slaughterhouse 5 and surrounded by people and sunshine and light and the fresh sheen of the new and slightly historically macabre. My hostel roommate is here to get an abortion, and cries all of the time.
German-Brooklyn (my new name for Dresden in my head) just provided me with the best vegan burger that I have ever eaten. It is full of kids playing soccer and graffiti and old ladies with purple hair and I am the least tattooed person here.
I met an elderly couple on the train from New Delhi who offered to show me all around northern India when I visit. They were carrying a number of Versace bags. They gave me lunch, which consisted of half of a stale pretzel, a long green chile, and a hardboiled egg.