Behind every front cover, there’s an inside, a story to be told, long and wordy and often quite boring. Yawn. Who wants to read books anymore anyway when we’ve got Avengers movies and Game of Thrones? The idea though extends to buildings too, where there’s a front, there’s a back. Depending on the country, the front side is usually the nicely held up representation of what’s inside. People want to say, “Look, whoever lives here lives well, lives nice, lives proper.” So they spend all of their money making up a beautiful façade, but then run out of money for the interior. Maybe they’ll get to it later.

Then again, I’ve been in countries where they don’t give a single haypenny worth’s of care about the façade, and they only care about the interior. Sometimes just the façade of the interior. There are so many metaphors that can fly around this that one should consider a fly swatter. Just watch your heads folks.

entering a "hidden garden"

All that to say, over the weekend there was an interestingly themed “festival” of sorts. Most people know the much more famous sister festival of this one called “Open House Prague”, when all these old Baroque beauties open their doors and let you look up their skirts (indeed, most cities have some sort of variation on the theme). On this not-quite-the-same weekend was Malostransky dvorky, the festival that you shouldn’t confused with Prague Dvorak Festival, which comes from the same roots. That is, Dvorak comes from the word for courtyard. Or porter, actually. A porter was the guy who tends the courtyard and answers the front door and tells the residents if they have a guest. You see, back in the day before the doorbell and cell phone were invented, each apartment complex had their own non-composing dvorak to act as the doorbell. “Hello, I’m here for Svarak,” you might say. Then it was his job to look you over, make sure you were a decent fellow, and then yell up the courtyard, “Svarak!” Then a random neighbor would yell, “Shut up! Everyone wants svarak these days!” True story.