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What Would Jason Do?

Sorry for the lag time between updates. I was away in Prague last week for a few days holiday which threw my plans out a bit.

I hadn’t been away since January when I went on my annual pilgrimage to see my friends in Salt Lake City and catch a few movies at the Sundance Film Festival. One of my dreams is to someday write a movie that is lucky enough to get chosen for Sundance and invite all my Salt Lake peeps to the screening. Good times!

Anyhoo, I needed to get out of Austerityville for a few days cos when you work in newspapers you can’t avoid the daily diet of economic gloom in Ireland these days. It’s affected our pay packets in a big way too cos we’re A students among the basket case EU countries when it comes to trying to fix our finances. It’s been really hard.

Enough of that. So I booked a B&B in Prague at the suggestion of a school friend who’s a professor there now. It’s called the House at the Big Boot and is a great, ultra safe, ultra central location to base yourself on a visit there. How safe? Well, to get to the B&B you had to go by the US embassy. And there was a 24-hour checkpoint on that street where they searched cars with mirrors (for under the chassis) and checked under the hood. Oh yeah, and the German embassy was right opposite my accommodation.

On the first night, after a few libations amid catching up with my school friend, I noticed that the area I was in looked like the set of The Bourne Identity, which was partly set in Zurich. The next day I found out that the movie was actually filmed partly in Prague as were a shedload of other films. In fact, top of my list was a tour that would take in movie locations.

I had two full days in Prague and the first was spent getting my bearings. On the second, I went to Prague Castle and that evening I took the only movie location tour going… on a Segway. A guide shows you around for 2 to 3 hours and has a portable DVD player to show you the clips as you’re at the exact location where they were filmed.

So there was Mission Impossible, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (total turkey), Triple X (XXX), and Bourne Identity, among others. You feel like an idiot on the Segway, but apparently it’s in the Top 5 things to do in Prague. And you can get around the place pretty quickly… besides I didn’t want to unnecessarily burn any calories by walking for hours when I’m trying to bulk up.

I was hoping to see the outside of the US consulate where Jason Bourne jumps to safety in the snow after being pursued by the authorities.

But I saw something else instead. In fact, it’s a far more iconic scene. I saw the park bench where he was woken up by two policemen who tried to evict him from the park. He instinctively beats the shit out of them in a fight or flight scenario. It”s the first moment in the movie when he realises he’s not who he thinks he is.

I should say that I didn’t see the actual bench cos it was damaged in a huge flood about ten years ago. But I could see the markers in the grass and a statue in the background (that also appears on screen).

I lived in Utah at the time that film came out and I remember there were a lot of film critics wondering aloud would Matt Damon be accepted as an action hero. All three films have since grossed $946m. So, how d’ya like them apples?!!

The only problem with my time off was that it was hard to eat the quality and quantity of my regular diet for S2B. And I was probably going to lose weight while travelling anyway, my coach warned me.

I have to admit I was eager to get back to my routine cos I didn’t want to lose too many pounds after working so hard to put them on in the first place. In the end. I couldn’t use my regular scales (in Trinity College gym) for logistical reasons, so I had to use a “needle indicator” scales. I estimate that I ended up losing 3lbs but I had a feeling I could get them back just as quickly.

Interestingly, the trip made one thing absolutely clear to me:  I’m so glad I’m on this brawny path and I want it to be for life.

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