Radio Prague, as you may know, is located at the bottom of Vinohradska St, not far behind the National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square. I've been working here for over three months now and it was only last week that I looked up from the tramstop I go to every day to see on the hill on the other side of the city...Prague Castle. Imagine - a whole three months of standing in the same place and I hadn't once looked up and fully taken in my surroundings. Prague Castle - a wonder to millions of tourists every year, to me just part of the landscape and one I easily can look at without really seeing.
I dare say its something that happens to many people who spend a long time in this city - and I myself have been here for over eight years - you simply start to lose that sense of wonder which drew you to the city in the first place. The castle becomes a backdrop, Charles Bridge just a way of getting from one side of the river to the other, and one best avoided because of the crowds. Charles Bridge! I remember how crossing the bridge blew my mind all those years ago.
I even remember standing at the tramstop outside Masarykovo train station back in 1992, when I first came here on holiday, and thinking what an interesting building. Now I hate the place and consider it an absolute hole.
Perhaps taking Prague's charms for granted can be compared to playing a favourite album too much. There are a few lps which I have listened to so much - such as Forever Changes by the 60s group Love - that whenever I play them I don't get anything out of the experience any more. I can listen but I don't hear a thing.
To be honest, the only time I really appreciate the beauty of the city which has become some kind of home to me is when I show visitors around. Their wows and enthusiam rub off on me and I do get the old feeling a bit. But I also notice that I find it hard to walk as slowly as my companions - they're drinking it all in and I'm already thinking about the next place I can bring them.
How can you combat this complacency, this beauty fatigue, so to speak. You don't find yourself showing visitors around Prague too often, after all.
Working here at Radio Prague helps a bit. Being a reporter does get you inside buildings you would otherwise never enter, such as the Central Bank. You get to see inside the building itself and to see the city from fresh angles from the windows.
Having thought about it long and hard, I think the only answer is to keep reminding yourself to look up. Walk more. Take your time and turn a few unfamiliar corners, go to a gallery you've never been to. Go into that interesting looking bar instead of passing by. Actually - that's a great idea. There's a cool looking new bar around the corner here. I'm off!