Travel Narrative Monday: Poisonous and Psychotropic Mushrooms and Spores

This is the poster. Source unknown.

My host mother in Prague spoke very little English.  She had few English-language possessions, things that were written in English that I could understand without the aid of a dictionary.  One of them was a poster depicting both poisonous, and psychotropic fungi.

It was tacked onto the back of the bathroom door.

Like most Czech homes, the toilet in our flat is separate from the bathing area.  It is tucked away in a room the size of a broom closet, and it housed diapers, Czech women’s magazines, and toilet paper.  And also, that poster.  Every time I use the toilet, I sit and study it.  My Czech isn’t good enough to read the magazines, and it’s not really like I could avoid looking at it.

I can’t tell you today which mushrooms are poisonous and which ones give you a good trip.  The poster was just something to look at, but the names were too complicated to remember off-hand.

The funny thing was, I never knew why she had it, or where she got it from.  She isn’t a hippie – she rarely drank and she most definitely did not do drugs.  Perhaps she got it as a gift, although her house isn’t some cluttered, hoarder’s haven, and she isn’t the type of person who kept purposeless things.

It may have even been the only source of English in the house, apart from her Czech-to-English dictionary.

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