Prague, Fine Beer and a Dirty Mustache
Posted by Andy Steves in on September 15, 2010.
I came over to Europe a week before school started in Rome. Destination: Prague, the land of cheap beer and absinth and of course, a rich culture. After I picked up my bags at the airport, I headed outside to the bus stop to wait for the 71 express bus. A bus passed by me, and as my tired eyes focused on its back end, I saw “71 EXP.” So I went back inside for my first pint of Pilsner Urqell. I ended up paying the equivalent of $3 for it, for which I caught much grief from the friend I stayed with later that night). I caught the next bus and eventually made it out to my friend’s house just outside of Prague. Hansa picked me up at the bus stop and walked me back in the frigid Czech air back to his house. He had been redoing the house for months, which was supposed to be done months ago. However, the illegal Slovakian immigrant workers would come and go and nothing was being done, so Hansa’s father took over as contractor and things were finally starting to move along.
After a simple dinner, I went out to a bar with Hansa for a few drinks. Called The Old Well, the bar was built around the old well of the neighborhood. Over six beers (at $1 each), we discussed Czech culture and history, American politics, the weather, and other things until I came close to falling asleep on the table. We took the tram back and crashed.
I spent the third night in Sir Toby’s Hostel, where I met a couple interesting Chileans who, from the moment I met them would not stop talking about having sex with goats. I’m not joking, but I’m 70% sure they were. One had the dirtiest ‘stache I’ve ever seen, he never smiled in any of my photos, and could creep out any girl with the slightest glance. His friend never put down the hood of his hoodie sweatshirt. That being said, I’ve never met a funnier pair of kids. They were on a tour of Europe for a couple of months before they planned on heading back to Chile. I asked to see their planner of where they were heading and the one with the mustache pulled out a matchbook, popped it open and said “you have to squint” as he passed it to me. It was a calendar on the inside of a match book with X’s and O’s on random dates apparently with meanings attached. I, an outsider to this code, could not interpret it and I handed it back.
The Chileans and I shared the same room in the hostel. There was another older American man in our room, and I couldn’t stand him. He liked to talk like a British textbook. I don’t like the British accent and I don’t like listening to people who like to hear themselves talk.
With the Chileans, the first night we hit the tequila and beer hard and made our way to a discoteca near to our hostel. As we came closer, it became evident that the deep thumping we could hear was emanating from an old converted mansion. There was a rumor that there was a cover, so in my inebriation, I scaled the wall of the place and climbed into a window on the third floor. I’m not usually that acrobatic--it must have been the $2 tequila. I met up with my Chileans ten minutes later after wandering down the labyrinth of hallways and stairs that would have been scary if I was a girl. I went down and down to the basement where the walls were covered with what looked like old computer circuit boards lit up with LEDs and populated with swirling servos. I really liked this relatively small place. In the bar room, the ceilings were about 12 feet high with seats opposite the bar all the way down the wall. On the seating side though, a second floor was packed in so on the lower level, you took a step down into the booths or you could head up the staircase at the end and walk, hunched over, down the row to find some open seats. The next room was the dance floor where the music was deafening and any American would need as many drinks as I had had to dance to it. I did.
That night I met someone interesting. Occasionally you come across a person that takes certain things too seriously, but whether their passion is bowling or ice-skating or roller skating, it’s great to see them in their element. Bowlers show up with an arsenal of balls for different scenarios. Roller skaters show up with shorts that would have been in style 30 years ago. And ice-skaters are well, ice-skaters. Well, thats night I met a girl that took clubbing too seriously. I saw her come in fashionably late, wearing a bright red sport jacket, with bleached and dreadlocked hair. She made an appearance on the dance floor and headed to the bar to wait for all the horny guys to buy her drinks. I was at the point where I would talk to anybody so I approached her to see if she was as interesting as she looked. After two minutes, I learned she definitely wasn’t. She was more interested in looking down her nose from the bar stool and having me buy her a drink. So I didn’t and headed back to find the Chileans. They were still talking about goats.
Everything was so organized and the tour guide was AWESOME! They had everything planned out and I got a really good feel for life in the city. We even got to cut the lines for the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh museum. It was definitely worth the money and I would recommend to anyone looking for a fun filled weekend.Ben Swick, University of Dayton ~ ISA Maynooth University, Fall 2015
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