From the last train to the green fairy

Yesterday we woke up early to catch the 930 train from Budapest to Prague, which we did. However, for whatever reason, the train ended up leaving 45 minutes late which was not so great. The ride started out fine. The train was really nice and we had our own compartment to stretch out in. I’d say we slept until about noon (which is by far the best way to pass time in the train…especially if you forget to buy a book at the bookstore right next to your hostel…idiot). Around the afternoon though my cold started acting up an I was officially miserable. Compounding the miserableness was the family that moved into our compartment at the Bratislava stop with their kid. He could have been worse, but being sick and cramped while a toddler tears around a 40 sq ft space filled with 4 other adults while screaming is not ideal. I tried to sleep, no dice, so I went to the dining cart and had two beers. When I came back they were gone.

The rest of the train ride seemed to go on forever, but we finally pulled into Praha at around 530, and set out on the usual course of action: get money, get a map, find hostel. At least this time we didn’t have to worry about getting another train ticket.

We jumped on the red line, transfered to the green, and made a short walk to the Clown & Bard hostel where we will be bunked until Monday. The hostel is nice enough, bar downstairs (a complimentary Pilsner Urquell upon check in), free Internet one floor up, clean rooms, etc. The pillow on the bed looks like a plate of lumpy mashed potatoes, but hey, it’ll do.

We settled in and showered up (something about being on a train that long makes you almost drip with grease) and went downstairs to the bar to game plan a bit. We fell in with 3 English guys who we went and got dinner with at a place with a beer garden that the hostel guy recommended. For the 5 of us to eat and have 2 beers each cost 850csk (Czech crowns) which is the equivalent of about $45. Soo, this city seems pretty cheap (though not as cheap as it used to be I’m told).

We all then decided it would be a good idea to bounce around from bar to bar in the local area (the hostel is just outside the city center) and drink pints until we couldn’t…so we did.

We drank a pint in a dimly lit, (supposedly) Canadian run punk bar that looked the Adams Family’s living room. They were playing MXPX though so it was kind of rad. This was also the place where we ran into Josh from Kalamazoo, MI who was moving to Prague to teach English, and from the looks of it, stage a porn-stash revival.

We drank a pint in what looked like no more than a two booth sandwich shop that was showing a Czech soccer match to a (up until our arrival) lone patron. Said lone patron would continually try to talk to us, realize we had no idea what he was saying and then smoke a cigarette. This happened about 4 times, and now that I think about it, isn’t that funny.

You know that sound effect of a record screaching that is typically associated with a crowd stopping experience? Well we walked into an obviously local bar and that happened. Even the toothless guy in the back of the bar who wasn’t wearing a shirt stopped short. Oh well, we had a beer here too, out back in their beer garden, which in the light probably looks a lot more like a private back yard than anything.

We came back to the hostel and had another beer downstairs and decided that an even better idea would be to break out the Absinthe.

So here is the first word on this stuff: meh. First of all, you could drive a tractor with it as it tastes like a delicate balance between gasoline and black licorice. Second of all, we took it as a shooter and the bartender was “out” of small shot glasses (this at least how I remember it). I can safely (unfortunately?) report that no hallucinagenic effects were felt. We’re told that you have to have two before you’d have a chance. Maybe another night.

After consuming about 70 glasses of water I went and slammed my face against the bed. There will be no hurry in leaving it in the morning.

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