Blog
July 14, 2013

No Shit-ism: Chardonnay with a conscripted Soviet army bomb tech, among other oddities

Prague, Czech Republic

I might be looking in all the wrong places, but after four weeks, I think I’m ready to proclaim that Prague isn’t much of a party city. Unless your platonic ideal of the perfect night out involves gyrating to Ibiza trance in a sea of barely-legals, in which case you may count your bases scantily covered. Considering the most original vibe we could find in the music clubs was kinda avante-guard-Applebees, I’m gonna stop trying to avoid sounding condescending and really run with it: Czech, maybe *wince* this is just not your thing?

Kyle and I spent the early hours of Friday night wandering around under the TV tower in Praha 3, in what both the internet and Rick Steves call a “bar district”, but we walked out of the Palac Acropolis at ten, wiping potato grease off our faces, to find the streets whisper-level deserted. “Let’s go back to our neighborhood and have back-slapping small town conversations in the local pubs.” Mistake: by the time we skipped off the subway an hour later, everything – even the corner stores – had pulled the shutters. Everything except a ten-seat wine bar next to a Vietnamese nail salon. The bartender had forearms like mutton shanks and looked like he’d be really sad to have to do a murder, because he’s over that period in his life now.

Robert, clearly a regular, was a friendly middle-aged tough with a gold chain necklace, a skinhead pate and huge pores. He spoke about twenty words of wartime keyword English in single-concept sentences, but it was enough.

“Gorbachev,” he said, waving around a cheap glass of white wine. “Afghanistan. Chechnya. Pyrotechnic. My friend, boom. American plastic bomb.” He showed us the scars on his chin and hands where the fire had burned his skin off. “Fascism. Stalinism. Communism. Shit.”

“Lots of shitisms,” I confirmed. “Tonight, no shitism.”

“Shitism,” he says thoughtfully. “Is good word. Happy. Freedom. Democracy.” A pause. “Marijuana.”

na zdraví!” Cheers.

He kissed us on the cheeks a lot.

“Did that just happen?” Kyle asked as we walked home after closing. Yup. Yay.

Next morning, we stopped at the Saturday farmer’s market near Jiřího z Poděbrad for coffee, a jar of garlic olives, and some kind of fig danish that was actually pretty gross. I’m super into the Prague subways: they make me want to roller skate. Coming up from the platform, we pass a descending men’s rowing team sitting canoe-style on the escalator, pretending to be in a boat. “Heave!” they yell in unison. “Ho!”

“What about that? Did that just happen?” Yup. Yay.

Expat Travel Blog: Breakfast Farmers Market in Prague

Expat Travel Blog: Czech Cheese Counter at Prague Farmer's Market

Expat Travel Blog: Buying Bread at the Prague Famers Market

Beijing Expat Travel Blog: Prague Subway Entrance

Shit disco-face yes:

China Expat Travel Blog: Prague subway Platform Design

This happened too: The Museum of Miniatures, near the castle monastery, is two industrial-carpeted rooms lined with microscopes. “The Eiffel Tower in the pit of a wild cherry”, one placard reads. “John Lennon on a grain of rice”. Turns out that if you put your camera up to the eye-holes and aim really carefully, you can get the shot. I’m bad at science, but doesn’t that seem like it wouldn’t work? It does, though.

Two cars on the wing of a mosquito:

Beijing Expat Travel Blogger: Prague Museum of Miniatures in Czech Republic

Camel caravan in the eye of a needle:

Expat World Travel Blog: Prague Miniature Museum Exhibit

A flea with scissors, and also some keys:

Indie Travel Expat Blog: Prague Museum of Miniatures

Czech Travel Blog: Prague Museum of Miniatures front door

Prague Expat Travel Blog: Museum of Miniatures Exhibits

Microscope on a micro-book:

Beijing Expat Blog: Exploring Prague Museums

A picnic over Prague:

Beijing Expat Travel Blog: Summer Picnic Near Prague Castle, Prague Overlook

Picnic spot in the apple orchard below the cloister:

Travel Expat China Blog: Picnic Spot in Prague Orchard

Snap:

China Expat Travel Blog: Taking Pictures During Lunch

We spent the rest of the day in a rom-com montage: there was an afternoon peddle boat ride on the Vltava and then there was a cheese plate dinner at a French culture street fair. If it makes you feel any better, no one gave anyone else a lick of their ice-cream cone and then got some on their nose. Also, no one hilariously chased a run-away hat.

Beijing Expat Travel Blog: Marionettes in Czech Republic

Olives:

Beijing Expat Blog: Olives at the French Fair in Prague

I ate 100 grams of this:

Beijing Expat Blogger: French Fair in Prague

Pate:

Travel Blogger China: French Culture Fair in Prague

Travel Blogger Expat Beijing: Mussels at the Culture Fair

All the boats shaped like swans were taken, but ours wasn’t too bad:

Travel Blog Prague: Boating on the River

Indie Travel Blog Czech: Peddle Boats on the River

Expat Travel Blogger Czech Republic: How to rent boats on the Vltava River

Male models riding on the hood of a carboat peddle past bathroom suspended in river wall (like ya do):

Travel Blog Prague: Exploring the River by Boat

WTF IS A KENDRA SCHAEFER?
american tech writer living in beijing. chinese user interface consultant. crafter of pretty digital things. haver of nebulous ideas.
Call me, baby.
  • me@kendraschaefer.com
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