At Prague airport

January 29, 2006 |

A fairly desultory sort of day.  And very enjoyable in its own way.  I didn’t do much of note beyond buying one or two presenty things and a bottle of booze.  Had my final Czech meal at my favourite local restaurant and had my final perv at the girls at the hostel, this time some seriously gorgeous South American girls who were booking in as I was checking out. Always the way.  Then it was down to drinking coffee and just hanging out. 

I board in about 40 minutes and with luck will be touching down in Zagreb at about 8pm local time . Then I tackle the BEAST.  First, set up HQ at the Central Hotel.  Second, drink heavily till I board that flight tomorrow at 12.20pm for Australia via Paris and Singapore.  Its going to be tough but I ain’g going to let Zagreb bring me down. I’ll probably spend a fair amount of tonight at Bonbon, the only decent place of refuge in that godforsaken place. 

A few parting thoughts about Prague.  It has been a terrific city to visit and spend some time in.  I spent a total of 9 days here and enjoyed myself.  I am museumed and sited out and could probably have spent a few days less and still enjoyed the experience just as much.  That said it is nice to get to know a city to the point where I don’t need to use a map and at the same time don’t get lost.  It is cheap, clean and very diverse.  It has something for all tastes and tends to take an easygoing approach to most things.  Praguers are so used to tourists that they tend to indifference.  The service is polite and reasonably efficient but not particularly warm.  Then again I could say much the same about Vienna.  That stands in contrast to the usual treatment throughout Croatia.  That tends to be a generalisation, both ways, but overall reasonably accurate.  The Czech Republic, like Poland, is easy on the pocket.  If you want to make it really cheap that is not hard to do. 

 Things I would bring from Prague to Melbourne:

  1. The beer.  Czech beer is head and shoulders over all the others.  Austrian beer isn’t bad and some Polish beer is very good, especially Zywiecz, but there is something about Czech pilsener.  Very tasty and cheap.  Turkish beer is pretty ordinary.  Stick to Raki in Turkey, if you like getting knocked off your stool that is.
  2. The women. Czech women range from cute to seriously out of this world gorgeous.  Many are tallish, thin and have that drop dead gorgeous slavonic ovel face, wide set eyes and lusterous long blond hair.  Even rugged up in winter coats they look seriously sexy.  The only thing better than Czech women are Polish women.  In Poland they constitute serious eye candy.  I was gobsmacked how stunning they were.  The Australian/Polish girls will need a serious amount of plastic surgery to catch up.  It was quite an eye opener. A pleasant one.
  3. The open all hours approach to eating and drinking establishments.  The restauarants serve from the minute the doors open till they close.  The notion of a set lunch or breakfast is not the norm. There are breakfast menus but it is more a nod to tourist tastes.  The food is fantastic.  Most shops are open till 8pm on most nights. 
  4. The beer
  5. The women.

Things I would leave in Prague

  1. Museum attendants. I have ranted long and loud on the subject so no more needs be said.
  2.  The beggars.  The beggars, of which there are more than a few, have a protocol.  They place themselves in a kneeling position, lean forward and rest their forearms on the pavement and place a bowl before them or in their cupped outstretched hands.  I initially thought they were praying to Mecca.  This is unacceptable in Australia because that is the well known Barrister position we take up waiting for briefs.  If beggars took up that practice in Oz how would you know the beggars from the barristers?  I guess the beggars would be better dressed.
  3. The ticket inspectors.  I have banged on enough about this.
  4. The Czech girls boyfriends, of which there seems to be many.  They are on them like white on rice.
  5. Some of the creepy crawly types who hang around Prague square in the early morning hours.  Not dangerous just serious pains, touting for this and that and general pimping. It is the same in most big cities with a high tourist population, including Vienna, but I guess I noticed them more in Prague.

 Time to board.  I am definitely coming back but probably at a more clement time.


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