our friend yan has been living in prague for the last several months, and our main reason for going there was to go see him. we met up in a cafe, and it was so cool to see him again. we hadn’t hung out since October last year when he and natasha came to morocco with us. both of our lives had been very crazy since the last time we hung out, so we exchanged stories of what we’ve been up to. yan got a job at a telecommunications company, and has been living in prague for about 6 months now. he’s become a total workaholic (not necessarily by choice), and had some really crazy stories about worklife in prague. oh, and his work hooked him up w/ a company car (complete with a *HUGE* company logo on all sides) and a dope apartment. man, life is good when you’re a marketing superstar, eh? anyways, after chatting a bunch, we went to sleep, totally exhausted from the bus journey we had just gone through.
yan went to work today and left us at his place to sleep in till 1pm like the lazy bastards that we are. i had one major task i needed to accomplish: buy glasses. apparently, at some point during this trip, i had managed to lose them. i have no idea when or where. i just opened my glasses case in russia, and to my surprise, it was empty! anyways, i got an eye exam which was the quickest one ever (she didnt even have me read the lines of letters on the wall, instead, she just asked me if i *could* read them). man, glasses arent cheap!! the glasses i wanted were over 200$, so i ended up buying “cheap” glasses that were still about a hundred bucks! i’m not really happy w/ the way they look, but they’re ok… i guess. getting used to wearing them has been a pain, but i’m slowly adjusting.
later on, yan got back from work and we went out to this really good Cuban restaurant. the food was awesome and they had a bunch of different variations on my favorite alcoholic beverage, the mojito. raspberry mojitos are so damn good!! a ton of mojitos later, we staggered out of the place and went to some bar to hang out and have drinks. it’s funny, apparently prague is notorious for it’s porn industry. at the bar, we saw some older looking, rather ugly dude, dancing w/ like 4 different really young attractive girls. we speculated that he must be some porn producer or something… how else could that have happened! there’s not really any such thing as last call here, so you can go to bars till really late, but by 3ish we were beat and so went home.
in the main square
the next day once again we slept in hella late. it’s nice not really bothering to try to wake up early to cram in a ton of sightseeing. after having some really good crepes by yan’s house, yan took us to Kutna Hora, a small town an hour outside of prague. one of the craziest things to see there is this bone church. this is a really old church with a graveyard outside it. centuries ago, a priest sprinkled some dirt from jerusalem in the graveyard, and soon, tons of people wanted to be buried there. eventually, they had to shrink the size of the graveyard, so a bunch of the graves were dug up and the bones were set in huge mounds inside the church. well, one day this guy had an idea of making sculptures out of the bones.
this place is just such a bizarre sight. one of the craziest things i’ve ever seen. you walk inside, and the whole place is decorated in bones. there are rows and rows of skulls all over the place. huge pillars made of bones. gigantic piles of bones. the sculptor’s name written in bones. and even a gigantic chandelier made up of every single bone in the human body. walking around is like being in a crazy haunted house… until you start thinking about how these bones are *real human bones* and not just plastic fake ones! so eerie!!
after the church, we spent some time walking around the town. it was a real nice quiet town with lots of cute buildings and cobblestone streets. we also checked out this cool really huge gothic church.
after driving back to prague, we decided to open the bottle of black balsam we had bought yan. black balsam is this type of alcohol that is made in riga and we really had no clue what it might taste like or what it really was… just that it was considered “the gift of friendship” or something. well, after tasting it, we realized that you really should never give this stuff to a friend.. or anyone else for the matter. it tasted so nasty. even after mixing it w/ coke, it still wasnt very good. ew! luckily, we had some vodka to drink, so we switched to that.
caryn decided to stay in that night, but yan and i went out to a bunch of bars. we went to this “Sabotage” bar which had murals of the beastie boys video on its walls, we went to some bar that played drum and bass, and then some other bar that i cant really remember. later on, we met up w./ yan’s friend, this french canadian guy. this guy was hella drunk and hella funny. he pretty much just says whatever is on his mind and doesnt hold much back. when we were buying hot dogs at a stand, he just blurts out to the girl working there “Hey! he LIKES you!!” (pointing a yan) “when do you work here again?! he wants to come back and see you!!” it was too funny. after hitting up yet another bar, we walked home. oddly enough, after drinking for most of the night, we felt pretty sober. actually for most of the time in prague, it kept feeling like no matter how much we drank, we just couldn’t get drunk. weird!
the next day, after a breakfast at the Globe cafe, yan took us on a walking tour around prague. prague is a really beautiful city, and it was really cool to wander about and check out all the cool buildings and landmarks. we walked up this huge hill to see some good views of the town below. we also walked around the castle area and crossed the charles bridge. at one point we stopped at this bar that had super good bloody marys. getting bloody marys is always such a gamble. if they are made right, they are one of the best drinks around, but made wrong, they taste like absolute crap. well, these were awesome! they came in a glass with a whole tomato on the side and a whole pepper. it was practically a salad and drink rolled into one!
after walking around town, we went to this Czech restaurant. the place was a large hall w/ huge wooden tables and there were people going around playing traditional Czech music on a accordion and trombone. it was cool cause people were hella into it and often times the whole crowd would join in and sing. at one point, they played this russian song “kalinka” and this dude totally burst into song all super loud. everyone was drinking these large mugs of dark beer and also taking these (not so good tasting) shots. the food was pretty good… well, i thought so, although yan and caryn weren’t into it. it was basically dumplings in gravy. apparently Czechs are big on dumplings.
at the restaurant, we ended up sitting close to these people from California, and after talking a bit, we headed to another bar with them. this bar played all these cheezy flashback hits (michael jackson etc) and everyone got hella into it. we also ran into some people from santa cruz there. it seems like there are so many americans in prague! they’re everywhere. it’s funny cause usually we hardly see any americans. most people we see who speak english are british, australian, and maybe canadian. then, all of a sudden, now we’re surrounded by americans!
after the bar, yan and i decided to do a bit of gambling. it’s legal here and you see casinos almost on every corner. well, my luck was utter crap that night. we played roulette and i bet on black every single time.. and lost every single spin. i didnt even win once!! i ended up losing forty bucks in under 5 minutes. i could’ve kept playing, but with such awful luck, it was better to just stop there.