... at a Prague gay bar
July 19, 2005
One of the places in the world that I had been
wanting to visit was Prague. I finally made it there last
week! I had planned
the trip a while back, so it was unfortunate that by the time the
day of the travel arrived, I was really depressed because for the
past 2 months I've been sending resumes looking for work and
I haven't heard anything back.
Once at the mini airport
in Prague, I swore I'd forget my problems for the 4 days
I'm there. Hard thing to do, considering that I stepped into
Prague and it was freezing cold and raining like crazy --
in July! First I had to buy a sweater quickly before
I froze. Then,
it turned out that the sweater gave color and it spoiled
all the clothes I was wearing!
The Hostel was interesting too. Imagine
knock at a door that looks like a university. I am greeted
by four black guys (remember this is Prague). Then I go to my
room: It used to be a university dorm!
When the rain occasionally
stopped, Prague was nice: very good metro
and tram system. The castle side of the Moldova river is a huge
green hill from which you have a gorgeous view of the city. Karluv
Most (Carlos Bridge) is obviously the most famous place in Prague
with all the tourists there. The National Gallery is amazing,
with important works by Picasso , Henri Rousseau, Gustav Klimt,
Gauguin, Cezanne, etc.
Then there's Saromtske Nemesti (Townhall square) with its gothic
architecture and the Tower feathering the moving miniatures!
is not cheap. At night, I was getting a bit bored since after 6pm
-- unless you want to have an expensive dinner in a restaurant
-- there's little to do in the cold weather. So, being single
and still hopeful
that I will find my significant other, I decided to go to some
of the gay bars in Prague!
After some research in an internet café,
I wrote down the addresses and started walking. As I walked, I
felt weird and scared, because it looked like I had reached a residential
neighborhood. It was weird because usually in other countries
you expect bars to be in the center of town along with shops and
other entertainment establishments.
Finally walking through all
these tall communist-era gray apartment buildings I reached the
portal for one of the bars. There were no windows and the door
looked like the portal to any other apartment building. I had to
ring the door bell to get in! The door opened and I walked
to a basement where there was another shut door. I
ring the second
bell and while waiting, some other guys also arrive.
They say something in Czech, I respond: Sorry, I don't speak
check. They laugh and respond: Well if you don't speak Czech,
speak English! Laughs! I said: well said!
Once inside the bar,
it was nice and casual. It was a very young crowd which is
not my type. But I met a Russian tourist from St. Petersburg
Tony who spoke fluent English. It was his first trip out of
Russia and he explained what life was like in St. Petersburg.
out that the cost of living there is very
high while the salaries very low. Then there's the cold weather.
Anyway, me and Tony decided to walk to another bar, this
one called Alcatraz with an older crowd, more in tune with
a long walk through deserted residential neighborhoods while the
two of us were the only people walking there at 11pm at night.
Interestingly there were many abandoned buildings with nobody
in them. I wondered
what the story was behind these empty buildings.
The address instructions
told us the bar was close to the Czech TV antenna tower. At one
point looking towards the sky I realized the enormous futuristic
TV tower was over my head. It has an amazing design, its enormous
and you feel like you are in an alien planet when you look at
it. I didn't have my camera with me! It also has sculptures
Ovni Babies crawling the tower and hanging from it! We got to
the bar, and surprise surprise, Sundays they have an underwear
Which means that we had to undress, down to our underwear! Once
in, people were very nice.
Nobody spoke English, but everyone was warm. A big contrast
with people in Spain, where they act so cold and snobbish!
I met people
left and right. For a moment, I thought this is paradise, I wish
I worked in Prague! At one point, I tried communicating with
a guy that turned out to be called: Jorke (prononunced "Yorke").
He didn't speak English but he would
and with hand gestures we somehow would get some
concepts across. For example, I found out Jorke is Czech
Jorke was 38-years old and still in school studying
to be a Medical Technician. I wasn't able to understand why
at 38 he's still in school. Then at one point he said the word
"Iran". I was shocked! I thought maybe because I look Iranian
he is asking
if I'm Iranian. But
Jorke had travelled to Iran! Looks like you can travel by train
cheaply, according to Jorke, from Prague up to Bushehr and
Jorke and his friends went on this
trip on the train that lasted
24 days. He would say: Tehran! And I would make a "hiking" gesture
and ask him: Did you hike up the mountain? He said:
No, we only walked the
streets. I asked him: Did you meet anyone in Iran? Jorke answered
with gestures that in Esfahan a man looked at him and then
scratched his pants in the crutch
area! Hee hee! Primitive desire!
Apparently they didn't
do anything at the end but looks like Jorke was quite pleased
with his Iran trip! He assured me Iranians were very nice to
him. He would drop names of cities and places I've never been:
Shiraz... I felt jealous, I wanted to join them
on their next trip.