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08 October 2009

R&R alpha - (day 10) - staying in manhattan

wow, it's been a long time, but i REALLY gotta try to get this done before the anniversary. for a recap, check out the previous posts (they were funny, it'll be worth it). the beginning, pfand, drucken, PROST!, fünf, checkpoint charlie, and yalla bina. there, now that you're all caught up, off we go again. keep in mind, all pix are clickable for more detail.

so, it's now 9-October, and we arrive in prague at the main train station around 8:30AM. TheWayne and i had tried to look up some hostels in berlin before we left but met with very little success. we disembarked the train, basically wandering for an exit when a middle-aged, slim lady came up to us handing us two business cards with her name (TheMila) and the name of the hostel she was representing, "manhattan" (on charvatova street, in the middle). she said it was very nearby, TheWayne and i exchanged glances of hesitant agreement, while i thought "hmmm, isn't this how that movie 'hostel' started... we're fucked!". TheMila told us is was very nearby, she gave us a brief overview of the city layout, where to go, etc. i assumed she was a retired hooker because, i mean, come on, prague has a decent redlight district, she was attractive for her age, and she knew hostels. before we knew it, we were being buzzed into "manhattan" and taken to the main office where we met TheMikhail. TheMila made some casual conversation with TheMikhail and left without asking for a tip. i was completely taken aback at this. nowhere in my 8 years of international traveling have i received a service without even a hint of lingering in expectation of a tip. she was cool. TheMikhail was a bit of a hippie with long graying hair and a black punk T-shirt that had "fuck" on it in some form. his english was good, we got a room for 3 days, but didn't have enough cash right off, so we gave a deposit and our passports telling him we'd be back with the cash later and made our way to the room. we were both pretty spent so we crashed for a few hours, then were up to steal some internet (that's a boy, TheWayne), hang some wet clothes, and find a laundromat.

we got our laundry done, got spiffy for the fine czech ladies, and went out for dinner. we found a place called TheTrilobite. we had a hot waitress named ThePetra, and there were lots of hot chicks there. i completely forget what the food was like, but i highly recommend it. we tried to get into a place called TheLucerne but all the tables were reserved despite there being MAYBE 10 people in the place! we wandered about because thatis what TheWayne is good at. we accidentally stumbled into the redlight district where guys are outside handing out cards to "their" club... "no committment, just take a look, best girls in town", etc. two guys were REALLY vying hard for us, one guy was trying to hand us a card, while another guy from across the street came up, all chummy, "don't mess with these two, i talked to them earlier, they're coming back to me" despite us never having been there. it was comical. we continued on until we found a bar called Rocky O'Reilly's. there we tied on drinkbag. 2x2 jameson's, stellas, patron tequilas, jägerbombs, and that's where i kept keeping track. i was on a mission. i also vaguely recall hot waitresses, irish girls, possibly on a hen-night, at the table next to us, and then we stumbled home around 1AM.

day 10... we got up around 10 and started out touring of the old town. my feet had blisters upon blisters from the dresden walk. TheWayne went out and found some sort of cream to try to help. i slathered, wrapped my foot with gauze, and prayed for the best. we grabbed lunch at Pivnice Beograd (pussy food? REALLY?!) and had beers. as is usual when i'm on vacation, i rarely have a plan besides taking in the local libations (i should co-host "3 sheets"). if TheWayne asked what we should do next, my ideas ranged from sitting down and having a Pivnice and think about it to sitting down and having Pilsner Urquell and think about it. from there we made our way to the national museum, but after seeing the price for entry, we decided that pictures from the outside were more than enough. the trains in prague are on the honor system as they were in germany. Our next stop was to be the Charles Bridge, so we hopped on the train at the museum and were immediately followed by a shady looking guy in a black jacket who asked to see our tickets. FUCK!!! we stepped off the train, TheWayne asked to see official ID, i tried the "i thought i gave you the tickets" routine, which failed miserably. After hearing about the fine of 700 Czech Crowns (~$40) EACH, TheWayne explained that we'd just go get a ticket now, but that was out of the question, we were nailed, so we forked over the money, and got a receipt which covered us to our next stop. TheWayne was fuming the whole time. i wasn't happy about shelling out the money, but we HAD been lucky up until that time. i was able to see the humor in the situation. the Charles Bridge is pretty cool, lots of caricaturists, painters, local-made crafts. there are some awesome sculptures on the bridge itself (some photos at the end). we made our way to the prague castle (again, more pictures at the end), despite it being a major uphill battle (for big ol' me and my broken feet), but we made it. the view from the castle was pretty impressive as well, looking down on all the red tile roofed houses and off into the misty (possibly smoggy) distance. after the castle, we stopped for a beer, and i decided to have a slivovice.
<ASIDE>the first time i ever had a shot of slivovice was at TheJRod'sWife's grandparents house. i believe it was easter, and i wasn't going home for the holiday, so she was kind enough to invite me to her family's house. her grandfather is a cool dude, really nice to this complete stranger, and funny. after dinner, he brought out some homemade slivovice. being the nice guy he was, he offered me some, though i hadn't noticed the family kind of gathering around. i took the shot and, GOOGLY MOOGLY, i thought i'd burned a hole in my esophagus. it was... an experience to say the least. everyone got a good laugh out of it... 'twas a good time.</ASIDE>
anyways, i figured i was in a country that served proper slivovice, so i'd try it, and again, i wasn't disappointed. TheWayne got a chuckle out of it as well since my face turned several difference shades of red. once my eyes straightened out, we agreed it was time to head back to the hostel to clean up for the evening.

i showered then TheWayne spent like 3 hours shaving his head. around midnight, he was cleaned and smoothed, and i was in agony, my foot was fucked, so i told him to go on without me. i crashed, he went out. i forget when he made it back, but he said it was lame (i know he meant because i wasn't there, hah). next time, you'll find me passed out on the bathroom floor... and, for once, it wasn't my fault!

cool cross embedded in the brick sidewalk at the national museum

TheWayne throwin' his game outside the municipal building

the (sadly) non-functioning astronomic clock in the "old town"

how i saw TheWayne throughout most of the trip.

a close-up of the hanging man sculpture from paragraph 2.

me trying to counteract TheWayne's hostility toward our train fines.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a bad start. Just to add and make a few MINOR corrections.

We did, in fact, leave Berlin with hostels targeted. We just hadn't booked anything. In the end, staying at the Manhattan was the right choice due to its central location. I think we paid a slight more than average for a hostel, but we had a private room with our own bathroom. I think it balanced out in the end.

Dinner at the Trilobite was good. That's where we (I did anyway) started the discovery of the fine DARK czech beers. Krusovice and the like. I remember us talking about the waitress, who also served as the bartender, I think, and I remember dark hair. But that's it.

We did end up at the Irish bar after I felt a bit defeated in finding a proper czech pub/club/bar. That was before we had explored the old town though, and therefore, at that point, it was a case of not knowing what one doesn't know. You definitely put one up on the chalk board there. I was either too pussy or too stuffed from dinner to keep up equal alcohol % consumption with you via only beers. There was a group of Irish girls out on a hen night. They shot down the old dudes across the bar who came over to them. The one guy was pretty defeated.

The next day at the Pussy Food restaurant, I believe we got treated with great service. It was definitely more of a locals' place, but they sat us down in the main restaurant section. I think initially our waiter took a long time to just bring us water, and then the manager realized we weren't being taken care of. IIRC, we watched and heard him bitch out our waiter. Food and service was great.

Yeah. We dodged fare. And we were good at it. So what?! That fucker. I saw him coming too, and it wasn't until the 2nd or 3rd stop that he decided to finally spring his "surprise".

We walked across the Charles Bridge, but we stopped for a beer and your slivovice before the castle. I needed a beer because I was still PO'ed, and you need a rest and some motivation before making the arduous walk up the hills to the castle.

We didn't go inside the buildings of the castle (more of a compound), and the church gives it the castle look. We did go inside the church, which was very ornate. I remember you took a lot of pictures. Took in the view. When we got back across the Charles Bridge, isn't that when we stumbled upon that other bar/restaurant? The one where we went back to the next night. The one where we ate all those pretzels and we saw "the hunk and spit of meat" platter?

Then back to the hostel and essentially the end of the night. My memory could be failing me now though in regards to the order of days.

The bathroom floor comment had me laughing already.

1:49 PM, October 08, 2009  

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