Aha Praha!

My trip from Dresden to Prague was uneventful. MeinFernBus dropped me off at Florenc as scheduled and my fear of foreign exchange conversion was washed away. It is annoying that Czech, despite being a part of the EU, doesn’t accept euros (there are places where they do, but the exchange rate isn’t in your favour). The moment you get off at Florenc, you’ll see signs directing you to the metro and to the foreign exchange counters. Be prepared to do a little math as you go around in the city.

Mosaic House is centrally located at the intersection of Odboru and Myslikova. It’s quite a fancy place with its own club and bar. I was registered at Hostel Mingle which is in the opposite building that also houses Hostel Moo. The showers are super tiny but I badly needed one after all that running around with my bags. Herbert texted me soon after and the boys agreed to come pick me up. We got some pizza and beer, walked to the city centre, watched an Australian dude attempt to perform some magic tricks, lamented over the European summer and decided we needed ice cream. Later we stopped to check out some souvenirs before heading to Charles Bridge.

We were out till nearly midnight so we didn’t wake up early the next day. We had one thing on our agenda – the Eiffel Tower. Once again we took a long route and walked around the city aimlessly. We checked out the astronomical tower and the boys got some medieval action figures. Knihkupectvi remained our favorite Czech word and we tried pronouncing it every time it appeared on the street. With chocolates, Coca Cola and Pringles, we reached the river. The sun was unbearable and Herbert was tempted by the boats. So we hired a boat for 290 CZK/hour. We had to keep going under the various bridges to avoid the sun but it was a nice picnic. Worn out from all that exercise, we decided to grab a late lunch at 3PM before moving forward. On the other side of the bridge we found Praha Star – a restaurant that accepted euros and that too for a fantastic exchange rate! Food and a round of draught beer later, we found ourselves lying in the grass at the foot of the hill. We napped for an hour and then set about stumbling in the grass, mumbling nonsense. I don’t remember whose brilliant decision it was to not take the elevator. Worst decision ever. It took an hour or more for us to get up there and I could barely breathe when we reached the top. This was despite the fact that we stopped for ice cream on the way! The entry fee to the Petrin observation tower is 90 CZK for adults and the reduced fare is 60 CZK. The boys wanted to stop at the Mirror Maze afterwards and it was a big disappointment for the same fare. There was no maze; just a hall of mirrors. On the way down, we decided to stop at the beer monastery (Strahov) for a quick round of light beer.

I got back a little before midnight. My roommates had changed once again but there was no one around. I woke up at 2am to someone talking very loudly in the window. I muttered angrily at the British voice and went back to sleep. At 5am, the same asshole woke me up, but this time he was in the bed next to mine. When I did finally wake up at 7, I saw three fucktards in their underwear, ugly enough to put anyone off sex for the next month or two. The tiny room was a mess. Beer bottles on the floor, greasy food plates strewn all over and the place stank of stale cigarette smoke. I was hoping to give them an earful but first I needed a shower. When I returned, they were still snoring. The guy sleeping on the bed above mine now started kicking stuff off his bed which began falling on my head. I couldn’t take it anymore. It was Independence Day and I wasn’t feeling very forgiving towards the Brits.

I checked out and agreed to check in again in the afternoon into a different room. Igor, Caio and Herbert, I assumed were asleep because I hadn’t heard from them. I wanted to see Shakespeare and Sons that was listed on my map. It’s a very cosy bookstore! There is plenty of room to sit and read in the basement. I found another Kathy Reichs book and was delighted. I was craving for tea so I picked up some on the way back. It tastes like the tea Fei made in Paris!

My new room turned out to be fantastic. It was larger, had better windows and definitely more promising roommates! There were two Americans (one was half Indian but all he knew about Bollywood was DDLJ) and a Chinese boy. I offered to help the Chinese guy who was traveling to Paris soon after. I repacked my bags, made some toast and called it a night after three cups of tea.

I thought my Brazilian friends were leaving in the morning so I packed some sandwiches and went over to their hostel in the morning. Turns out they were leaving in the evening. So we got an extra serendipitous day together. We decided to walk to the museum and see the tower with the babies. We stopped at park and napped till noon before getting some lunch. I wanted to see the Use-IT info centre so we walked all the way back again. Caio and I tried some local Czech beer before we left. It felt weird to say goodbye. We promised to meet again soon – maybe in Brazil or in India.

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