Published Categorised as Czech Republic, Travel No Comments on Prahahaha

Here’s some stuff from when I was in Prague in Febru­ary 2022. The tour­ist trade hadn’t star­ted up again, so the Old Town was blessedly uncrowded for once. I was there over the week­end because I was enroute to a remote town on the Czechia/​Austria border. If I’m work­ing in border towns of Austria I often spend the week­end in the Czech Repub­lic or Slov­akia. It’s cheap­er, and I fit in better there.

You know you’re in the Czech Repub­lic when the car raffle is for a lime green Škoda. For some reas­on the Czechs love this colour.

I got this weird tree­house mezzan­ine family room at the hostel. I ended up sleep­ing on the single bed under­neath because I wasn’t there long and I couldn’t be bothered to lug my stuff up the ladder.

See, they fuck­ing love it. The Austri­ans and the Czechs have nigh-on identic­al build­ings from the Habs­burg days. The Austri­ans painstak­ingly restore everything in the bland­est beige, the Czechs just slap some lime green or purple paint on it.

Ukrain­i­an flags on a tram. The Czechs remem­ber getting invaded by Russia in 1968 pretty well.

Prague has a complic­ated build­ing number­ing system where build­ings have a street number like other coun­tries (the blue sign) but also a unique build­ing iden­ti­fic­a­tion number for the district (the red sign). Until you get used to it, find­ing addresses is a pain.

There is a large Viet­namese community in the former Czechoslov­akia, dating back to the 60s, so there are lots of great and cheap Viet­namese restaur­ants. Which is always a relief after the stooge on offer in rural Austria.

An educa­tion­al view from the window of the restaur­ant.

There’s also lots of these weird little post-war shop­ping arcades in Prague. You feel like if you turned the corner at the end you might find your­self in an entirely differ­ent dimen­sion.

Fram­ing can do a lot for photo­graphs.

The most uncrowded I’ve ever seen Prague Old Town. You could walk around without getting into a human traffic jam or encoun­ter­ing the world’s most obnox­ious tour­ists.

A genu­ine Prague Defen­es­tra­tion! (Except they were load­ing up a van with sleep­ing bags and clothes for Ukrain­i­an refugees, rather than dispos­ing of annoy­ing politi­cians)

There were suddenly two rival chains of pic’n’mix shops all over town. One pirate themed, one mining themed. I hope they are bitter rivals, locked in a cycle of sabot­aging each other in comic­al ways. (Prob­ably just some kind of money laun­der­ing thing like the ones on Oxford Street).

I can eat my over­priced tour­ist cake on the cliche tour­ist bridge, and you can’t stop me.

Pat the dog, or terrible things will happen to you.

If you want huge dump­lings, giant glasses of beer, and extremely surly service, this is the place (I was already full of banh mi). I feel like Švejk himself would find some farcic­al way to get out of paying the bill.

I like the Czech word for theatre- divadlo. It’s liter­ally “watch­ing place”.

Czech and Slov­ak book­shops are fant­ast­ic, unlike the Austri­an ones. Sadly I speak German much, much better than I do Czech.

I got this pizza slice from a kiosk at the station. I hadn’t real­ised it had sweet­corn on it in the dim light­ing. I’m usually very against sweet­corn on pizza, but it was actu­ally pretty good. I haven’t changed my policy though.

I was on my way to Strahov to see some bands. There’s a semi-aban­doned stadi­um there, built for mass gymnast­ic displays in the commun­ist days, which is kind of useless now because it’s too big for foot­ball. It’s some­times used for concerts however.

Amazon has reached the panelaky.

I wasn’t there to see some huge stadi­um concert however, I went to a bar to watch Czech post-hard­core bands Rutka Laskier and Bright­er Days

Czech bars thought­fully have a beer hold­er in the toilets. I think the beer was about £2. A Bech­er­ovka & tonic (aka Beton- the concrete) was about £3.

Czechs take their off-licences very, very seri­ously. And they’re also every­where. Unlike Austria, where conveni­ence stores don’t even exist. (I think your moth­er or wife is expec­ted to cater to all your needs there).

This was at the heigh of the Bitcoin craze. Machine in the equi­val­ent of WH Smiths in Prague station.

I always think Prague station is secretly purgat­ory. Low red ceil­ings, very confus­ing layout, awful food options, and a gener­al feel­ing of some­thing press­ing on you.

Same poppy seed and butter­streusel pastry concept as I bought in Berlin, fuck­ing awful execu­tion. The centre was essen­tially uncooked. The cereal bars saved me.

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