It had to happen sometime. Never have I traveled Europe without meeting packs of Aussies, a fact bemoaned by some of the locals as mentioned earlier. Well, today it finally happened. Three of my roomies checked in - Mike, Rich, and Brad - and were every bit the image of Aussie lads in Europe. A bit loud, a bit brash, and extremely friendly.
Unfortunately, my other new roomies, a handful of Spanish girls, took the European view of Aussies and were unimpressed by their insistence for us to all go out for a drink. Actually, I can entiendo Espanol pretty damn well, and I deduced easily that three of them wanted to go, while numero cuatro was the designated cockblocker. The pretty one, go figure.
No matter. Mike and Rich and I decided to go out for a few drinks and to give them a little introduction to Prague, now that I was an expert. And a Canadian. They wouldn't acknowledge the fact that there could possibly be a cool Seppo, or to follow one around, at that, so they went by my Whistler hoodie and said I'm Canadian. Oh, the denial.
We walked on over to the Stare Mesto (Old Town), and along the way we were accosted by the many Nigerian barkers outside the strip clubs/brothels. The Aussies were humoring them - much to my chagrin. It's my attitude to just keep walking and ignore the bastards. But they couldn't resist engaging, and the ensuing conversations turned out to be very entertaining. If anything, they were taking the piss out of the barkers, in that uniquely Aussie way that seems like they're acting the fool, only at the end, they've made a fool of you. Good on 'em.
U Radnice was our destination - supposedly a good place to get excellent beer hall atmosphere and top-notch traditional pub grub at locals' prices. It didn't disappoint, and the old Aussie enthusiasm upped the mood for the night. They weren't shy at all about asking how to say "hello" or "thank you" or order beers, and the Czech staff were delighted to oblige. It turns out instead of being the typical piss-up crew, these fellas avoid the laddish stereotypes and go places to soak up the local culture. My kinda blokes.
We moved on to a couple more bars, my last 500 Kc being stretched thinly, but hey, what was I going to do with it?
At our final destination, some Pilsner Urquell-owned joint, we came in loud and boisterous, which worried the bar staff. A couple of minutes later, though, we were friends. The waiter asked if we wanted shots, and I figured we should try the local favorite, Bechrekova. It's some herbal concoction that tastes cinnamonny, not unlike Goldschlager or Aftershock, only not as harsh. In other words, it doesn't taste that much like ass. Then again, the waiter had warned us that it tastes like ass. Rich asked if it tasted like his ass, to which our new Czech friend said "No. But if you want to taste ass, I have the man for you. He's old gay man downstairs, I bring him."
What the fhell? A few minutes later, the waiter produced some more half litres of Pilsner and introduced us to this loud, uhh, festive guy with a big bald spot and a leather apron. Umm, yeah. He told him that Rich wanted to be his boyfriend, and that became the butt of jokes for a good while before another group of visitors wanted a photo with the man. He must be some sort of local legend.
We finally learned how to properly toast in Czech, "Nazdravi!" as well as a few vulgarities which I'm sure I'll forget by the time I'm home. It was definitely a great, short night out, and being in the jovial spirit, I shouted the last round. Then again, where can you get 6 half-litres of beer and three shots for $8???
I'm out and the guys have a few more days in town. Hopefully they'll change some of the locals' views on Australians, the same way I made them think Americans aren't all bad. Nazdravi!