Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Long and Winding Road

We ended up going out on Saturday night after all, first with the Polish receptionist and two Australian fellow guests to what could charitably be called a dive. If I weren't being charitable, I would call it a boiling hot, sweat-soaked Polish pit, although it did have the additional charm of a Polish girl who managed to kiss me on the cheeks 6 times in the roughly 2 minutes we were in the club. We made our excuses, accordingly, and went to a club in the Old Town where the boys had been the night before. It was average, but there was alcohol involved so we had an okay time. I did, however, get stomach-fondled by some guy at the bar - and he simultaneously put his head on my shoulder, creepy! Stomach fondling is NEVER cool, but particularly not when all your victim has done to invite it is to stand next to you and say "I don't speak Polish sorry".

Woke up the next morning feeling a bit the worse for wear, and with no idea where my handbag was. Thanks to the hostel's CCTV, we managed to determine that I did indeed come in with it (at 3.05 am and not wearing my coat in Polish winter weather - well, pretty mild winter weather to be fair), and after a bit of hunting, happily I tracked it down. Being robbed twice in the same weekend woulda been a bit much. The hostel let us check out late - full marks there - so we left at 1 for our train, having decided the night train again would be a bit much - especially for Carolyn who had to teach today.

The trains were a bit of a pain - we had to change twice, I got yelled at in Polish for not paying the requisite 1.5 zlotys to use the toilet (I literally had no zlotys and I had to go... what was a girl to do? I just pretended not to know what the problem was until he gave up and went back into his toilet-enforcement-cave), and then we had to change seats multiple times and pay an extra 200 koruny after it emerged that our last connection was a special train that required compulsory seat reservations.

Finally we got into Prague at 10.30 pm, arriving at Carolyn's around 11. I was absolutely shattered and very pleased at the prospect of a bed for the evening. Today I did blissfully nothing - the sights of Prague are a bit old hat, so my only priority was a mission to I. P. Pavlova for my beloved gyros for lunch and a cheese satecek for a snack mmmmm.

This evening we went out to dinner with a few of Carolyn's fellow teachers, which was nice. It was a Czech restaurant, which meant the food was slightly dodgy but okay. Adam tried joking with the waitress in Czech and accidentally ordered hermelin for everyone at the table (or as the English menu had it, 'wheels of joy'). This meant an entire round of brie-like cheese, cut in half with onion in the middle, pickled in some sort of super oily, spicy sauce. Hmmm... the only thing I can say about it is that it's not actually as bad as it sounds! If it wasn't for the oil bath, maybe even okay - but I wouldn't order it again! My main course was potato-coated chicken, not bad although a bit salty, as usual for Czech stuff - I could only eat half of it though, owing to the cheese overdose earlier. However, my fav item on the menu (which was full of bizarre translations, including a dish called 'Pregnant Marge') was sausage served with mustard and horseradish. Its appetizing name? 'Waiter's Member'... Poor waiter.

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