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◄ Well, we survived that -HR ''Yeah, but...'' -K

2003-08-01 📌 Jak daleko je... Praha? Miuvite anglicky?

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Improbable as this may seem, we've just crossed the Polish border Into the Czech Republic with several large cardboard boxes full of peppers, tomatoes and cheese—no cutlery though, we can prove we're not an invasion force—and Justin bloody Timberwank blasting at deafening volume out of the bus stereo. Sweet Jesus, I love earplugs...

It's the second weekend in Poland, and we're taking a self-suggested trip to Prague, with the intention of importing a pint or two of finest (or at least unwatered) absinth back into the UK. Well, those are my Intentions, at any rate. Several other people mentioned culture, but since most of them also used the words 'pivo' and 'sok' in the same sentence (Polish for 'beer' and 'juice' respectively), I'll believe it when I see it. Oh, and as apparently the city is pleasant architecturally, expect some form of photo evidence.

The plan (no sight of Hannibal here, folks) Is to check into pre-booked hostels this evening (Friday), spend the day sightseeing and the night pub- or café- ing, then head back Sunday arvo. You can sterilise knives by wafting them over a lighter flame, yeah?

[Editorial note: no, I hadn't let any murderous tendencies I may have been harbouring come to the fore—as mentioned before, they hadn't given us any sodding cutlery. Thus, the two penknives we could muster between us were all that were available.]

So, anyone going to see American Pie 3? I may not get around to it cinema-wise (having missed X-Men 2, Matrix 2 and Charlie's Angels 2 so far), but the DVD is probably a cert in a while—James' Laid was on the trailer and it's going to have lots of Alyson Hannigan. Count me in! This bed is on fire with passionate love; the neighbours complain about the noises above; but she only cums when she's on top... ah, a true modern classic.

I get the distinct impression that those either side of me are equally pissy about sitting directly beneath blazing speakers, but are far too polite to punch someone's lights out.

Ho hum. Camp is pretty fun. By this stage I've probably written about The Mountain, so I'll move onto everything else. Groups one and two have effectively merged now, Elaine having had virtually no voice for the past two days. (Elaine's back at camp, by the way. Adam, our egregiously over-protective shrink booked in a laryngologist this morning without warning, who should have arrived at 5, and we left at 6 with no sign of the bastich. If she managed to climb a fucking mountain yesterday (and is regaining her voice), I don't think an upset stomach—courtesy of whatever Adam gave her this morning, natch—is anything to worry about. Still, I can only steamroller so far, and she's more concerned about upsetting the guy than I am or would be in similar circs.)

I've never met anyone with come-to-bed anything before. Or a real live womble. Or indeed a theology student with a ferret puppet. Rather ridiculously, the music appears to have changed to Michael Jackson. Mmm... stream-of-consciousness-y...

...professional journalism? We've heard of it...

.the sky at night really is more glorious than any clichéd or hackneyed description can convey. However, this isn't really the time for another rant on the inadequacies of language...

...I can't believe no-one has gone postal yet... yeah, camp. Some of the group have made astounding progress from a starting position of zero-to-no previous schooling in English...

.oh, please, yes, let the CD player have stopped working....admittedly, sitting on a permanent slant can't be helping my mood either.

Earplugs are always an experience. You start to notice the sound of breathing and the crackle of protesting muscle. Although background noise is muted, it's anything but silence-my favourite comparison being the "...white noise at maximum decibels, a fine sound for sleeping, a powerful continuous hiss to drown out everything strange…" written by Hunter S. Thompson.

We've completely run out of girlie magazines and English newspapers, so I'm moving onto my Theory Test primer. Wyrd Sisters (play version) and Look Back In Anger have done the rotation also—if bears and squirrels, why not else? Gibber.

Ah, smell that countryside shit. And damn, I forgot my alarm clock.

* * *

Well, we got here. Rather late, in the substitute accommodation of a 10-berth dorm with a psychotic banshee at the desk and our loveable Polish driver, Bogdan. Apparently, he usually travels to Italy—and apparently he was also told at 3 he was driving to Prague at 6; someone neglected to pass on that our group only speaks any Polish thanks to Zofia (who I'm considering putting in a canonisation form for); and that our group had booked two different hostels in different parts of town. In one of those situations which could have been nightmarishly more complicated than it actually was, Bogdan got what would have been Elaine's bed.

I've decided not to be arsed with showers this morning—fifteen minutes of walking in this heat and it won't make any difference. Have just discovered that "sto lat" is a Polish farewell, meaning "a hundred years (life to you)"... which is nice.

Woke up with, "Where are you going with your fretka blowing in the... wind..." stuck in my head. Thanks, Rob. 'Fretka' means 'ferret', by the way...

"I turn to you, like a fretka turning toward the sun..."

Right, absinth. Before I go absolutely insane. No, wait, we're not moving.

Resolution #1 - Always travel with more music than I think I'll want. I'd kill for my Wildhearts albums about now.

Resolution #2 - I'm never going to another country where I don't speak any of the principal languages. I have GCSE French, KS3 German and a smattering of Welsh, Polish and DHTML—this is not an acceptable state of affairs to find oneself stuck in on the outskirts of Prague.

Resolution #3 - Always make resolutions in threes, because they're easier to remember. This principle works best for lists: eg, "wine, women and song" with one or two syllables per 'item'...

Am mildly regretting skipping shower, as Josh is still asleep and everyone else is sitting around looking slightly zombified. Fresh air, people! You know the situation is serious when even I notice it...

[cut lengthy ramble about web design]

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