This is Prague, This is the Czech Republic
Prague you have stolen my heart!
The atmosphere in the bar was very much alive. Nearby a table of older gentlemen were raising glass after glass of beer. The supply was never ending. Welcome to Prague and the Czech Republic. I stopped for a moment to take it all in. To my left Rafael, weary from lack of sleep and a little too much partying, took a swig from his drink. It came in a proper beer glass - none of that nonsense they serve them in now in the UK. He has had a permanent smile stapled across his face for two days now after celebrating his birthday here in Prague.
Daniel takes time to chat with the bar tender who has just picked up about ten empty glasses with one hand. This is professionalism. As Daniel sits back in his full Highland kilt he waits until the bar tender returns with another round of drinks. This is Prague - table service is a must and customer service isn't taught - it's in their blood. After another loud round of cheers, Eva and Pavel laugh over a joke. Both are sitting in their Student Tours Scotland 'Just Don't Die' T-Shirts bought a year earlier in Glasgow. Pavel looks the part in his wee blue Scottish bonnet - it's a taste of Scotland in a far off land.
Libor and Jaroslav finish off the Czech compliment of our team. They show a warmth and friendliness to our group of travellers that just wasn't expected. These guys ooze fun and friendship and for that we were very happy.
We were in a bar in the heart of old Prague. The table was lined with empty beer glasses. Everyone was jolly. Apparently the former Czech president used to frequent here. Suddenly, my band of tired travellers felt at home in Prague. We had Daniel and his kilt, Eva and Pavel had brought us some Irn Bru and Jaroslav donned a Scottish T-Shirt. Libor has even travelled from afar just to join us.
Nearby my good friend Simon made yet another inappropriate joke, getting laughs out of Leticia and Amanda, our travelling companions. This is Prague. It's fun and friendly. Next to me Pedro smiles through his tipsy aura. He's been travelling for so long now I'm not sure he knows what day of the week it is. I say something ridiculous and he burst out laughing. Yup, he's gone.
This is why I love my job. Daniel and the guys organised this fantastic pub crawl and Vashek travelled across the country just to hang out and do some museums with me. Anna and Tereza took us to so many places that they didn't have to, but did so because they wanted to. This is Prague.
After an awesome day we hit up a Tchai Uvna style tea house. Inside there were beanbag chairs and an awesome smell of dried tea leaves. This is my corner of Heaven. As we all sit around and sip about 13 different teas I can't help but notice everyone around the room who isn't from here: Rafael is amazed at how my friends would be so kind to us all; Amanda can't believe how good the tea is; Leticia is blown away by how awesome it all is and Pedro is amazed he walked straight past this place a week earlier and had no idea what he was missing. Prague had taken us under its wing and so had my Czech friends. A small group of Czech people who had no need to do what they did for us or for me. However they did it anyway. This is Prague, this is the Czech Republic.
In the corner of the tea house, Jaroslav re-joined us with a guy from India. I assumed it was a friend come to visit. We were all amazed when it turned out this Indian guy had just arrived in Prague and Jaroslav had offered to pick him up - a complete stranger - and help him out when he needed it. This is Prague. This is the Czech Republic. I can't believe how lucky this Indian guy is. For the next year he gets to live there. He gets to be surrounded by all these awesome people. To say I'm jealous is an understatement.
So thank you Anna and Tereza for being so amazing to me; thank you Vashek and Libor for travelling so far; thank you Jaroslav for showing how kind and fantastic your nation is; thank you Pavel and Eva for the Irn Bru; thank you Simon for giving me a taste of home and thank you Leticia and Amanda for putting up with all my walking and thank you Pedro and Rafael for just being awesome. Thank you Prague!
Posted on 17th September 2013 : permalink