prague street by night

Prague is known for being a laid-back city, full of history, monuments, and drop-dead gorgeous architecture. It is a city, famous the world over, for its beauty, spirit, and class, consistently earning a spot in every top must-see list ever published anywhere. The city is bursting with bars and clubs, an eclectic music scene, and thriving artistic community.

Slowly, over the past couple of months, I’ve had increasing opportunities to go out in Prague. The more I go out, the more I want to see.

Yesterday’s adventure, however, actually inspired me to start writing again.

I went out with a couple of friends to a little tea and shisha bar in Holosevice. As many other bars, clubs, and pubs in Prague, this place is situated underground. We strolled in and down the stairs straight into a decked-out college living room, stuffed with multicolored sofas, pillows, and chairs perfectly designed for lounging around.

My friends beelined for the back room. “It’s like walking into Narnia,” my friend excitedly told me. Oh, really? I thought. That kind of statement begged to be explored. I followed her down a twisty little hallway to another room full of eye-popping artwork and, of course, the requisite couches and pillows. To our left were two tiny doors, made of cheap fiberboard, painted over with abstract art, and clearly designed to look like a wardrobe. Sure enough. We ducked into the last room, Narnia style, and entered a small smoker’s paradise.

The room was, naturally, full of couches, pillows, tapestries, and lounging stoners.

We squeezed in and made a place for ourselves. Within minutes, I was feeling a contact buzz, both from the smoke and the ongoing, clearly marijuana-inspired conversations languidly drifting around me.

Assorted art and fabric decorated the walls and a large standing drum sat in one corner. On one coffee table stood a massive hookah, although no one seemed interested in smoking. Not from it at any rate.

The other patrons were an eclectic mix of young, middle-aged, and flat-out old, with the oldest, a woman with a wretched COPD-inspired hacking cough. At least three or four different conversations could be heard and I immediately felt welcome, like I had known these people for years.

On my recommendation, my friend and I ordered some of the most revoltingly strong jasmine tea that I’ve ever had. Holy shit that tea was strong! I can still taste it, just a little, at the back of my throat.

From there followed one of the most entertaining evenings that I’ve had in a while.

At one point, my friend, who is Slovakian, leaned over and whispered, “It’s all Americans in here,” with an eye roll. It certainly seemed like it at first, but as I listened in on the conversations, I was able to point out a couple of Brits. I glanced at the two guys in the corner next to her who were huddled together quietly talking to each other and watching a video on their tablet.

“What about them?” I asked her softly.

“Czechs,” she replied.

“That’s random,” I answered and we both snickered. Predictably, the only Czechs in the room weren’t talking to anyone but each other. I’m not sure what they were doing there, in a bar so desperately overrun by foreigners. Maybe they got lost.

The evening flowed past in a hazy drift of random conversation and general feeling of well-being. Eventually, one guy pulled out a guitar and began strumming and some young kid hauled out the drum and starting beating out a rhythm. So, naturally, one girl felt inspired to start singing and we all listened to her for the rest of the night. I felt like I had been transported into hippy-high land; a world I hadn’t visited in years but one that was immediately as comforting and familiar as home.

From start to finish, the evening was pure classic entertainment.

It’s times like these that truly make me appreciate this amazing city that I now call home.