It was a warm summer’s eve in the beautiful Czech capital of Prague, my 5th stop on what had been a pretty surreal inter-rail holiday through Europe. Although I was severely hung-over, a feeling complimented with hours of sleep-deprivation, my three comrades and I prepared for another night on the town. Between the squabbles over who stole whose deodorant and the jibing over the fugly-looking young wan someone shifted back in Vienna, there was an air of expectation in the air. This was gonna be a good night.
We ended up joining a pub crawl half way through. The absynth was flowing (as per Prague), leading to the crew individually falling apart. ‘No matter’, I thought. It was hardly the first time this had happened on the trip. After floating about for quite a bit, I eventually found myself in the middle of a travelling football team from Cologne, who, along with their coaching staff, had decided to have a weekend away themselves. I quickly became the twelfth player, buying rounds and telling stories from my native land of yore (Ireland obviously). Oh yeah, it was great fun.
The night climaxed in Prague’s best-known nightclub, Karlovy Lázně. The five-story venue sported its own ice-bar, along with a number of different dance-floors playing all sorts of music. We laughed, we danced, we drank. We burnt each other with cigarettes. It was at this point, however, where the first of my problems would arise when my phone died. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t in the state of mind to give a fuck. But upon taking out my wallet to buy another pint, I realised that it too was sufficiently drained. Then, to make matters worse, I swiftly lost my German comrades. The night literally dismantled in the space of 20 minutes, all before my very eyes. I was alone, broke and with no means of contacting anyone. Prague is renowned for its aesthetic beauty and positive nightlife, but it’s not really famed for its safe and warm atmosphere. I was proverbially shitting myself, as they say.
I eventually found my way to a taxi. With the last few quid that I scraped together, I begged him to take me back to my hostel (of course, the name eluded me). As he carefully maneuvered through the cobbled-stone avenues, a sudden urge to piss was slowly developing over me. ‘Just hold it together’, I pleaded to myself. The driver threw me out beside some shitty KFC at the complete far side of town, after recognizing that I could get only pay a quarter of my fare. Now I was actually fucked. A few thoughts began racing through my drunken head. Do I walk the streets till morning and risk getting mugged? Do I turn myself into a police station and spend a night in a cell? That’s what happens in Eastern Europe right? My God I need to spring a leak. As I stared onto the broken pavement in sorrow, I despairingly noticed group of unsightly-looking gypsy folk approaching me. Through a few words of broken English, they started questioning my purpose in their quarter of the city. The sweat started to run perilously down my forehead, as my heart-rate increased triple-fold. And you guessed it. My bladder gave way. This must have been the funniest thing ever, because the minute the crew noticed the expanding wet patch on my crotch, they began frantically laughing and taking photos. I bet there are photos of some pathetic white teenager with urine stains all over his pants somewhere on the internet right now..
My unprecedented defense mechanism worked though. The lads got bored of me, and after a few shoves and pushes, they left me in a pool of my own piss. What gents. Whilst I contemplated the bad life choices I had made to end up in this situation, I was greeted by another, far-more slightly character. A blond Czech lady, who remained anonymous, grabbed me by the arm and pulled me to my feet. She tried to work out what had happened, but in my emotional state, it would take some time. I eventually managed to tell her my sorry little story, which was received with a rye smile and warm pat on the back. Things started look up when the Samaritan decided to then look up my hostel on her iPhone (luckily, I managed to recall a few details about the surrounding area) She subsequently called me a cab, and actually paid for it when she found out that I had zero funds. Can you believe that?
I’d be lying if I said we left on positive terms, and I went home with a new found appreciation for humanity’s capacity for empathy. As she buckled my seat-belt for me (I was that bad), I misinterpreted the gesture for something else. I leaned in. That’s right, tried to gob her. This woman was twice my age, and out of the kindness of her heart, saved me from spending a night on the streets of Prague. And how did I repay her? With a failed attempt to get the shift. She quickly pulled away, slapped me on the face and slammed the car door shut.
It’s only now when I look back that I can really appreciate the severity of my little soirée in Prague. I’ll never forget that Czech princess for as long as I live. I’ll also never forget that, aside from the wonders associated with Europe, it can be a hell of dangerous place too. Oh yeah, and don’t try gob anyone. Like ever.