72 hours in Prague

Of course some of the time was spent building up the Prague Belly.

It must be in the beer but this seems to manifest itself in something more round and pert than the normal five pint a night beer belly.

Maybe it has something to do with the typical Prague beer glass which is a bit like an old pint glass with a handle that has been pushed down by an inch so as to make it more rotund, more like a football strapped around your waist than a sack of potatoes.

it will take a few more visits to get used to all the etiquette that can be had around spending time in a Prague pub. the first of my problems was trying to ask for another pint only to be presented with the bill. There is of course no need to articulate the asking, all it takes is the catch of an eye and the tap of a finger on the rim of the empty glass, and as if by magic another full glass will be there.

What was pleasing this time was that despite the thick wads of tourist around the King Charles Bridge running up to the Old Clock Tower it was still possible to find places where time seemed to have stopped thirty years ago and they still hugged close to the smell of tobacco.

I managed to find the first of them around midday on Saturday. I had had my first pint walking through the market by the side of the river and I felt in need of a coffee. There were plenty of places that sold it but they all were all too close to the beaten track. There was no great aim a I wandered and at one stage I found myself back up round a corner to avoid a man who looked like he might have designs at shouting at me.

Having made my escape and walked back around the corner I found myself in front of a nondescript door stuck with old posters. I pushed it open and found myself in a bar of dour green and wood. music was playing softly and from somewhere bowls of soup were being brought out and put on tables. I was clearly an outsider but also felt that this was just what I had been looking for.

I got my coffee and sat down at one on the empty tables.

I was alone with the coffee. All the other tables were inhabited with clear glasses filled with shades of brown and gold.

It took me a while to linger over my coffee but once I had doe so and got over whether or not I wanted to pay a clear squat glass of beer was put in front of me.

By now it was about 10 minutes past twelve and suddenly I found myself in an environment that could quite easily take uptake rest of the afternoon.

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