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czeching out
By Dennis Batchelder 13 January 1999

What a beautiful city Prague is! We stayed at a hotel about 3/4 mile from Hradcany, the castle district. After we arrived, we walked over (in the rain), across the Charles Bridge, and got a great view of the tower, all lit up. The rain wasn't too bad, but since it was freezing out, the ice made the cobblestones very slippery.

We decided to take a cab back to the hotel. What a ride that was! Just imagine a small, old VW Rabbit, with bald tires, going over these slick cobblestones. Now imagine it at 70 miles per hour. Get the picture? I don't know why we feel so safe in cabs when they drive like maniacs - it's a bit surreal to sit in the back, thinking "wow - I'd never do that". I guess we think that since the cabbie is still alive, he must know what he's doing. 

It's 1:00 in the morning, and we're hungry. We ask the cabbie to take us to a "restaurant". He motions his hand to his mouth, as if drinking. "Beer"? I motion with my hands to my mouth, as if eating. "Restaurant food." He's puzzled. I continue, "Halushky. Capusta. Strudle. Big Mac."

The cabbie gets the picture. Off we go, for quite a long time. Dan thinks he's running up the fare. I'm still in my surreal state.

So where would a cabbie take two people who tell him "restaurant"? Methinks he'd choose a place that tourists like to go to. Methinks wrong. We end up at Jan's Pool Hall on some back alley. Methinks we need to provide more direction to cabbie. "Hey, expensive food. Hotel Restaurant".

Boris (we've given him a nickname by now) nods, and takes off. We end up in front of a no-tell Motel, just a block away. He's still not getting it. We give up. "Palace Hotel". That's where we're staying.

Boris nods, happily. He can service us now that he figured us out. Dan's happy we're getting out of the cab. I'm happy we've completed our Password game. Everyone's happy, except for my stomach.

Even that got happy. We went inside, ordered room service, and collapsed. Not a bad start to Prague.



czeching out - czech republic