Most people I’ve spoken to about Prague have completely fallen under its spell; It’s hard not to. I was told that it would be a tad overhyped, filled with drunken English men on stag parties, and was beautiful beyond imagination. The beauty is true, the stag parties are manageable, and I believe Prague to be sufficiently hyped.
I miss Prague. Every. Single. Day.
I miss Prague for its remarkable castle, the view from Letna park, the delicious brunches (with morning prosecco), the laid back vibe, the history, and the coldest, most mouth watering, perfect beer that has ever passed my lips. Oh my god, the beer.
Perhaps I have rose colored glasses on when it comes to Prague, but I even miss the ridiculous things. I miss the hordes of tourists with selfie sticks on Karlův most. I miss weaving in and out of the crowd as they all stand and wait for the astronomical clock to ring in the hour.
In North America especially, we have a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction. We’re greeted with aggressive smiles and an unbearable desire to be helpful. We need to take about 25% off the overwhelming enthusiasm.
And that is why one of the things I miss most about Prague and the Czech Republic is the stern faced, no shit-taking, don’t need your business, cranky bartenders. I love them. I bet they don’t care that I love them and that only makes me love them so much more.
I love them.
Lokal and Kozlovna are two of my regularly visited pubs in Prague. They were always busy, usually smoky, and the staff didn’t really care for you at all. Brilliant.
But my all time favorite place to go for a beer was a place where jokes went unnoticed, a smile was a rarity, and eye rolls were flowing with every beer. I won’t tell you the name of the place because it will absolutely ruin it if tourists start taking over and I can’t bear the thought of the bartenders being genuinely upset with me.
I’d walk towards the door with my fingers crossed thinking “please be the grumpy men, please be the grumpy men, please be the grumpy men” and was thoroughly disappointed when greeted with a smile from what I dubbed the “off week staff”.
Here’s why I love these bartenders so much: My Dad is a big Monty Python fan and therefore, I was exposed to many a joke throughout my childhood, most of which I didn’t understand but laughed at anyway because if Dad thinks it’s cool – it’s cool. I still say things like “TIM!” and march around singing the Lumberjack song.
So when the men behind the bar would barely glance up to take my order, show impatience with my slow coin counting, or throw their arms up in frustration every time someone left the door open, I would try to hide my delight while picturing them in a Monty Python skit. I would actually stand, with my beer, close to the door so I could swoop in and save the day by closing it for them.
I’m pleased to announce that they never seemed to notice and they certainly never said thank you. I love them so much.
This is less of a blog post and more of a cry for help. If anyone is familiar with Prague, Monty Python, and film making, please, please, please, create a mini series. It will bring so much grump-fuelled joy into my life.
Do you have any quirky reasons to love a certain place? Tell me about them!