This story is completely fictional, any reference to any persons, European or otherwise, is purely coincidental
Brussels 11 pm, Our place
Now Playing: Myknonos by Fleet Foxes
Prague 11 pm, somewhere between the station and our hostel (pilgrim, if i recall correctly)
“Dude, do you even know where we are?” 9 people turned, shrugged, and collectvely went back to what they were doing.

“i called the hostel guy, hes coming here to pick us up.”

9 degrees. I shivered under my jacket.

“There he is. I see him.” 9 heads turned. They didnt like what they saw.

120 kg. 6 foot. Built like a bear. “Aaaah Indiiiaaan guys. Come, I have been waiting for you. I have nice Polish girls.” That definitely piqued our interest. Somewhere along the way, (and after his playful punch landed square on my chest almost led to a minor heart attack) ‘Jan’ decided AR was our leader (dont ask me), and took to calling him boss (or was it big boss, memory is a little hazy). On the way to the hostel, we deduced that a majority of the girls and alcohol was for him. We registered our due protests.
The night progressed. Now playing: Something very Strange by Spock’s Beard
Prague, slightly closer to freezing point

We headed into a tiny alley underneath a building, and a couple of shadily lit doors later, we were at our hostel. The sign “Pilgrims Hostel”, was appropriately lit. Yellow, stone building, the works. It couldnt get more noir.
We followed Jan (the appropriate number of keys had been produced), into the tiny reception, where a couple of obviously drunk girls were enjoying his hospitality. We soon tasted it, literally.
Each of us got a shot of rum, and we downed it to Jana Gana Mana. Something about drinking free alcohol to your country’s anthem in Prague felt right, at least to Jan. By this time it was clear the party was to continue indefinitely. We all held on to our glasses.

5 songs, a Swiss, a Czech, and unknown number and types of alcohol later, (Jan had a closet behind him, which magically opened and produced copious amounts of alcohol. Narnia.) me and SR found ourselves leaving with a Czech waiter, who was bunking in the same hostel on a long term basis. It was freezing outside, and Indians aren’t built for this weather. But we wanted beer.

AR caught us at the door, (him being the boss, he got the most number of shots, and he had obviously flunked out with the girls, Deduction: he was pretty drunk and lonely). “You boys going to get some beer?” he said, giving us the were-you-going-to-leave-me look. We took him along, although by this time, it wasn’t clear who was making the decisions.
Now playing: Unknown by Unknown
Prague, freezing point, 3 of us with Blasta, the Czech waiter, in a random bar which we had convinced the owner she had to keep open. It was a question of beer and death, or so we told her.

(Before this, we had visited another bar, where the presence of a local did not help, and had also managed to pick up a fourth member in our entourage. SR had felt very friendly that night, trying to repay some of the Czech hospitality Jan had shown us. Unfortunately we lost our newly acquired friend somewhere on the way.)

The night progressed. We had Czech and German wine, I think, and exceptionally strong Czech cigarettes, called Sparta. We also somehow convinced Blasta to show us his fake teeth, laughed at SR for being a child, and generally got drunk. A couple of trips later we found us back at our hostel drinking beer from a Coke bottle. The night had wound down. We crashed.

The next day AR came to me saying Blasta wasn’t speaking to him in English. He took it as a personal insult. “Dude, he’s making all these hand signs. I’m very hungover and I can’t understand shit.”

I wondered if I should tell him, and watch the fireworks. But AR was a friend. I couldn’t do that. Damn.

“He doesn’t speak a word of English.”


“Then how the f*** did we communicate so well yesterday?”, AR said. Then he remembered the alcohol.


Now playing: The End by The Doors


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