May 15th - 20th: Hockey and Absinthe – Czech Republic:

After an all day train and a bottle of vodka that only had a flaming barn on the label we (Riotch, Joey, and myself) roll into Czech Republic. We arrived to the seedy part of the town of Brno around 3 AM and the next bus out of town left at 7:30 AM. The only thing we could possibly do was to go to an all-night bar and drink Pilsner until morning in some bar with porn playing on the TV and a couple of dudes passed out on the bar. At 7:30 AM we got the bus and by early afternoon we were in Hradec Kralove with Jesse-O.

Now I heard many stories of Jesse-O and it was an honor to meet him. As expected he was EXACTLY Dean Moriarty out of Jack Kerouac’s book On The Road. I can’t go into too much Jesse detail because he deserves a website all about him, but when we arrived at his place he was getting kicked out by his girlfriend and spontaneously decided to move to Germany.

Jesse takes us to a wonderful Czech restaurant and afterwards we couldn’t find a bar that wasn’t playing hockey on TV. We opted for the Extreme Sports Bar and everyone was going absolutely nuts for this hockey game. It was cool to see so many Jagr jerseys, it was just like being in PA except since the NHL was on strike, Jaromir’s only team was the Czech national team. Anyhow, they beat Canada and as Joey was saying “Dude, they REALLY like hockey here” Jesse informed him that this was the international championship match. SWEET.

After the match, the people took to the streets and there was a full-on riot. I swear everyone had a full-sized Czech flag pulled out of their back pocket and soon everyone was filling the streets, pounded on the cars that drove past with people hanging out the windows waving Czech flags shouting “Czeski! Mistre!!!” What a time…

We then headed to Prague. Prague was a seven day haze. Riotch flew back to the US early on our first morning as we woke up on blanket-less hardwood floor using a backpack as a pillow, freezing. Joey got his ATM card from the US Embassy in Prague and now with money was once again a threat to be reckoned with. We met Brandy on the Charles Bridge in Prague that morning did some absinthe shots…

Jesse was on some crazy Matt Damon-movie style mission that involved “import/export” of a custom-made Ukrainian mandolin that was worth thousands of dollars. He said goodbye the next day and last I heard he was living in the US in Montana somewhere. I’m dead serious.

We spent our days in Prague walking the charming cobblestone streets, marveling at the baroque, evil villain style architecture. Sidewalk cafés with an artist from the fame school named Chris. We wondered cathedrals and cemeteries with our Canadian friends Mitch. We hiked a mountain with a Kiwi girl named Kim. Music festivals, street dances, breakdancers, skaters, and clubs full of drug induced Euro-trash dancing till noon. We went south to Kunta Hora with our friend Rick…

Kunta Hora was a really rad place. It is rightfully most famous for its “Bone Church”. From what I understand during the Black Plaque the cemeteries filled up. Soon they were burying people on top of others up to 13 people deep. Some clever/crazy monk decided to make art out of the bones. It was finally finished in the 19th century. There are huge pyramids of human skulls (didn’t we see this in Cambodia already?), but there was a chandelier made out of every bone in the human body, large anchors made of bones and an extremely impressive coat of arms made of….cheese. No that was bone too.

Back to Prague…After way too many absinthe induced nights that turned into morning…It was a repeat of sugar on spoon, light the bottom of the spoon, boil the sugar till it caramelizes, mix and slam. Ouch that stuff is strong. Eventually we decided we really need to leave Prague. We decided to head towards Barcelona and bought a ticket to Milan…


-- Albert Einstein