The top picture depicts a guy getting thrown off the bridge. It is said that you will have good luck and return to Prague one day if you touch this picture. The dog on the bottom picture was shiny on coincidence so I touched it too. Wanted to double down on the luck. My finger is bruised because I slammed it in a door in Madrid.
In Prague, most trinket shops that sell souvenirs have bottles of Absinthe along their display windows. Most countries have made this drink illegal due to it’s content of thujone which is a psychoactive chemical. From my understanding based on what I’ve seen in videos, Absinthe is a foul tasting liquor that fucks you up and causes visions. Going about this without any guidance seemed like a bad idea so I went in search for an expert.
The hostel I was staying at had a couple guys I befriended. There was somewhat of a love triangle between them and the Japanese girl who was staying in my room. The two guys were Boris and Oliver and the Japanese girl was Yuki. Boris was a tall lanky dutch guy who looks like he’s been doing drugs for years. He ran a pub crawl at the hostel and also worked as a receptionist. Oliver was a younger Belgian who also worked at the hostel. Yuki was staying there for a week and had jagged teeth. She wasn’t very attractive in my opinion, but an exotic flower to these Europeans.
Boris had a little side hustle at the hostel where he organized a bar crawl. For around ten dollars American, he took you to 3 different bars and 4 free shots during the night. The night started in the hostel with shots of Absinthe that Boris got from a specialty store. It had 55% alcohol and a higher thujone content than the stuff you could buy at the tourist shops. We placed sugar cubes and a bit of absinthe on metal spoons while lighting the spoon. The absinthe burned the sugar down until it became a syrup that mixed into the individual cups of absinthe we had prepared.
It tasted like shit. A new level on the scale of bitterness. Before this, I’ve never had my taste buds pushed so far. After the shot, I have vague memories of going to a few other bars. I also have a vague memory of Boris making out with Yuki towards the end of the night with Oliver and Yuki holding hands earlier in the night.
During my thujone induced hangover, Boris approached me and admitted to sleeping with Yuki and expressed how bad he felt about Oliver. I guess this is a typical situation that results from drinking absinthe.
“Beer is cheaper than water”. Whenever you ask another backpacker about the Czech Republic, this would be their usual answer. My specific reasoning to visit Prague was to try the absinthe and drink many of their ridiculously cheap beers. It was surprising to see that water was priced around 1.5 while a bottle of beer with equal volume went for about 1.25. For a thrifty backpacker such as myself, this minor difference in price resulted in many breakfasts accompanied by a liter of beer. In my opinion, the best brew I was able to try was Budweiser. A small Czech company that dwarfs itself in size compared to the global conglomerate we all know of with the clydesdale horses. Not too long ago, there was a lawsuit in regards to the naming rights. I heard they settled it and both companies were allowed to use the name, but it’s pretty difficult to get an American Budweiser in Prague.
Decriminalization of drugs in Prague have encouraged a culture of Bohemian affluence to embrace things that expand the mind and alter reality. You can walk around the street with a certain amount of drugs and it would be considered a misdemeanor where punishable by a citation by discretion of the officer.
Marijuana: up to 15 grams
Heroin: up to 1.5 grams
Cocaine: up to 1 gram
Methamphetetamine: up to 2 grams
Amphetamine: up to 2 grams
Ecstasy: up to 4 tablets
Hashish: up to 5 grams
Hallucinogenic mushrooms: up to 40 pieces
LSD: up to five tabs
These amounts do not exist in order to justify legality. Rather, it is a dividing line between a ticket on the street or a sleepover in a Prague prison.
Marijuana, being the easiest to obtain, can be found in most bars. It’s almost as if you have to feel the vibe of the place. People already there smoking is a dead give away. If not, most of the seedier places in Žižkov will be able to sort you out. Just make it discreet and order a beer along with your purchase. Try not to attempt this at a Hilton or a Marriott bar.
I also found a dealer that supplied me with the best Super Silver Haze I’ve ever tried. One night at a bar, we were having a few beers and smoking a joint when a couple of police officers made their way down the street. With the joint in hand, I noticed them before they got too close and asked my friend what I should do. He took the joint from my hand and continued to smoke while the officers smiled and walked past us. In some areas of town, they just don’t give a shit.
The dark allure of Eastern Europe. An area filled with roots of transients, gypsies and artists. You can see through the architecture and general nature of the people who inhabit this city. Still, at this point of my travels, I haven’t been to a museum or a gallery. Historical culture doesn’t interest me unless it’s a little shocking. Prague is a city filled with ornate designs and gothic symmetry. Strange for a place filled with loose morals and cheap beer.