To be clear, I am advocating exactly how to avoid this, so you don’t end up in some sort of real-life Gothika via Harley’s Bar like I did…
So now, we’ve got another alternative guide to Prague for you. Here’s how to: Go to an underground bar, order several buckets between you and four strapping lads, lose those four strapping lads somewhere between being blind drunk and home time, and wake up in a hospital bed the next day, dressed in a hospital gown and locked in a room for your own safety. The perpetrator is Harley’s Bar, near the main square, but if you can’t read signs – the warning signs should sound as soon as you order a drink and a crazy-looking ghoul-man starts pouring half a litre of vodka into a bucket and rubbing the straws under his armpits. Seriously, no good can come from this place.
(I may or may not have been picked up by police after losing my traveling companions – including my brother – my own flesh and blood left me for dead somewhere on a street corner I assume. I vaguely remember them asking me where I was saying, me losing the ability to form words, as well as the will to speak, and after that everything is black. Several hours later I awoke in a white hospital bed, completely naked underneath a hospital gown. Without completely jumping to conclusions, I then figured I was being held captive in an asylum a la Halle Berry in Gothika and ran to the hospital door, tearing furiously at the handle and then banging and kicking and screaming when I realised it was locked. For a solid five minutes I screamed “Let me out” to a deserted Czech hospital and/ or police station. They probably figured I wanted to escape – but really the reason behind my madness was just an urgent need to pee.
About 20 minutes of hoarse screaming later, a Czech doctor or police officer dressed in white unlocked my door and proceeded to enter the room, and shut the door behind him. I literally just about smacked him in the face – no man stands between me and the bathroom. After a solid lecturing I do not remember a word of, I can only vaguely recall him saying they weren’t letting me leave and I replied saying I was not pleased with the way he was treating me (with contempt, as I would too were I in his position) and that I was a very important journalist, completely able to out him in the media as the hideous torturer he was, and about to piss myself (I was only one of those things, and desperately needing the bathroom certainly didn’t wield me any power). About an hour of more kicking and screaming later, I was led to the office of an important female doctor – who gave me a huge bill for all the trouble I’d caused and proceeded to give me a similar lecture, neither of which I remember a word of. At some point during the night/ day, I’d given them the idea I was a 14-year-old girl whose first sip of the alcohol had turned into a Hangover-scale trainwreck, and who needed to be discplined. Which was probably accurate.
Pulling on my drenched, smelly clothes (one can only wonder why they were either of those things), I left the huge building I am still unsure of whether it was a hospital or a police station, and desperately tried to figure out where the hell I was (during the night my phone had died, I had lost my wallet and the money in my wallet, but somehow still had my credit cards). This meant lots of walking in to random shops, drawing disgusted looks from patrons and owners alike, as they garbled at me in Czech which was probably English but I was too drunk to notice. So instead, I found a tram line and followed it to the nearest stop. Quite literally punching and beating the ticket machine, causing a man who was trying to offer me some coins and buy my ticket for me, to back away slowly – I ended up just jumping on the tram and hoping I’d end up somewhere I recognised from the two hours I’d actually spent in the city. Spotting something that looked familiar, I jumped off the tram and stumbled through the city – looking like a crazed maniac. I spent two hours that morning in broad daylight, makeup smeared all over my face and fake sobbing, walking in circles about three blocks from my hostel. The best part of this was when I hopped on another tram, one that took me even further away from my lodgings – but it only took me another hour to find it from being much, much further away. Arriving at the hostel at about 9am, I set immediately about charging my phone and finding my lost brother.
To me, the smartest idea to go about this, was to text my boyfriend in New Zealand, telling him I’d just got out of hospital and asking him to call Daniel immediately as it was an emergency. You know, instead of just texting Daniel himself, or either one of my drinking companions from last night. An hour of useless detective work, a $20 phonecall from New Zealand to Prague, and much head swimming later, my brother surfaced. He’d been in his hostel bed the whole time.
A waste of a $3 hostel bed, cherished souvenir wallet bought in Ireland, $100 hospital/ police bill, and the addition of a new enemy in the skeletal man at Harley’s it may have been – but there really was a silver lining to all of this. I had the best burger and chips of my life.