Monday, February 19, 2007


Prague has been very topical in the world media for the last 15 years, not only because of the so-called "Velvet Revolution" and the phenomenon known as Vaclav Havel, but also because so many nationals from around the world have come here and stayed for long periods of time. Some of us flew directly here with the intent of staying, most just passed thru and stayed, or came back subsequently to hang around the Prague scene. Not to toot my horn too much but I was one of the few people directly involved in building and creating part of that scene: whether Jo's Bar in late '92, Repre Club and the Thirsty Dog at the Obecni Dum in '93, Jo's Garaz in '96 or Zelezne Dvere in '98.

Back in the early 90s the city was full of the adventurous types, unlike today how the city is full of shit-grinning yuppies and sophomores on one semester exchanges. When us originals got here, the country was still called Czechoslovakia, the currency was still inconvertible, money was changed with the Arabs in sleazy backstreet bars, piles of lignite coal lined the streets, every 5th car was a Trabant or some other 2-stroke aberation, the street-sweepers used willow branches, temperature inversions kept the school kids at home, every 4th building was abandoned, there was no AMEX and no McDonalds, "9 to 5" was far off on the horizon, mortgages and leasing were not in the lexicon, none of the women shaved and nobody wore deodorant, Cosmopolitan had not yet taught the female population how to spurn the men, the public transport smelled like low-tide, Mama club was hip and the Bunkr was cranking, the tank was pink, there was not a cop to be seen and Havel was still smoking and drinking.

As far as I know, Jo's Bar was the first legal expat owned bar opened in post-communist Czechoslovakia, followed one month later by Radost FX. One month after that, Czechoslovakia ceased to exist...breaking up into Czech Republic and Slovakia. I was one of the pioneers here setting up small business and I hope to portray in the subsequent collection of stories, some of the strange things that happened to us as we rode the wave of change in this time of great flux.

This is a collection of short pub stories that I have been re-telling for years either because of their comic value or because of their interest value or because of their sheer ridiculousness. I have tried to be a bit more descriptive than in the original versions to give any readers who have not been to this part of the world a little more insight as to what it looks and feels like . But nonetheless, I am not labouring for words...I am just telling my stories.