Around the same time Murphy was wrapping up work and getting ready to split, I was crawling out of the woods of Ontario after getting obliterated drunk and filthy for the better part of the week.
I jumped on a Pearson-to-Frankfurt flight, had the easiest “border crossing” of my life – literally one word spoken by both me and the guards in immigration and customs combined – then hopped on to Prague.
That day I took a quick walk up and around the river to get a feel for the city. Everything seemed pretty cheap. Feels generally safe. No one is hassling me to buy shit. I can dig it.
My first night I was solo and intended to behave myself, conserve my energy for impending stupidity, but sure enough an Estonian guy in my hostel asked if I wanted to go out “for a beer” and next thing I knew I was crawling into bed at 3:30 am. I felt like hot garbage hiking the two kilometres across town to the next hostel.
With Murphy’s arrival delayed I took a second evening walkabout and grabbed some pizza. Walking up one street I approached a section where there weren’t any building entrances and the streetlights were out, but I could see two silhouettes in the darkness. My sketch radar went bleep. Kept walking forward and I could see two greasy looking fucks, one was messing with something against the wall (needle, perhaps?) while the second was staring at me with this cracked out look on. I was ready for these two to try to pull some shit and sure enough they did. As I’m about a foot away beside him, the bug-eyed prick whipped out and snapped open a switchblade. I was ready for it, twisted 90 degrees to face him and put another foot of space between us. He just kept staring at me with the blade out. I stared back at him. About three seconds passed, then he snapped the knife back in and put it away, and I kept walking. No idea what the purpose of that was.
Welcome to Eastern Europe!