Sun 25th Aug.
It was a particularly miserable day, not an ideal way to experience a new city, especially not a place like Prague that has quite a few romantic connotations. I came in through the south-east and made me way to the centre at a sluggish rate, due to the light rain. It was one of the few times that I was in a major city and I didn’t have a host for the night. I was very lucky I had, had so many hosts as it was and paying for a bed for the night wasn’t a bother, it was more the fact I had to find one.
I decided to get coffee and a treat at my trusted American haunt, when I realised something was wrong. I checked my bags for my bag of wires to charge everything up and I couldn’t find it. I checked and checked again, unpacking the back panniers in the street and realised that they were gone. I had lost a few things on this trip, usually when I stopped to take something out of a bag, I’d rest it on top of the panniers and not put it away properly and presumably it would fall off. But I never lost anything of any importance. The wires were quite serious, without them I had no way to charge my electronic devices, which were fairly crucial to the trip, for planning, writing, navigating and entertainment. It was like loosing a phone or wallet (both of which I had lost already). I had to think about how best to go about replacing these quickly and cheaply.
When I went indoors the lady asked me if I wanted coffee before I said anything, I must have looked bad. I took the coffee and something to eat. I slowly started to devise a plan. First I’d find a place to stay, then unpack shower and relax. Then I’d find a place in town to buy wires. As long as I could charge the iPad, things would be fine. When I first set out to do this trip, I never envisioned becoming dependant on technology. Over time, it became such a staple for doing so many different things that without it, things would be difficult.
I looked around the street for a hostel for the night. I’d been to so many cities like this now, I knew that you could always find something in the centre. I looked around and found three on one street. I went into the most appealing looking one and got a room for the night. I was able to lock the bike in a garage they had there, I wasn’t completely relaxed about it, but I had no other option. I paid for the bed, put my things away, showered and went out into town. I had no idea where to get a cable and decided to find out where to go and get it tomorrow, while keeping an eye out for electronic shops. I saw a few but none sold the right cable. I decided to figure it out tomorrow and see some of the city. The rain didn’t help and it was a miserable grey day. I was extremely tired from three days camping and altogether felt awful. I used a PC in a bar for internet and got a beer. They were smoking in there which made me feel worse. When I left I had started to tip into being tipsy but still had a few hours of daylight left. I didn’t want o do anything but go to bed.
I went back to the hostel, picked up my book, went out for a pizza and then went for a drink and a read, getting a feel for the pubs and bars in this area of Prague. It turned dark and was raining constantly. I hopped round to a few different places, getting wet, reading, drinking, then headed back.
When I got back, I went to the common room to make a cup of tea. It was full of people from all over and there were two young Czech girls (probably around 6), in there playing a GTA game. They were running around and shooting things saying “fuck you, fuck you” to the characters on-screen. If anyone wanted to build a campaign on whether or not video games taught kids the wrong things, this was all they would need.
I went back to my dorm, which was now full of french guys a bit younger than me. They were all from Nantes and I told them I had been there on this trip back in May and I liked it a lot. They seemed surprised, probably as they didn’t suspect I’d know about it. I’d wanted to go to sleep more than anything in the world, but ended up staying up drinking warm lager with for a few hours them. The went out to carry on drinking and I went to bed. They came back within the hour and took a while to go to bed. I got less sleep then I would’ve, if I was in the tent that night.