Prague pandemonium – Part 1

My best friend had just come through a nasty divorce and was somewhat confused about…well, everything frankly. I was much further down the road of recuperation than him, but it was Summer and fun should be had. I thought we could both do with some lifting of spirits. We had a high-school friend living in Prague who was forever inviting us over to visit him. At the beginning of the year he had found out that his wife had been cheating on him, he had separated from her and launched divorce proceedings. I thought it a good idea if my best mate and I visited our friend in Prague. The three of us could sit around, talk shit, catch up, have some laughs and maybe figure out the way forward together.

We flew out on the Saturday morning, meeting up with our friend before lunchtime at the airport. He came to fetch us with his son and we were all going to spend the weekend at his parent’s country house. They were away in South Africa where they spent most of their retirement years avoiding the Czech Winter. The house was a large multi-storeyed alpine-style house on a big piece of ground shielded from neighbouring properties by a mature, lush hedge. The sun was blazing overhead and the swimming pool looked very inviting.

For a few days we lazed around, had a barbecue with our host’s friends and relaxed. It takes about 3 days for the body to unwind sufficiently so that a holiday can be enjoyed. Once we had reached that point we decamped to central Prague and set up base in our friend’s city pad. His son went back to his mother as the school holiday was ending. The three divorced or divorcing guys sat around downing good, cheap Czech beers, bitching about women and relationships.

It was interesting to me to hear some of the things that my friends were saying as I had felt the same way when I was getting divorced six years earlier. They were embarking on a long road that was alien to them; all I could do was offer words of encouragement along the lines of “I got through it, you will too.” Nothing in our teenage years prepared us for being in this situation 25 years later.

My best friend and I spent a day sight-seeing together as he had never been to Prague before while I had in 2006. If you’re into architecture and history, then you have to visit Prague. If, like me, you have a thing for pretty blondes, then Prague is a must-see. On any street corner I could stand rooted to a spot and swivel around gawking at one stunning blonde after another for hours. It’s like an all-day procession of lookers coming off of a conveyor belt. I have never been to anywhere quite like it. There must be something in the beer that causes most little Czech girls to grow up to be blonde beauties. Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself.

With such an abundance of attractive women, it isn’t too surprising that Prague has something of a busy nightlife…the naughty, seedy nightlife. You know that Christmas carol about “good king Wenceslas”? Well, there is a square (which is more of a long boulevard) named after him that has the vast majority of Prague’s “gentleman’s clubs”. There are about a dozen strip clubs cited in and around this square. From dusk touts start appearing, pestering passing men with leaflets extolling the virtues of the shows and girls that their club, which is always the best club, offers.

I had been to a strip club once as part of my best friend’s stag do. That was years ago, 1998 to be exact, back when we were both getting married and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about everything. We had both enjoyed that night, so I thought “Why the hell not do that again in Prague?” It might lift my friend’s spirits out from the dark well of despair that they were drowning in. Suggesting my idea one night resulted in a muted response, the two of them just looked at each other, blinking and smiling. It didn’t take much coaxing and cajoling from me to get them to agree to give this a go. We agreed to sample this side of life the following night.

It was getting dark as my friends and I made our way on to Wenceslas Square on a Wednesday night. Tired tourists were enjoying their evening meal at pavement cafes and restaurants as another hot day gave way to what I hoped was going to be an even hotter night…in the strip clubs.

The three of us must have looked like the typical guys that go into strip clubs because within a minute a tout came bounding up to us, brandishing freshly printed leaflets. I asked “How much is entry and the drinks?” He was a black African guy, from Nigeria I think and he spoke good English. “Boss, for three hundred Crowns you get entry and three free drinks. Is cheeeap.” he implored.

So for less than ten Pounds Sterling we could get entry and a few free drinks – that was cheap. Perhaps too cheap. I was suspicious. “So what do the girls do?” I asked. “Anything except sex. Price depends on what you want. Everything negotiable. The womens is hot!” was the touts sweaty reply. My friends seemed shocked, even the one who lived in Prague.

We repeated this conversation with a few more touts, all of whom were illegal immigrants from Africa, all offering the same prices and deal as the first tout. All that differed was how “hot” they described the women to be. My friends were satisfied that they now knew the score and were comfortable choosing a club to start with. The nearest one had a clean, modern frontage so we decided to take our chances in there. It seemed safe.

The very first tout we spoke to sidled up to us and walked with us despite our ignoring him. We walked up to the doorway where a burly security guard was standing next to someone acting as a cashier. All this person had was a table and chair, with a metal cash box on the table and a stack of voucher books next to it. We handed over our money and were presented with a voucher booklet each in exchange. These were for our drinks, which was a selection of either beer, sodas or coffees; three pictures for each type which could be individually torn out. The security guard took our right hands and stamped a small ink emblem on the top, then waved us inside. The cashier, guard and tout then engaged in a conversation, which probably involved the tout getting some kind of commission.

The doorway lead down a flight of stairs that opened out in to a reception area dominated by a bar counter. We ordered our drinks and turned to our right, which was the only direction to head towards given that to our left were the toilets. Bright light shone into our eyes and our ears were suddenly bombarded by loud music. Undeterred I walked into the light and my friends followed me.

Through the offensive light I could see the hint of a table and chairs to my right and I headed for it, my mates in tow, our ears being assaulted by a constant rhythmic “Boom. Boom. Boom”. Out of the glare of the head-on lights I could see our surroundings clearly. We were in a large room laid out in a horse-shoe shape that could hold no more than 40 people. Around the outside of the horse-shoe was a terrace of tables with chairs and booths with bench-like padded seating. All of the seating was in a dusty red material and the wooden tables were painted black. In the centre of the horse-shoe was a catwalk stage with a shiny stainless steel pole at the end closest to the entrance.

There was only one other person sitting in the customer’s seats and it seemed that he was slightly drunk given how he was slouching in his seat, staring blankly with droopy eyes at the only girl on the stage. She was a brunette with a slender body and only wearing a bikini bottom. Her breasts were small and saggy, her nipples large, brown and hard. She was pretty enough, her face caked in make-up though, but constantly smiling as she went about her routine of endlessly gyrating up and down against the pole.

With drinks in hand I led my friends to a booth to the right side of the stage. I wanted a good view of all the proceedings in this alien environment, not just of the girls on the stage. I wanted to take in as much of this new, unfamiliar world as I could; to take it all in; digest it, analyse it, understand it. Titillation was a bonus for me, while it was the main event for my clinically depressed friends. On the other side of the room, close to the bar, I could see four women sitting talking and occasionally looking at us. They were in their twenties and thirties and I got the impression that they worked there, given the garish nature of their appearance: sequins, leather, plastered-on make-up, loud jewellery, high heeled shoes and overly-quaffed hair.

The club had obviously just opened and we were the first customers in for the night, except for the solitary drunk who was in danger of falling asleep in his seat. The brunette ended her routine by lying next to the pole, faced the drunk, splayed her legs in the air and ripping her bikini bottom off…and held that position for a few seconds. The drunk’s face lit up as he smiled. The dancer regained her composure and expertly leapt to her feet despite wearing high heels. She collected her scattered items of clothing and retreated to the dark side of the stage to disappear behind some curtains. The drunk lamely applauded.

This was not what I was expecting, it was seemed somewhat silly and even bordered on pathetic. My friends were bemused not because of what they had just seen, but I think more from where they found themselves. They were both guys who, like myself, got serious too soon in their life and didn’t play around at all. They hadn’t bedded scores of girls and done crazy shit at parties in their teens and early twenties. We were all straight-laced and moralistic – boring basically. I was further out of a relationship than my friends and intent on having some fun. What fun exactly, I quite honestly had no idea, but was interested in finding out what was on offer.

The music ramped up, a voice said “Sasha!” and a stunning fair-haired girl appeared on stage. She had a very trim figure, a pretty face, was quite tall with hair in a pony-tail down almost to her waist and was wearing a gold trench-coat. I recognised her as being one of the four women that I had spotted at the back of the room. She couldn’t have been more than 25 years old, possibly still a teenager.

Her routine was something that I would describe as classic. If you’ve ever seen snippets of a striptease on television or in a movie then you will have seen what she did. Her body was very tight and she had perfectly rounded, dense b-cup breasts with cute, small pink nipples. Her breasts didn’t flap about as she moved, but rather merely gently wobbled. I liked the look of her. There was an innocent awkwardness about her that appealed to me. I think she had a problem with her high-heeled shoes and didn’t make as aggressive or flamboyant moves as her predecessor. Sasha ended her routine without the parting of the legs move and disappeared behind the curtain accompanied by rapturous applause from our table. Okay, it might just have been me.

As if it was timed, the brunette that had been doing her stuff on stage earlier suddenly appeared at our table. She immediately started speaking English to us. How did she know?! Once the fake pleasantries were over (amidst stupid boyish grins from us) she moved on to the topic of private dances.

“Would you like private dance?” she purred in a sexy Czech accent, looking each of us in the eye in turn.

All three of us swallowed our adam’s apples. The music seemed to die down just then so that all of Wenceslas Square outside could hear our conversation.

I spat out the obvious question, “How much?”

She smiled and said, “A thousand Crowns for dance with no touch and one thousand five hundred Crowns for dance with touch.”

I looked at my friends. They were like statues in their seats, frozen by her words and seemingly having been struck by lightning too. Their faces showed shock, surprise and consternation. I could tell that they didn’t have a fucking clue about what to do or say. Sensing that neither of them were interested in taking up her offer (I wasn’t either) I somehow found the necessary words.

“Thanks, we’ll think about it. Maybe later”.

She smiled gracefully and left our table. As I watched her leave I saw that a few more men had taken up seats around the room and that several more were at the bar getting their drinks, obviously newly arrived. The voice on the tannoy announced “Monica!” and the music ramped up to a crescendo again.

The new stripper took to the stage and, how shall I put it, she was slightly past her prime. She was at least in her late thirties, probably in her forties and possibly in her fifties. My friends and I let out a simultaneous, collective “Jesus”. She was also a brunette and a little bit short for her weight…she was chubby. Now I don’t mind a little “cushion for the pushin” but there are limits.

She went through her routine with an ease that indicated that she had done it a million times before. I found myself grimacing and bracing each time she teased that she was about to take an item of clothing off. My mates were letting out little chuckles of embarrassment now and again. By the time she was down to her knickers I was ready for the show to end. Her breasts were big and droopy. Her nipples were large and dark. I think she must have been a mother. I felt sorry for her.

Her routine ended with her also lying on her back, lifting her legs in the air, parting them impressively and then whipping her knickers off and holding that pose for a few seconds. The drunk, who was sitting closest, had her pussy in front of his face and the sight of it stirred him from his half-slumber. His face came to life with shock, his lips parted, his spine stiffened and his eyes widened. Monica sprang to her feet, gathered her gear and slipped behind the curtain. The drunk got up and walked out.

The music subsided and I looked around, spotting “Sasha” sitting alone at a table near the bar area. She looked like a secretary, having changed in to a black skirt and white blouse. I had never had a lap dance in my life, but she was ideal to be the first to show me what it involved. She was possibly the prettiest girl I had seen in Prague. Of course by now I might have been wearing beer goggles and infused with some Dutch courage. There was a rush of blood to my head (the upper one) and I stood up, noticed the look of surprise on my friend’s faces and said “I’m going for it.”

Quiz on my face – Late June 2012

My best friend and I were living together. I had finally left my long-term girlfriend at the beginning of the month. The novelty of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself wears off quickly. He had been internet dating for a few months, but without much luck. Just one oddball that he found interesting and entertaining, but distinctly not relationship material.

His preferred dating site was offering a night out to members that was a cross between a comedy night, a speed dating event and a pub quiz. Ladies would be assigned to tables where they would remain for the evening. The men would move between the tables after a few questions in a pub quiz that involved topics such as love, romance and relationships. It was a manner of getting everybody at the table talking, a la speed dating, but on a group basis. After a couple of rounds when men had changed tables a few times, proceedings would be interrupted by a stand-up comedian. After that the quiz and table swapping would resume. Nice idea right? It’s all in the execution.

My friend and I would go together, but truth be told I wasn’t that interested, I was far more interested in changing my belly-button fluff. He needed a wingman and I felt compelled to oblige given that I was staying with him and had done so at short notice. This was a big step in his world, walking in to a room full of single women. I found the thought of it slightly daunting myself. It didn’t seem too far off from walking past the cosmetics counters in a department store, staffed by those overly made-up women who glare at you if you’re a man, as if you had just groped their backsides.

I arrived early and scouted around the venue, walking through the roads and sidestreets of London that surrounded it. True to form, my mate messaged me that he was going to be late. He’s always late. I reckon he’ll be late for his own funeral. So I had little choice but to enter the venue a few minutes before the stipulated time. It was in a pub that had turned it’s main floor in to a seating area with collections of tables and chairs. There were about a dozen people present, mostly women, scattered about. The hostess at the door took my name and gave a me a table number to start off at.

I stiffened my spine, took a deep breath and walked toward the bar. I got the distinct impression that eyes were following me. I ordered a cider and looked in to the mirror behind the counter that spanned the wall. I noticed two women at different tables looking in to the back of me. Drink in hand I turned to go find my seat at table 8. The table was against a window and two relatively attractive fair-haired ladies in their late twenties or early thirties were sitting there talking to each other.

I sat down and introduced myself to them. They reciprocated and easy conversation ensued. They were friends and one of them (the less attractive one) was actively looking for a new relationship. The more attractive one, ok the one I fancied more, wasn’t looking as she had just come out of a relationship. We chatted about anything obvious and it became apparent to me that the less attractive one was very chatty with me, very forthcoming in conversation and was leaning in towards me. The one I liked the look of was leaning back in her seat with her arms crossed.

When I told them that I was there just a wingman for my best friend and wasn’t on the prowl as I had also just come out of a relationship, the whole dynamic changed in seconds. The less attractive one sat back in her seat and didn’t say a word to me the rest of the night, while the one I fancied unfolded her arms and became very chatty.

The venue was filling up quickly and eventually another youngish lady joined our table. She was petite and so softly spoken that I couldn’t hear a word she said. Then two guys in their early thirties joined our table and the whole tone of the evening took a turn for the worse. These two were so noisy, boisterous and embarrassing that I could only but keep quiet for a few minutes. The less attractive gal starting chatting to them, encouraging them almost and the noise level became unpleasant. I suspect that they had some Dutch courage in them. It became impossible to hear anything that the softly spoken little pixie said, even though she was sitting at my shoulder. A few more men and women joined our table, but I couldn’t catch their names as the two jackasses were making so much noise.

Eventually the master of ceremonies took to the stage, welcomed everybody and explained the procedure for the evening. After 3 quiz questions, all the men were to move to another table in a clockwise fashion. Ladies “teams” would remain seated and claim the answers or points for their table, the men were just helping out. Each table had to have a name. One of the jackasses suggested “Quiz on my face” and for some reason, nobody suggested anything else and table 8 became known as that.

Inane questions about all things related to love then ensued. This resulted in pandemonium at all tables. Most of the men at all the tables went in to over-drive trying to show off and it became almost impossible to hear anything. Because it was so noisy, the only way to make yourself heard was to be as loud as possible – and everybody across the room was doing this. It was a horrible experience. Is this what happens when a room full of testosterone and oestrogen meet?

I sat back in my seat, slightly disgusted with proceedings and really not enjoying myself. The attractive gal to my right leaned forward and we started chatting as best we could, ignoring everyone else. She had an easy smile, twinkling eyes and pleasant demeanour. If I was on the prowl, I would go for her. Looking around the room I could see three more women that I liked the look of. Going to their tables was going to be interesting but hopefully we could hear each other.

The comedy act took to the stage and she was Romanian with a perfect grasp of the English language with only a slight hint of an accent. While she was doing her routine, I became aware of the fact that the attractive gal to my right was repeatedly knocking me with either her left leg or left arm. I thought nothing of it and dismissed it as just her being a fidget.

It was time to move to the next table and all the men stood up. It was only then that I noticed how short the two jackasses at my table were. I’m six foot one inch tall and these two twats barely came up to my shoulder. I wondered if there behaviour was driven by Short-Man’s Complex. I now thought of them as two little yapping dogs, mouthing off in an attempt to get attention – any attention. I bade the ladies at my table farewell and moved over to my new table.

There were five women in their late twenties or early thirties at this new table. The Twats and two other oddballs caught up to me. I deliberately moved as quickly as I could wanting to have a few moments alone at the new table. I introduced myself and shook hands with each of the ladies, repeating each of their names as we shook hands and made eye-contact. One of them I liked the look of, but before any clever conversation could commence The Twats started their loud boyish behaviour. I looked at the ladies and could see that they were a little taken aback, not knowing what to say.

Three of the ladies were work colleagues, while the other two were independent. “Quite brave of a woman to come to an event like this by herself” I thought to myself. Or really desperate…or really easy…or badly wanting a baby. One of them, Helen, who had come by herself, wasn’t the best looking gal at the table (only one was), but she had bags of confidence and was quite lively. For some reason I believed her the type to take one guy home on the night and have a good time in bed with him, then kick him out asap and never see him again. I could never be with a woman like that.
Three questions were fielded and raucous pandemonium reigned almost throughout. I didn’t get much chance to talk to any of the girls and the one I liked the look of was seated furtherest away from me. Then it was time to move to a new table. Once again I moved fast because at this new table there was a very pretty blonde that I wanted to talk to. Not because I was hoping anything would come of it, but largely because I find blondes irresistible. Sad but true. After the round of quick introductions I immediately started talking to my target. It turned out that she was Czech and her English was not good at all. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. What must it feel like to be in city like London, single and not being able to speak the language? Especially London where everything moves at lightning speed, people don’t have much time for each other and there are multitudes of accents and cultures to contend with.

The room quietened down as the master of ceremonies was speaking. Except for one of The Twats (the gobbiest one) and one of the oddballs who were engrossed in a heated debate over something. Everybody near to hand was staring at them, but they were oblivious to the world, intent on their little duel of egos. The Oddball was a lanky, geeky character with a bizarre name. When introducing himself he compounded his bad initial impression by spelling his name out, emphasizing that it has a “y” and not an “i” in the middle of it. Their high-spirited exchange wasn’t going to end soon and even the MC had stopped speaking and was also looking at them. I tapped the oddball, who was to my right, on the shoulder and told him that the MC was speaking. He stopped momentarily and then resumed his heated exchange with The Twat. Only they were speaking in the room and everyone present had now turned to look at them.

I was getting annoyed by these two, so I grabbed the Oddball by the shoulder and said “Mate, shut up! You guys are disrupting the show. Everybody is looking at you.” Undaunted, he shrugged my hand off his shoulder and turned to The Twat, intent on carrying on. The Twat meanwhile had heard what I said, looked around and realized what was happening and turned away from the Oddball. Thus their argument died and the MC recommenced with proceedings.

Many people kept their gaze on these two numpties for a few seconds afterwards. I reckon most were thinking what I was thinking, which was “And that’s why those two are single.” They used their personalities as a contraceptive. This evening was becoming a drag, perhaps not just for me.

My mate then arrived, late and last, as was his style. He always claims something about making a grand entrance. I always say a lot of negative things in response. He joined his table, acknowledged me with a smile and got in to the spirit of things. I wondered what he was going to make of all this.

Three more questions and much more noise. I didn’t bother making small-talk with any of the other ladies present at my table. I was now not in the mood. I looked over to my friend and saw that he was leaning forward, a stern face, battling to make himself heard at his table too and probably struggling to hear anybody, just like everybody else.

There was a pause in proceedings and another comedian took to the stage. His routine wasn’t that funny and I suspect I detected a collective sigh of relief when he left the stage. It was time to change tables again. I made a beeline for the next table because a little cutie that I had been eyeing all night had a seat open next to her. I was trying to make the best of the evening and seeing if I could strike up a conversation with her was an appealing idea. She was just over five foot, thus short, petite frame and had long, curly, light brown hair…and big fat juicy boobs.

I got my seat next to her and didn’t waste any time in getting chatting to her because I knew the window of opportunity was short. There was a lull in proceedings, so I got more time with her than I had anticipated, which was good. We chatted amiably about all sorts of things. She was Scottish, from the Highlands and had been in London for a few years. She was very friendly, bubbly and conversation flowed easily. She was asking questions and initiating topics of conversation which gave me the impression that she was enjoying my company. The conversation took a turn for the serious when she started asking about children. I answered quickly and honestly that I had decided against it. It was as if I had hit her through the face with a fresh, wet Scottish salmon. Her whole demeanour changed and she partially turned away from me, her face visibly unhappy. I was astounded by her sudden change in attitude. I tried to continue the conversation, but she wasn’t interested, only giving curt replies and little eye contact. The evening was getting worse with each change of table. Could it get any worse?

The usual three questions were fielded amidst the predictable torrent of verbal diarrhoea and cock-fighting between the guys. Surely women were not enjoying this spectacle? Perhaps they were inwardly laughing at these jackasses, especially The Twats? I tried making small talk again with the Scottish lass but it was obviously wasted breath on my part. I couldn’t make conversation with the other women at the table as they were mesmerised by the shenanigans of The Twats. A drinks break was called and the bar was flooded within seconds. Great, already bad behaviour was now going to be compounded with alcohol.

For the lack of anything else to do (I’m not a big drinker and the bar was crowded) I turned one more time to the Scottish lass and asked if she would like a drink. “No” was her curt reply. “Rude little bitch” I thought to myself.

I was starting to look forward to the next table change. In fact, I was starting to look forward to the evening ending. I looked over at my mate at another table and could see that now he was slouched back in his seat, his hands playing with his phone, not talking to anyone and looking around the room. It seemed he wasn’t enjoying himself either.

The table change was called, I bid the ladies at my table farewell and moved over to the next table which had been obscured behind a column. There were four Chinese ladies sitting there. Only one of them spoke English. I was spotting a trend here. I was dreading the next table change. What awaited me then? Medusa, Catwoman, Miss Haversham, Cruella Deville and Sharon Stone?

Even The Twats fell silent at this table. The Oddball starting texting people on his phone. I tried to get a look at the next table. This was where the last of the three cuties that I had spied out earlier in the evening was. The optimist in me said, “Things can only get better”. I made some small talk with the Chinese girl who spoke English, largely as a way of defusing the obvious tension and discomfort in the air at this table. What the hell were they doing here? What was their game or expectations? I was too polite to ask.

The last of the three questions were fielded and the answers were scribbled down by a lady at each table and then taken to the stage where the MC sat dealing with the administration of them. It was suddenly and unexpectedly announced that the evening was ending. People were surprised, as was I, but I was also slightly relieved. I was willing to forego meeting the last cutie. What was the point? I wasn’t looking for a relationship.

The scores were totalled and the winning table was…Quiz on My Face. Back where it all began, all those hours ago, two in fact. Back where there was time for a decent exchange of banter and even an involuntary touch or two. Back where someone not looking had met someone not looking. A wingman met a winglady.

The MC invited people to partake of the bar revisit someone you “found interesting” and almost immediately unnecessarily lour music started playing. I thought for a moment about going back to table eight, a.k.a. Quiz on My Face and chatting to the very first two gals I had met. I looked over at my mate, saw the pained expression on his face and knew instantly that he wanted to go. His tilting his head towards the door confirmed it. I bade my table’s ladies farewell and made my way over to the door where my mate and I met up. We agreed that we wanted to leave. As we turned for the exit I noticed the Scottish lass walking past. We made eye-contact, I said “Good night” with a smile. She just glared at me and walked out. I was stunned by her behaviour.

Outside my mate and I walked past a table where the four Chinese women were sitting smoking. They just looked at us as we walked past. I felt a little bit bad about not going to say a few words to the two girls at table eight, but I was happy to be leaving.

My friend and I sat on the train home discussing the night’s events. We were of a like mind – that it was an unpleasant experience. Neither of us were keen to repeat it.

Before I fell asleep I thought about the behaviour of the men that night. It bordered on disgusting. Women can not find that attractive, all that verbose, loutish behaviour, chest-thumping and cock-measuring. I was so very different to all those guys that I observed. How would I be received by women? What was my marketability on the dating scene? Who could I meet?

I was very curious. There was only one way to find out.

I decided to go internet dating.

And that is how it began…all so innocently and so well-intentioned…

Online dating, dates, internet dating, romance, love, sex, relationships

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