Living in a van makes you appreciate some of the things you take for granted in life. A shower that is warm and lasts longer than a minute, a bed to wake up in without the sight of a sweating, snoring incumbents pair of feet and a living space bigger than a metre squared. When we arrived in Prague and pulled up to a grand block of flats which would house us for five nights , it was hard not to be excited for the relative luxuries of the civilised world. Due to the meticulously refined choice of one of the group coming out to join us, we weren’t just treated to any old rental apartment but a modern, spacious utopia in the middle of Prague. The feeling of powerful cleansing water streaming from a shower instead of a cold drizzle from a plastic bag was dreamy and genuinely hygienic whilst the freedom to sprawl across a mattress without kicking a friends face was a comforting bonus.
In addition to the apartments simple yet glorious features it also had the magnificent bonus of housing our group of friends from home who had come to visit Prague with us. Not to say that the stimulating and enjoyable companionship of Bani wasn’t maintaining its high standards but on the road more is always merrier and fresh voices were more than welcome. First to join me in diminishing Bani’s self worth was his girlfriend, Beth, who we picked up from the airport after a last minute change of plan from Bani to utilise the transportation services of the van. I acted as a third wheel for the remainder of the afternoon, putting the energy I usually use to joke with Bani into the consumption of local beers at the beer garden in the neighbouring park to our flat. Before the rest of the crew arrived later that afternoon we enjoyed the sunny, laidback atmosphere with a view across the city, myself celebrating that I didn’t have to drive for a few more days whilst Bani revelled in his resumed romance.
When the others finally arrived in the early evening my merry state multiplied and we quickly caught up over a few more beers. Starting the experience with a bang, we planned to head out into the city to enjoy a bar crawl before ending up in one of the crazy clubs the lively city has to offer. The problem was that the opening two hours of the bar crawl was an “all you can drink” affair and after spending all day doing just that, the service was an unnecessary indulgence. Still trying to get a value for money experience I set about drinking my way to the target to justify the spend on the crawl and to keep my travelling budget economical. Due to this commitment my memory of the night is minimal with just a few flashbacks of chanting Scotsman falling victim to our superior beer pong skills, ending up alone at the wrong club and an excessive amount of nachos flying around our bedroom.
The joy of being in a good sized group is the morning after the antics of the night before can be humorously retold with the addition of different perspectives and previously unknown information. Waking up in a confusingly crisp ridden room with Henry (the one who locks his keys in his car in post #1) and the wonderful specimen of a human that is Charlie Miles we attempted to piece together the events of the previous night whilst the couples remained in bed. I instinctively blamed my black eye and lack of money on a mugging before realising my legs are my main liability after overconsumption of certain spirits and that my money was just hidden in a forgotten pocket of my wallet. My lone wanderings were down to Bani telling me that a different club was the crawls final destination so I went alone to the wrong part of Prague, was refused entry due to having no money and slowly found my home. Whilst I lay, bathing in nachos, my roommates were inevitably locked outside, plotting a way to bed. After clambering over the first gate they were met by the sturdy front door that without a key for, remained impenetrable. In his inebriated wisdom Henry spied the open window on the first floor and noticed the large bins beneath. Using his engineering ingenuity he deduced he could build a set of stairs from the garbage containers and climb his way up into the flat. Charlie retold of the shaky drunk unsteadily kneeling on his first bin, still metres below the intended window, determined to pull himself into the warm. Luckily, he gave up his hopeless attempt and Bani came to the rescue to let them in. This is even more fortunate for whoever lives on the first floor as Henry seemed to have forgotten that we occupied the ground flat. Some unlucky sleeper could have been rudely awakened by a potential burglar impersonator stumbling through their window and making their way into bed, completely oblivious to their incorrect altitude.
Our other attempts remained free from breaking and entering, instead consisting of starting a crowd surfing epidemic in the countries largest club, trying to slide across a light up dance floor on the eighties themed floor and one slight tram colliding experience where whilst eating my midnight snack of pizza on the side of the road, I was clipped by the passing trams overhanging door. So other than learning to avoid unnecessary drinks before a bar crawl, I also learnt to not sit by tram tracks.