Entertainment à la Czechia
By Kamal Sunavala

My Czech friends tell me that a lot of what I see everywhere in Praha shouldn't surprise me. After all it has come from the West. I agree with that opinion most of the time as I walk down Můstek with Marks and Sparks on my right and Tesco to my far left. However I do protest against the general assumption that everything in Prague has been imported from the big bad West.

When I moved here in September 2002, apart from worrying about the language barrier and wondering whether the metro speeds past Smíchovské nádraží, naturally the other weighing concern was, will I find something to do on Saturday nights? If you're Czech you're going to look at me as if I were crazy or sadly blind. I take my hat off now to the gazillion pubs and bars that you have in your city. I haven't even come close to sampling all the varieties of beers that you proudly brew, the fame and glory of Czechia beer is still something I marvel at, along with the gusto and the ease with which you down it.

However, as the magic of beer wore off, I began to search for more entertainment. Several thousand crowns poorer, I began to look for the usual round of nightclubs and jazz bars and 'expat' hangouts, pardon the term. Not only did I find an abundance of these around Staroměstská and Václavské náměstí, but what I found therein gave me the first ground for my mild protestations.

Picture this. Demínka, a well known club at I. P. Pavlova masquerading as a respectable restaurant by day and early eve. I walk in with my anglický friends and we already adore the sheer size of the dance floor as well as the split level bars. A couple of Becherovkas later we are pleasantly lulled into a bit of hip swaying to familiar tunes from New York and London. Just as we are about to break into an enthusiastic stomp over Nelly and his belly button, we see two largish girls wearing very tiny clothes, on the floor gyrating to an entirely different tune. Naturally, you, my dear friends, Petr and Ondřej and Olda (I hope you are reading this) assume that the enthusiastic performers are from the 'liberal West' where this sort of thing happens everywhere, all the time. Meanwhile Jana and Jana - for those were their real names - proceed to reveal body parts where no man could have possibly gone before but now he sure as hell is attempting to. I have absolutely nothing against lesbianism, infact I could make arguments for it theoretically speaking. Needless to say, after that continuing display, with apparent encouragement from the whooping crowd we moved on.

We moved on to a darling little place called Bugsy's which is 'very expat'. Here we discovered that there were more EU citizens huddled in groups than in the EU itself. The atmosphere was wonderful and charged and so were we. Gin and tonics (the Englishman's second favourite) were flowing when suddenly a self introducing Brno boy named Mirek comes right up to our table and asks my friend and me if we would like to have sex with him because he finds certain upper parts of our anatomies very attractive. Naturally he sweetens his offer with two glasses of sekt. As hard pressed as we were to refuse, sadly we had to because, well, English girls don't sleep with boys they have just been introduced to.

However, we winked over all this and persisted in our search for good entertainment, thinking, ah, we're young and these things happen everywhere (although no other place comes to mind) and off we plodded to Radost. Having sampled their exquisite weekend brunch we were convinced we had finally hit the right spot. Alas, it wasn't to be. There was a full scale brawl going on there as someone's girlfriend's brother had hit on the girlfriend's boyfriend's sister in law who had freshly arrived from Olomouc and was not well versed in the ways of nudity or drunken hazes and the rest of the boys and girls decided to jump in because it was more entertaining than the music being played by the unconcerned DJ. Now I'm in for a good fight most of the time but unfortunately I wasn't dressed for the occasion.

An amusing night, you might say. I won't dispute it. Now if you could just explain to me the popular opinion - all this comes from the west - I should be very obliged. Take your time, I'm not going anywhere.