Saturday, November 05, 2005

Perspective in Prague

I've been walking around this incredibly beautiful and complex city. There's so many contradictions here. A lot of wealth and a lot of poverty. I guess it's growing pains, but it's frustrating sometimes. Last night for instance, we went to this club called Mecca. Good times. Llorca from France was spinning, and the music was great. Getting to and from the club was another story. Cabbies are mafia controlled in the Czech Republic, so there's no simple hailing and hopping into a cab like in Toronto. Our pension owner had to arrange a cab for us, and then we had to call her to arrange one to get back to the pension.

We're standing in the middle of the tram tracks waiting for our cabbie at 3:30 in the morning as directed. We're looking out for a Triple A Cab as directed. 5 minutes later, a cab pulls over, and we get ready to hop in.

"A cab for J to the Pension Bilban??" J says, with his hand on the door.

"J? I don't think so." the cabbie frowns, looking confused.

"But you're here to pick up some people for the Pension Bilban, right?" I say, thinking, there's no one else on this godforsaken corner. Who else would he be picking up? Does he think we rolled someone for the cab?

"One moment. I must make phone call." the cabbie says in his thick accent, and drives 500 metres up the street.

We stand on the corner in the freezing cold and wait. 5 minutes later, he pulls the car back around and lets us get in, presumably because he has somehow verified that we are in fact the right people. So, one 4 minute cab ride, and 150 Kc (about $8) later, we finally arrive safe and sound at the Pension. Craziness.

I can't even begin to describe the nightmare of the rail and bus stations. That, I'll have to save for a later post.


Swedish Girl said...

Prague taxi drivers! They are nuts!

When we were there (Is it really ten years ago now? Yikes!) they drag-raced each other down the street.

Your driver would wait for his buddies at the green light and then whooosh off they went down the street, like launched from a NASA space station.

How do say HELP in Czech??

shellz said...

For real, that was one terrifying 4 minute ride!