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Monday, October 26, 2015

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Cobra--Prague








Cobra, just a place for locals to drink. Opens 24 hours. No tourists here, so no English. Music was mostly heavy metal and in Czech. Not too loud. The bartender would dance to it. Two men danced with each other. When a young man fell asleep standing up, bartender looked at him to make sure he wasn't falling down then let him be. Suddenly, he opened his eyes and asked her where his beer was. She pointed to a table behind him. When later he fell asleep again, with his face leaning on an upturned palm, his elbow propped on the bar, she came by to stroke his hair very tenderly. When he woke, she gave him a cigarette and the nicotine kept him awake for at least another 45 minutes. When she shifted the ashtray, though, he got confused and flicked his ashes onto the bar.

Bartender yelled at another customer several times. Czechs are more animated than the Germans in Leipzig, at least. Maybe Bavarians are also like this. I've been to Munich.

Prague has quite a few of the permanently groggy, long time alcoholics, but I also saw a higher percentage than usual of the intensely thinking faces, faces of men forced into ceaseless mental activities or worries.



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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was in Prague in 1993, there was very little signage for anything, it seemed to be just waking up from the communist stupor. Can't remember any drunks. For a real Czech cultural experience, look for the movies of Jan Svankmajer, especially his version of Faust.

Bhikshuni said...

Nice to see the Andy Warhol-tinted LD!

I am still hoping to get to Prague some day. I met 4 med school MD students from Prague in Lhasa in 1993. We went on a couple of excursions together. They told me everything looked very familiar to the communist scene they had grown up with. But the guys made a great impression on me. Gracious, witty, simple, and conscientious....I still hope to get there!

Thanks for the pics!

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Bhikshuni,

Czechs seem to be very relaxed and friendly. I'd certainly like to go back to Prague, but I have several other destinations to squeeze in during my time here.

Three of my favorite writers are Czech: Kundera, Holub and Kafka, though the last wrote in German, of course.


Linh

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.