PEN club; 80s night at Iron Door

For the first time in two or so months, I’ll be performing again. Well, not really performing, but I’ve been asked to read at the Czech Centre of the International PEN Club (28. rijna 9, Prague 1). I’m not sure what I’m in for, as I won’t be reading my own stuff, but a translation of a work by Jarda Cervenka (the book that I’m linking to here is probably not what I’ll be reading from). This gig starts at 5 pm, as far as I know, and goes until 6 pm. It’s a paid gig, but I’d be just as happy getting a free book or twoâ??

Getting the call from William Hollister, the English Editor of Umelec Magazine, was surprising, and an honour that certainly brightened my mood considering my condition today. I tied one on last night with Jeff Stroud (here’s some of Jeff’s work with Fictioneering) as a kind of goodbye party (fortunately he’ll be back from the States in early September). Even now at 9 the next evening, I am still afflicted with trace amounts of hangover.

The night started innocently enough (doesn’t it always?) at a cocktail bar on Kozna Street. I think the place is called Chillis or Chilli Chilli or something like that. A potent Long Island Ice Tea, a few beers and a few shots of slivovice later, we went for a few more reasonably priced (and far superior) half-litres of Pilsner Urquell somewhere near Wenceslas Square – I remember neither the name of the street nor the name of the pub itself.

After this, things got muddy. Jeff and his girlfriend and their friends (two Czechs, names forgotten) called it a night. I decided to keep carousing. Bobbing and weaving past Chateau (or L’enfer rouge, Jakubska 2, Prague 1) I got a few tokes and a finger of birthday cake icing off some friends of an acquaintance who was en route to a taxi. I’m not sure if I was invited to join the group that I was smoking with – I just took my puffs and kept walking. For some reason, Chateau-Marquis area has always been pretty good for a few hits from friendly strangers in the wee hours.

The next thing I know I’m in Nebe (aka Iron Door, Kremencova 10, Prague 1), dancing like a scarecrow in a hurricane to the B52s, Billy Idol, the Clash, andâ?? well, then the music really started to suck. 80s nights have such potential, but when you’ve got a DJ who only has Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart to represent Manchester, no R.E.M., and too many hair metal ballads (anyone remember Night Ranger? I had quite happily forgotten about them until last night), no amount of drink and drugs can set your ass in motion.

So, what did I do? I ended up insulting Nebe’s manageress by telling her that the faux-lesbo show that she was putting on with a friend on the dance floor was not very convincing (I think my exact blurred and slurred words were something along the lines of ‘Your Basic Instinct thing ain’t working too well, honey.’ Smoooooth…). She came back with something that I didn’t hear, even after having her repeat herself four times. Then she just got up and got back to her PG-rated dirty dancing. I suppose it could have been worse – I probably would have slapped me for saying something like that. Then again, we Prague expats are a civilised lotâ??

Jun 8, 21:10 (Filed under: Prague nightlife, Culture )

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  1. What is the obsession with Nebe? Why do people insist on holding second rate parties there? The music is awful, you can never get to the bar. Damn even getting out of the place can be a torturous manoeuvre involving much spilling of drinks, burning of clothes and the inevitable (for 50 points folks) having to shimmy past a beer belly in a tight space which forces you to bend over as if you’re gagging for it.

    The wine is as sour as most of the clientele and you can never get a seat. I’ll spare your readers from the details of the ladies toilets. I always say I’ll never go again and then one of my so called ‘friends’ forces me to because of an so called ‘event’.

    I actually have to bring into question the civility of expats. Why do that to a friend?

    Stop the insanity – stop holding parties there!
    coco    Jun 10, 11:36    #
  2. LOL… Whoa… slow down there tigress… Nebe’s got its moments. Musically they have good hip-hop and indie nights. OK, so the crowds tend to be your average bimbo/himbo melange, and if you want a seat you usually have to reserve a table in advance or get to the place at around 7pm, but if you’re in the mood for stupid lively fun (as I was in my condition) it’s not a bad place once in a blue moon – especially if you want to catch a third-rate Sapphism show (insert rolleyes smilie here).

    So what are some worthy alternatives to Nebe for parties? I think you know me well enough to know that I’m not being cheeky when I ask that :-)
    Patrick    Jun 10, 11:58    #

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