Welcome (back) to Strelice

Soon after I moved to Brno in 1996, I made pretty much instant friends with one of my then-students, Robert Juracka. He lived in a village called Strelice u Brna and within an hour after meeting him for the first time, he invited me out to his village, to a birthday party in a squat called U Hovna by the pub by the railway station.

After that followed two months of visits to Strelice, most of the activity taking in place at the pub by the train station or at the pub in the middle of the village, and, at times, at U Hovna.

And my herb drawer was never barren, Robert made sure of that. We talked about everything and bullshit, neither of us felt that aggravating urge to speak just for the sake of disturbing silence. We hitchhiked to Holland together. His family practically adopted me. We became very good friends.

I got to know the village, and the village, well, I’m still not sure if the majority of it knows what to make of “Burba’s Canadian English Teacher.”

Then I moved to Prague, Robert moved to the UK. We stayed in touch, we lost touch, we got back in touch and the cycle repeated itself a few more times.

I was in need of a little time out of Prague when we got back in touch again. I went back to Strelice this past weekend and reckoned I’d share the return in the odd entry here and there.

At the tail-end of a one-week blitzkrieg on vital organs and systems. After months of working out, I finally had me a good unhealthy week. Tuesday with fellow translators at the Chinese restaurant on Narodni and Jungmannovo namesti for good cheap food and some folk-singing and tattoo talk. Wednesday was the Provokator party.

Thursday was Brno: pizza with spicy ketchup on Ceska (the only slice in the country on which the condiment actually works), followed by a tram ride and a walk to the Deaf Viper – a new smoker’s pub in Brno – for a few cold half-litres of Dudak, a crisp light lager from Strakonice, with sweet Simona and her new teen dred beau.

Then headed for my destination, the Pub by the Trian Station, PTS, aka Vasek’s until a few years ago; it’s just PTS now. Of course the crowd’s the same, only now the formerly nicotine-battered walls are fresh pale orange faces, the sticky yellow light fixtures have been either cleaned or replaced, there’s young barmaid dancing behind the bar, and me and my mate Robert Juracka are drinking to binges past, knowing full well that this time is going to top the charts of our archives.

Read Part II

Dec 23, 07:00 (Filed under: Road tripping )

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