Welcome (back) to Strelice - Part II

Read Part I

Drinking and singing and dancing to Franz Ferdinand and Snow Patrol in PTS. The sky clear and our minds warmed up. Robert Juracka, a Strelice native who now lives in the UK, is back home. I’m a foster villager, an adopted son – or at least nephew.

While I haven’t been greeted in quite the same way I was on my maiden voyage from Brno to Strelice U Brna (a drunk brunette named Zuzka who, before Robert could shake my hand, thrust a bottle of Fernet and cola at me and yelled, “Patrick, you must drink!”), every time I step off the train, wellâ?? a busy man’s got to a right to a night of heavy drinking. And I’d been hella busy.

Most of the front area was occupied with Pelisky, a movie I’ve only seen in bits and pieces. I had just seen Postriziny on the bus ride to Brno and got to talking about Czech movies with Robert and his mate Robin. I still don’t understand how Czechs can make incredible, clever, highly imaginative films, but their music videos are absolute crap – either cliché, overly-derivative, banal, or crazy for the sake of being crazy.

There’s a certain insanity that lingers in the air at PTS. It’s an insanity that people like Robert and Robin, who served with the Czech Armed Forces in Kosovo and Iraq, feel compelled to flee. But family and the comforts and familiarity of home always draw them back.

Others, like Dog, May, Francois, and Flag at the table behind me, feel comfortable in this maddening loop of the same drunken state spent looking and talking at the same walls and faces. Deep down they know they’re missing something, and they choose to ignore it.

Perhaps it’s not actually insanity, perhaps it’s fear of what really lies beyond the borders of the village. Even the bright lights of not-so-big city Brno freaks out a small part of Strelice’s inhabitants. Prague is just a notion for a number of the PTS posse, a place where the people are cold and think only of money and social status – their own and how it compares with that of others.

Praguers simply don’t think about the villagers. They know what the rest of the country thinks of them and they couldn’t give a rat’s ass. It’s not uncommon that at some point during a night in Strelice someone at the table will dis Prague, wondering why the hell I live there instead of a nice friendly place like Strelice or Brno.

Sometimes I wonder the same thing, but just as a passing thought. To me settling in a small town or a village cut off from the city would be like settling into a comfortably numbing sexless marriage. I’ll take the drama of shacking up with an unpredictable insatiable bitch (Prague, that is, in order to avoid confusion with the lovely lusty work of grace that is Jitka) instead, thank you very much.

But I was in Strelice to get away from Matka Praha for a while, and a few days of drinking and smoking and chatting in PTS seemed like a nice way of admiring her from a distance. The two Robs and I kept PTS open until three or four. We then got a ride to Robert’s place in the lower part of the village, stuffed our faces full of smoked meat, cheeses, pickles and rolls supplied by Mrs. Juracka, staggered off to bed and crashed hard.

Read Part III

Dec 29, 11:00 (Filed under: Road tripping )

« A Tale of Two Takeaways | Ringing in 2005, Blackbridge style »

|