Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Side Note: Prague: New Years

New Years was like one giant party (with its center in Vaclavske Square) and everyone was invited.  There were tons of fireworks, but they weren't set off by city officials, but rather by revelers.  The blare of sirens was constant, and sparkling wine was flowing aplenty.  It was one of the most fun and memorable times in my life.  I actually met someone from Mass there, I think he was teaching English in Prague.

There were twelve beds in the room, which was actually rather small.  I didn't get chummy with any of the roommates, but apparently several of them were friends (I think they were from Italy.)  Two lesbians came in late in the evening on New Years Eve and went straight to bed.  The water for the showers was a little colder than lukewarm, which didn't make for a thrilling shower.

After a quick nap after my long bus ride, I hit the streets of Prague.  A large stage was set up in Vaclavske Square and things were beginning to look festive.  A group of dancers were dancing (including numbers like the Can-Can) on stage, warding off the chilly air with tight sweat pants.  The weather wasn't freezing (there was no snow) but there was a nippiness to it.
Dancers on the stage in Prague.

There was an Albert supermarket on Vaclavske Square, where we were able to purchase a bottle of sparkling wine to pop at midnight.  This was of not really necessary, since every kiosk was selling either Sekt or Prosecco; although, the prices were far higher.  Fireworks were more common than booze, but I wasn't able to get my paws on any of them.

These people are out of control when it comes to partying for New Years.  I've never seen anything like it!  Groups of people firing off roman candles, people dancing and singing, explosions in the street.   It was a grand 'ol time, and everyone seemed to be friends.  It wasn't just young hooligans who were partying and causing a ruckus, there were tons of older people out on the streets enjoying themselves in the same way.
Various clips of fireworks.

Walking about, I tried to make kissy lips at every passing female.  I think about nine or so women took me up on my offer (the number gets higher every time I tell the story.  I say women because they ranged from late teens to women over sixty.)
Along the way, we met groups of people.  Some were from Russia, some were from the US, and all were friendly.  We talked, laughed and chatted, then parted ways.
We made our way up to the stage, threading through the crowds, buying another bottle of wine, draining it and refilling it from a group of people we met, and found a lady with the softest coat ever.  We ran our hands all over the coat, delighted by its silky quality.  She just laughed and probably enjoyed all the attention.
The luxurious coat
The luxurious coat.

To get past the stage we had to give up our empty bottle (no bottles of alcohol were allowed.)  We circled around the back of it, near the National Museum, and went back again.  By this time, the crowd was beginning to thin and the amount of fireworks was petering out a bit.  We made our way to Old Town Square but most everyone was gone from there and all that was left was trash (there was no snow, but it looked like a blizzard of garbage came through.)  The next morning, the streets were sparkling clean.

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