Romance of the Night City

Photo from

Today’s “Pražský chodec” (The Prague Walker) column by Josef Hympl in MF Dnes is worth translating. Here’s my attempt:

Prague – especially its downtown – has many faces. One morning, after covering the transit inspectors’ recent raids on the night trams, I set out on foot from Národní třida to náměstí Republiky.

I avoided a drunken vagrant bothering people at the stands near Tesco by walking in a large arc, and I watched with pleasure as police stuffed him into their car. The rouge of the working girls on Perlová ulice still hadn’t faded in the morning light. I quickly turned the corner.

On the side streets of the Old Town it appeared as if time had suddenly stopped. Chimes ringing out over a suddenly depopulated city reminded me of magical legends.

An unbelievable calm allowed me to hear how the city breathes, heaving its bosom like a desirous lover. It was hard to imagine a more romantic moment.

The squeal of brakes suddenly brought me back to reality. A taxi driver nearly ran me over on the crosswalk.

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