Overnight we got between 6 and 8 inches of snow here in Kafkaville, enough to close Praha Ruzyně airport and create havoc on the roads, but also enough to sled on.

Not that I was doing any sledding today, mind you. I had to go out to Horoměřice to get the car fixed after last week’s breakin. Horoměřice is near the airport, and I could hear the jets on final approach and make out rough silhouettes through the clouds and falling snow.

The bus back from Horoměřice comes only once an hour, and it’s not exactly the city that never sleeps. They did have something remarkable, though: a full-gospel, old-school jidelna straight out of 1971. I’m talking IV. cenova skupina.

So of course I had to go in.

I had myself a bowl of gulaÅ¡ová polevka (10 Kč) and some smažený sýr (40 Kč), washed down with a half liter of limo (8 Kč).

The place was full of hardened bufet’aci (follow the link and scroll down to entry #3). I’m talking about the kind of guys who, if a nail gun goes off leaving a nail through their hand, simply duct tape it up and keep on going.

I must confess to a love of this kind of place, as well as a nostalgia, because the bufet and automat are going the way of the Tatra 613.

I miss the old nonstop at Masarykovo nadraži, but never ceased to be amazed at how much it had fallen since the last time I visited. I spent a lot of time in that place for many reasons, as it was one of the few late night eating spots in post-revolution Prague, and was centrally located on 54 night tram line to Kobylisy. I’d inevitably drop in for some late night smaž after DJing at Roxy or a late Bunkr night.

There was the time I was propositioned by a prostitute who looked more like Jabba the Hutt than anything human. I use the term “propositioned,” lightly, because she grabbed me by the crotch and said, “Tak co?” It almost put me off smažený sýr for good.

Or there was the time I saw two Nazi skinheads lovingly feeding each other french fries and caressing each other’s hateful bald domes; or the numerous times I had people come over to me and ask if I was American. (“Don’t shoot, I’m Canadian!” translated into Czech was one of the phrases we ran in every issue of the Prognosis Visitor’s Guide.)

The Horoměřice bufet didn’t have any of those weirdnesses; a library-like silence permeated the place, as if conversation would break the spell of good cheap soup. Or maybe it was that people were worried that if you said anything, it’d be used against you by some reject from the Mos Eisley Cantina who’d say, “He says he doesn’t like the look of your face.”

I quickly and silently finished, trying not to spill soup on my copy of Blesk, and headed back out into the snow to wait for the bus.

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