The Explorer Drinker’s Club

One of the downsides of a global pandemic is what it did to my pub intake. Say what you will, but there’s nothing like a good pub. Even if you’re one of those sociopaths who drinks tea at one, a good pub is warm, inviting, and makes you relax. And COVID took that away.

Because of this I was forced to drink at home, which is just not as fun as drinking in a place where you get to pay people to bring you alcohol while you judge others for getting drunk so early in the day. I made it a habit of swinging by our local pubs once a week to get beer from the tap. But it’s not the same.

Good news was heralded with the vaccination numbers, the low numbers of infections, and the reawakening of the city’s pubs. But as I am not yet fully vaccinated, I didn’t want to go inside and I didn’t want to sit within big groups of drinkers. I yearned for a pub, but one in which I could sit outside and not near anyone else. I now consider everyone diseased and riddled with the pox. And I don’t think this makes me a bad person at all.

I enlisted Burke in my quest for such a pub. As she is also interested in getting tipsy in the waited-on great outdoors, she was in.

The first place we found was in the shadow the Ferdinand I’s summer palace. Its foundations were laid in 1555 by his son (the predictably-named Ferdinand II). The park which I walk in almost every day was a game reserve also established by Ferdinand I.

By game reserve, we are referring to a fenced-in hunting ground stocked with various exotic animals. These included antelopes, gazelles, camels, a plethora of exotic birds, some cheetahs and a great ape. These animals were locked in with slate fencing, unlike the large walls that are there these days and which frankly seem a hell of a lot better suited to keeping in cheetahs and orangutans. These animals apparently thought so too, as they occasionally escaped and caused what must have been considerable ruckus in Prague 6 environs. Though one has immense joy imagining a 16th century Prague 6 farmer try to scare a cheetah away from his radishes while wondering just what in the hell the neighbors were feeding their house cats.   

I learned this information in the best way possible – while reading a website on my phone and using the summer palace to block out the sun. There is nothing better than day drinking and learning about history right at the same time.

I was a little wrong.

The second place we find is a sokol, which is like a local pub mixed with a sports club. This meant drinking while being near athletes, which rivals drinking while learning history because of the great joy one attains from drinking near people made miserable by exercise.

It’s past the park which held the game reserve and I had to walk through the forest to get there. Well, I didn’t have to, but I’ve made it a habit and plus I needed to pee.

I’ve been reading about explorers and travelers lately. Intrepid men (and a few women) who left home and went into the wilderness or to make contact with distant cultures. Some of this was for glory or fame, some was for knowledge and excitement. They burrowed into inhospitable lands and so did I. for a drink. I walk home, I hope there are no cheetahs.

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