Prague 2006

Prague 2006
The dud czech tour to Praha took a turn for the worse even before the troops had set off on their chosen mission. Jumpers Scott, senior fast bowler (and oh how he would have loved the wicket), bailed a few days early leaving the team one short and critically with only four recognised bowlers. Reports that his absence was due to Lovell trying to recruiting him as some sort of babysitter for tour virgins Gus and Cpt Morgan remain unconfirmed. Lets be honest though that’s the sort of responsibility that would make anyone think twice.

The squad embarked to Prague in two seperate factions.

The cheapskates who chose to accompany Kiwi on something resembling the Bombay Cattle Express in conditions which were far too tropical and very moist to say the least. The other faction consisting of just the Quiet man and his other half had decided to travel in more style and were probably at this point relaxing at a nice air conditioned airport en route Ostblock.

Fears of dehydration and overheating led to (cold re(fresh)ments being consumed at a fast early pace which led to a worrying shortage long before the German border had been breached. An inspired decision to relocate to the (MCC) buffet wagon saw Gus’ eyes light up at the prospect of Pavels cold fresh Czech brew. In our new less cramped environs things began to perk up as Houzza fresh from his English suburban greenhouse produced some of his favourite potted plants to share amongst anyone willing. Knut frowned and bought another beer.

Some brave souls (possibly fuelled by alcohol and other substances) took the naïve decision to sample the buffet menu where they were treated to such delights as ‘grandma’s potato soup’. Not one for the faint hearted and certainly not an experience to be repeated, hey Bob? Lovo and Houzza settled for a friendly game of backgammon (Houzza really had thought of everything) which very quickly turned in to a not so friendly game of backgammon when Lovo (a backgammon veteran of 1 week) accused Houzza of at best not knowing the rules and at worst cheating.

By now Saling had resorted to his pod seemingly bored with the inane banter of his companions. Cpt Morgan was still nursing his beers after making the schoolboy mistake of going large the night before. Basics. And Gus was getting disturbed by his cold fresh cans becoming progressively luke warm then just simply, warm, and was seen simply muttering ‘stored in the freezer Pavel, like b@llocks they were. Thankfully Praha was on the horizon.

So it was that a somewhat jaded bunch arrived at Praha Hbf wanting to get to the hostel and get amongst all Prague has to offer. A long wait for taxis and extortionate prices. Eventually we arrived at the hostel to discover that there was an issue with our bookings, nothing was going right. It turned out to be a storm in a tea cup and soon all were ready for a big night out in Prague, well all that is apart from the more serious and elderly of the touring party i.e. Sembi stayed in and Knut had an early one (maybe he was suffering from partaking in Houzza magic cigarettes).

Kiwi being an experienced traveller and familiar as he is with the back streets of Prague promised to lead the remaining thirsty ramblers to the ‘best’ club in Praha. A mecca for tourists and locals alike, 5 floors of pumping tunes and some of the best liquor to be had in the whole of the Czech Republic. Needless to say everyone was sold on the idea so the short walk there from Wenceslas square began.

Needless to say the walk was not a short one and plenty of entertainment was had on the way. Seeing that everyone was pouring out of banks with pockets bulging full of Czech Kroner the doormen of a number of exotic establishments tried to drag us in to their dens. As we turned each of them down and strolled on a number of interesting propositions were offered, the favourites being.

Free sh@g for the stag.
Shag one get one free, and
You can put your fingers in for free. (personal favourite)
Tempting though the offers were, the party trudged onwards towards the promised club, stopping occasionally for both food and liquid refreshment to replenish energy levels. Some even found time to dance with a young Czech girl (Houzza and Kiwi), Kiwi looked to be trying hard but got nowhere and gave up when her friend arrived and she lost interest. Little did they know that Lovo had already turned down the option of dancing with the girl, standards boys, standards.

After a lengthy tour of the Old town and a two hour, 8 mile (at least) walk from Wenceslas square we eventually ended up on the river with the promised land of good music and hot women standing before us. All credit to Kiwi he had (eventually) delivered in his mission and the club (from the outside at least) appeared to be fairly good. Inside was a different story as it appeared that some of the building work and most of the decorating had yet to be finished. Captain Morgan was unimpressed and after almost dying after downing a particularly lethal absinth stomped off in to the distance to make his own way back. Others stayed, some taking to the dance floor where no doubt Saling and Gus were trying to work their magic on what turned out to be mostly a bunch of American tourists and some taking to the comfy seats. Houzza especially seemed to enjoy chatting to an Irish guy, we know you’re married with kids but there are no excuses for chatting up someone of the same sex! Sometime after 5am time was called on the drinking session and a few hours of relaxation was taken prior to the big game.

Next morning after hurried breakfasts and limited amounts of sleep the team reconvened in front of the hostel for team photos. Saling had found someone to share his ipod with, a big breasted girl called Laura, apparently a girl from the dorm (more comments about her later). Sembi after having spent all morning studying tram and tube timetables had plotted our best route to the ground which was ideally located about an hour or so away from the hostel and three or four changes of public transport away.

On route we managed to see some strange goings on outside the church as we paused to allow Knut and Big Gus 15 minutes to walk around looking for a bank he should have found the night before. Outside the church there seemed to be some sort of cult dancing and general prancing going on to the strains of some bizarre musical accompaniment. All that seemed to be missing was a chicken to sacrifice. Meanwhile on the other side of the road our attention was drawn to some sort of altercation/kerfuffle between a gentlemen who was seemingly not happy about some woman trying to steal his jacket and run off down the road and a number of other interested parties. Subject was tracked down and some blokes exchanged slaps, all very odd but apparently par for the course for Prague.

Our arrival at the ground (after picking up McGree and other half Sav (nice girl – the quiet one punching well above his weight) en route) was poorly timed as it allowed us to chip in with the setting up of seating and tables. The game soon got under way on what turned out to be a new strip hence the erratic bounce and need for all measures of protective gear. Highlights of the MCC batting performance were Sembi, Lovo and a brief but entertaining knock from Houzza, other batsman spent more time wearing the ball than hitting it. Knut managed to take his career tally to 102 runs and enthusiastically raised his bat to the delirious crowd.

There was one highlight off the pitch when a very outgoing lady together with her photographer boyfriend decided that the backdrop of a cricket match was the perfect opportunity for a few semi naked holiday snaps. A few minutes rest were taken by the players to enjoy the spectacle and regain their composure, a rare occurrence of porn shoot stopping play. The pair returned some time later and immediately Gus together with the captain of life were in hot pursuit and eager to teach the lady a good forward defensive. Some would say that they were less interested in her ability to play cricket and more interested in getting their own photographic evidence of her qualities, the jury is still out on this one.

Between innings Saling put in one of the performances of the tour by taking on the tropical heat and bravely spending the next half an hour or so overseeing the barbecue. A fine spread was put on and after overindulging the MCC cricketers wobbled back on to the pitch for the second half. Sembi, Houlahan and Mcgree all bowled tidily but Captain Morgan decided to produce his own style of buffet, maybe he should have gone to the nearby pub between innings to sample some cold fresh in order to relax. Unfortunately our lack of bowling options were exposed towards the end of the innings and despite a decent performance where wickets were picked up regularly we slipped to a one wicket defeat. See match report for more details.

Having got the match out of the way it was time for the fun to begin and an hospitable Prague CC took us to the local boozer to help us on our way. After spending about 3 hours trying to get our glasses empty at the same time (a very complicated task it proved to be) we eventually left for the hostel to freshen up and ‘get amongst it in a big way’.

Returning to the hotel shock set in as first Knut and then Captain Morgan discovered that certain items had been stolen (probably dirty little cleaners). Unamused the Cpt demanded free accommodation and promptly got it, Knut being a more mellow fellow and less disturbed with the loss of his trusty towel settled for a slight reduction. Apart from that it must be said the hostel was top notch and credit to Kiwi for making a good call.

Sembi once again spent the evening on his tod having failed to meet at said drinking establishment. He was also uncontactable on his phone and his sheepish grin the next day led to speculation that he may have experienced some of the more exotic of the local delights. Whatever happened he was not seen again that day.

After a civilised meal (which even McGree (shadow) made it to before heading in his own direction) the remaining troops together with some female Texan additions to the party headed off in search of more clubbing and drinking. Club was a step up from the night before and the upstairs bar which acted as a perving pavilion above the dance floor seemed to be enjoyed by all. A few drinks later and Gus smelling something in the air was off to buy some new plants for his garden, Bob, Saling and Lovell were also off after spotting the Texans we had arrived with. Bob and Saling it must be said were well in there but some girly pact to all leave together meant that they were never destined to fulfil their missions until they found someone for the fat bird. Lovo was offered 1000 Croner but turned it down (eventually he admitted that 2000 Croner would have been enough) so in the end Saling and Bob were disappointed. The girls did leave (together), the fat one being overheard asking for an ”all you can eat” buffet, it’s shocking when a girl lets herself slide!

As people finally called in quits for the night the three left standing (or wobbling to be precise) were Gus, Houlahan and Lovell who were intent on going big and BIGGER. So off they went on their mission staggering from one joint to another, Gus rolling reefers one handed. They had an interesting tour of Prague, smoking on various islands in the river, stopping briefly in campsites, catching buses to the middle of nowhere and ordering more cold fresh from a café for breakfast just because the girl who was working there was cute.

Some people woke up to an unexpected sight when they were faced with Laura (Saling’ ipod partner of the previous day) lying flat on her back in all her glory after a big night. It seems that she might be half brasilian and apparently she will be coming to Munich soon so if you check in to Euro Youth soon enough you may also get to see more of her than you bargained for. (Glig?)

When everyone was preparing to check out the next morning (Knut was typically German and efficient being the only one to check out before midday) it was evident that the three tourists mentioned above were still out there on the streets no doubt improving the reputation of MCC touring parties. When they finally got back Gus disappeared straight to his chariot whereas Houzza and Lovo refused to admit defeat and went straight out on Bobs tour of Prague.

Whilst Sembi once again reverted to his Lonely Planet style of sight seeing and set off early doors, Kiwi took the opportunity to ditch everyone else in search of some girl he once used to know intimately (Jana – hottie (should never have let her go)). Everyone else headed off on Bobs tour and had a trip round the Botanic gardens and a wander by the river. The previous nights exersions were getting the better of Lovell and Houlahan so they took a nap outside a café for a couple of hours whilst the sights of Prague were explored.

All too soon the Bombay express needed to be boarded for the return journey to Kraut land and mindful of how long and painful the journey was going to be the tour virgins went off in search of anything that could pass the time. They returned with most of the cold fresh that the train station had to offer and a selection of top Czech top shelf reading material.

Gus was all over the reading material and chose to disappear with it for a considerable period of time, returning to brag about what he had just been up to. Sembi got drunk (quickly) and sat in the next cabin to letch at two young ladies before returning to set Kiwi the challenge of trying to pull them. Kiwi failed to accept the challenge and Sembi got bored and switched on his ‘Best of Bollywood’ album and settled in for a long and rudely loud nap. Not even throwing Bobs assortment of seeds at him managed to disturb the rhythm of his snoring.

Gus, refuelled by an afternoon kip and his bathroom activities led a sing along which very much ruffled the feathers of the skipper who was sulking at the back of the cabin and looked very much in need of an asprin and a pair of matchsticks to keep his eyes propped open. He wasn’t going to let a small annoyance like the skipper get in his way though and the singing continued unabated almost all the way home. All the other masses of passengers may have been upset too but who cares we were p1ssed and on tour. At least they got to learn about a load of new songs that had never heard of before all of which had the word ‘Can’ in the title.

Reach out and touch CANS
CANS, CANS, CANS (looking for a good time)
How can we sleep if our CANS are burning
Your own personal CAN
Strawberry CANS forever
I predict a CAN
I wanna hold your CANS
Whats CANS got to do with it?
Hey CANS
Get up CAN up
If you’re going to CAN francisco
I would do anything for CANS but I wont do that.
And that in a nutshell was that, a good time was had by all, everyone put in some good work off the cricket field, Prague is still recovering from the trip and a couple of touring cherries were popped.