Day 4, Friday October 14th, 2011 (Continued). I get to the first bar of the pub crawl and receive a white shirt and a pen. I’m wearing a dress shirt and a shirt underneath it already, so I feel like a right wanker. To top it all off, I’m semi late and tiny cliques have already been formed. But drinks are 2 for 1 and you receive a free shot, so….THE BAR.
I order two of the cheapest beers (Stella) and down the shot, and then kinda creep on people. At the bar I marvel at a guy who carries 8 Stella’s in one hand. Another guy does too. His name is Jeff, he’s from D.C., and lo and behold, a friend is made. A random Australian named Siev, Sev, or Tiev or Teal for all I know also joins us, and we drink. Teal is like 18, and Jeff lives in Arlington, a place Joe and I know well from my previous travels.
Basically, a pub crawl is a collection of young boys and girls staying in _____ city, being shepherded to some of the “best” bars and clubs in the city for no cover, a free shot and/or great deals at all of them. I’ve heard mixed things about all of them, but apparently the Edinburgh Pub Crawl is a must see, and if that’s the case, the one in Prague is in the hall of fame. Admission includes two free hours of drinking, and plus, from what I hear, you can live like a king in Prague with its exchange rate to begin with, and its one of the most loved cities by fellow travellers. It vaults to the top of my list.
The London crawl is a mixed bag. Teal, Jeff and I continually buy rounds for each other, sharing minimal to no contact with girls or other members of the crawl until later. Later, when I actually did, it was ugly. It was one of those days. If you had a conversation going, you couldn’t hear it, and I just had nothing to say. I was really still not in London mode, and quite cautious about the whole thing. By the end, I got too drunk, my confidence was in the crapper, and every time I’d dance with a girl, she’d know it, look back at me, and whether or not she was into it or not (and in all likelihood, she was not), I would bounce off like a frightened rabbit back into the masses. It was an embarrassing night, and not at all the way I wanted my blatant bachelorhood to start in Europe.
The last club we went to was the Ministry of Sound, which was as awesome as the name. Usually it costs about 10-15 pounds to get in, but we all got in for free, and it’s basically this huge warehoused club with air and scents pumping in everywhere, scantily clad dancers and several massive rooms with separate DJ’s pumping out ridiculous beats. It was quite overwhelming, but really something I can’t believe I lucked into experiencing. By about 2-3, I had enough rejection though, so I was keen on setting off. I had lost Jeff and Seal around when we entered, but luckily bumped into Jeff on the way out.
The Tube was no longer running so late, and I hadn’t the faintest idea how to get to my hostel on the bus, so Jeff graciously paid for my bus ticket (I had no more cash) and snuck me into his hostel, where I slipped into a surprisingly posh mini movie room to grab a couple hours sleep until the tube’s reopened. Of course, a Zombie Nazi movie called Dead Snow was playing in repeat on a high volume during probably the most disturbing nap of my life. Later, a couple comes in and slips on Kick-Ass, which somehow captures my interest through the end, and until the tube is open.
At around 5-6, I stumble out of the hostel, witness a man passed out on the street being put into an ambulance right on the doorstep, and half run to the tube. On the tube, at 6 AM mind you, some older gentleman chats me up and promises me free tickets to a comedy club on the docks in London. I think his name was Paul. No idea how I’ll cash that out.
Finally, I get back to MY hostel, and snag three hours of sleep before I can do it all over again.
Next time: Andy may or may not miss his train to Oxford. Andy may make a real friend.