Tell me a story

Last weekend, I met a couple of my skydiving buddies at this cool little pub in Karlin called U Cerne kocky, next to the tunnel. Yes, I said 'a cool little pub in Karlin'. I'd never before been drinking in Karlin. I've never had a cup of tea in Karlin. And I think that's a shame. Karlin (or at least the two blocks of it I saw between Krizikova metro and the pub) is leafy, quiet, clean -- kinda like Vinohrady, but with less dog shit. I oughta check it out during the day.

Sitting in the back room of this basement pub, I felt old. Actually, no, I felt young. But I felt old because I knew I wasn't. Or not. Actually, horseshit -- I just felt naughty watching these impossibly hot Czech girls watching their boyfriends playing fotbalek.

At one point I stepped outside to make a phone call, and I see David Cerny stomping up the street. (Artists and stomping -- discuss.) I give him a 'Cau Davide' as he goes past (not like we're pals or anything) and he 'cau's back and continues his stompy way into the tunnel.

Now the Zizkov tunnel (Does anyone call it the Karlin tunnel?) has always held a certain sinister allure for me. Talk about the belly of the beast. (Talk about cliches -- can I get a few more swaybacked, toothless phrases in here?) Running as it does between Lower Zizkov and Midtown Karlin, it's got to be ... smelly? dark? lined with broken glass and vomit? filled with lurking (gasp) gypsies?!? I mean, colour me lily, but I've avoided going in there during the day.

So seeing David stomp up in there, two things stood out in the herd of things browsing through my brain: 1) David Fucking Cerny can sure as shit stomp through that tunnel and ain't nobody gonna fuck with him. 2) I'm going in there.

Another four beers did nothing to change my mind about entering the tunnel on the way home. Nor did the prospect of waiting for a night tram. Nor did my so-called friends. So on the back side of midnight, I start stomping.

Now those of you who know the tunnel probably gave up on me paragraphs ago, because you know it's not a frightening hole at all. It's well lit, cleaner than a lot of Prague 1 streets, and actually kinda like a park late at night. Or at least it was the night I stomped through it. There were couples heading home in either direction, walking slowly. A couple stompers like me.

And a lot of climbing. That's the thing that might not occur to you. Karlin is quite a bit lower than Lower Zizkov, so tunnelling from the former to the latter involves no small amount of uphill. But I didn't care. I had a tank full of high-test and a never-done-this-before grin on my face.

Both of which saw me about as far as Lipanska, which as you know is at significantly higher elevation than the tunnel. And that's only halfway home. Hell. Next time, we're going to the Green Valley.

Yeah, so anyway: What's your story about the tunnel?


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