Still under the weather (rain). Very tired. This means the world has taken on that peculiar glaze where everything seems just a little bit shiny and surreal. It wasn't helped this weekend by a couple of those moments of oddness.
For possibly the first time in my life, I spotted not just one, but TWO men whisking their (ahem) "dates" past reception and into a hotel lift. Maybe it's just because I don't spend an enormous amount of time hanging around in hotel lobbies. Anyhow, some might say this sight shouldn't be a huge surprise, because Prague is considered a "party" town and has a large number of business travellers. With FDI being a significant chunk of the country's GDP, I guess all those foreign business people want to see what they're spending their bank's money on.
More importantly, I've also discovered that there is apparently a universal human expression for, "Oh my God, did he just go into a lift with a woman of uh… a lady of the uh… a hoo… uh… you know? In the afternoon?"
But maybe I'm not naïve and easily shocked, but in fact too cynical. Maybe the grey-haired old fart in a suit draped in giggling, peroxide, leather-mini-skirted blonde was lending a helping umm… body part to a long-lost niece who had over-indulged in the mulled wine. Perhaps the sheepish guy in the red wool jumper who came out to introduce himself and shake hands with another bottle blonde wearing spike-heeled boots, denim shorts and a fur jacket waiting outside the hotel door, and then whisk her promptly to the lift was deeply anxious about the state of his cuticles and had sent out for an emergency manicure.
Then there was the airport bus. Some passengers might consider that it does not bode well to enter the warm mugginess of the number 119 to Dejvicka and be greeted by a blast of Alice Cooper from the driver's cab. On a wet, chilly night, "Poison" could be considered the sort of background music used in a scene for one of those possessed-escaped-convict-driving-a-bus-at-high-speeds-to-eternal-damnation films. There may be blood.
But y'know, I'm down with the er… middle-aged man with the receding hairline and ponytail. I have banged my head in many a sticky-floored, or even sticky, floured, beer-splattered excuse for a nightclub. I have danced the wonky dance of a thousand ciders, or a half-pint of home-brewed scrumpy. I have worn black clothes, DM boots, flannel shirts and ironically boogied my way through Guns N Roses albums with strangly tidy German punks. I have played ridiculously enthusiastic air guitar in ripped denim and tie-dye at wedding receptions to which I have not even been invited (to be fair, I was supposed to be working the bar, in the serving of alcoholic beverages and the occasional orange juice and lemonade kind of way).
But lest anyone thing that any of the above actually indicates either a) rrrrawk credibility or b) extreme sadness, I must protest that it is the latter. I'm a dabbler, not a dunker. I couldn't name a bass player if you covered him in molasses, stuck on a pair of bunny ears and threw him at me. The upshot being that I do sometimes like loud noisy music and can empathise with the need to have it when doing pretty dull, routine job.
Anyhow, given my vaguely chequered past and lamentable lack of cool in the face of an occasional need to jump around looking like an idiot, preferably doing mime to the lyrics of songs, I try not to make judgements based on musical taste. Just because a bus driver plays Alice Cooper very loudly on a rainy night, it does not mean he's going to screech off at 90 miles an hour through the sodden streets or take corners on two wheels. Despite those studies that link aggressive music with aggressive driving, I do not yearn for a quick change of mood to Toni Braxton's "Unbreak my Heart," or something vaguely Celtic with panpipes. In fact, to do so might actually be more unsettling.
It's cool. I don't mind. I'm relaxed. I understand that loud, noisy music does not a scary, freaky bus driver make.
Except… he played the song twice in a row.