I had never been to a female strip club before. I never really had much of a reason to ever go.
I mentioned this fact in my dorm room at the Golden Sickle Hostel in front of a drunkenly affable Irish guy of around 22 years old. He was on his first trip to Prague, and was hell bent on having a good time.
“Well bloody hell then, we have to go tonight!” the Irish kid spoke with all out enthusiasm.
I had clearly chosen the wrong person to boast about this point of personal pride too.
Two girls from Singapore who were sitting nearby quickly and excitly chimed in that they wanted to go too.
Plans were being made. I tried to look for a way out. “I can’t go, I can’t go!” I said while laughing.
“Why the hell not, mate?” asked the Irishman.
No moral digression would work with this drunken fellow, so I figured that I would go with the bottom line:
“They are too expensive,” I protested, “I do not have any money.”
“There is one that is free!” one of the Singaporean girls helpfully piped up.
I was getting cornered.
“But I am too shy,” I tried to explain, but they just laughed at me in disbelief.
“Come’ on, Come’ on,” roared the Irish kid.
Just then a gaggle of 17 year old, bright faced and bushy tailed Estonian boys walked by us in the dormitory.
“You lads coming?” asked the Irishman.
“Coming where?” answered the Estonians, who seemed to be enjoying the Irishman‘s jovial antics.
“You are coming, grand!” roared the Irishman.
The young Estonians were then commandeered into the plot. I was the only dissenter remaining.
I thought about it:
A drunk Irishman, two young Singaporean Chinese girls, a gaggle of 17 year old Estonian virgins, and a vagabond smoking a pipe and wearing a vest go into a strip club.
It sounded like a night worth writing about, or a poor, poor joke.
I like poor jokes.
So I slung on my boots and we all headed into the street taking swigs in turn of the good Czech rum that I passed around in my hip flask. A night to write about.
The Irishman could not really keep himself together too well and we found him in numerous altercations with the Czech locals before we were even a block away from the Golden Sickle. The Irishman was having fun. He was very loud, and was all hellos and smiles to every person who dared walk by us in the street. He tried to high five a sour faced Czech girl as we walked by her, and, when she did not return the greeting, the Irishman innocently questioned why and tried to high five her once again. Just then a pint sized Czech boyfriend appeared out of nowhere and got in the face of the Irishman, who was not of diminutive stature by any means. The Czech was clearly holding his ground, although he scarcely was at a level with the chest of his drunken foe.
“Go away! Leave us alone!” the little Czech roared. I was impressed with his valor, and felt a touch bashful at my association with the Irishman. The little Czech was obviously riotous, and I knew that I could not back up my Irish acquaintance. So I continued down the street with the rest of our crowd, leaving our drunk companion to straighten out his own mess.
The drunken Irishman soon caught up with us, but then disappeared again in some other altercation with a black club runner. We also gave this scene the quick slip and entered down into the depths of a strip club.
We walked passed a blank faced stripper who was dancing repetitively in the entrance hallway, and down three flights of stairs. There were mirrors everywhere, and I smiled a ridiculous kind of smile into them every time I caught a glimpse of my own strip club going face. I found this exercise of self-introspection a touch hilarious. I was in a strip club.
We entered into the dancing area to find a tall Czech brunette with little other than a cowboy hat on dancing to an immensely popular upbeat song. I wondered to myself if I found her to be attractive. I could not decided, as she did not seem very real to me. But the Czech men at the bar found her real enough, I suppose, as they were beating their big mugs of beer upon the stage in beat with the music. They were all nicely dressed in button up white shirts.
We – being myself, the two Chinese girls, and the gaggle of 17 year old Estonians – were a very awkward group. I think we all were longing for the Irishman to return so that he could show us what we were suppose to do. The Estonians acquiesced to my lead, and I just ignored the waitress who was trying hard to make me buy a $15 beer, and tried to watch my first stripper strip.
I did not know what else to do.
Meanwhile the stripper was stripping. She was down to a cowboy hat, a bra, and a couple of laces that tried to pass for a thong. Vroom. . . . The cowboy hat was gone . . .she climbed up a pole and went upside down at the ceiling of the club. She hung there upside down as she took off her top. The men cheered. I remained oddly unimpressed. The stripper then made and held eye contact with me for long a few moments with some kind of weird look on her face. I felt uncomfortable. She was still up side down with her boobs hanging up by her neck, and I got the feeling that I should wave. Even the stripper clearly knew that I was oddly placed I the strip club. I had to get out of there.
So as the pushy waitress again affronted me with $15 beers, I hastily rose to make my retreat. As the stripper’s G sting hit the stage I was walking out the door. I turned back for one last glimpse of a bare butt and the loose hanging jaws of the Estonian teenagers.
My first strip club experience in Prague at the age of 27.
I am sort of an awkward dude.