Prague, city of romance, capital of the old Bohemia, easily digestible ‘eastern’ European city (which is actually west of Vienna). The best way to get there is, of course, by train:

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Once there, in the zone called Prague 1, you have to run the gauntlet of places flogging off ‘authentic’ Czech food:

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This, I can tell you in all honesty, is nothing to salivate over:

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If anything, it will send you running to the extraordinary toalety:


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Now that we are on the slightly seedier side of Prague, let me share some street art:


An ally full of syringes and prostitutes near our hotel:

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And the absolute highlight of the research trip: a visit to the Kolbenova markets – way out in an abandoned factory site in Prague 9.

Upon entry, a security guard checks you for weapons and you are greeted with this:


It is a warning concerning some of the more colourful characters who like to hang out in these parts. Dutifully warned, at the first stall we met this friendly stallholder:


And then this guy asked us for a smoke:

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A minute or so later, I spotted these two, engaged in elaborate handshakes and much shuffling of bags:



What is this, a bad crime movie? In a shed, holding up koruny notes to the light to check if they were legitimate, was this man:

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And the smiling lady at the coffee stand was none other than:

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Every second person there seemed like they belonged on the list. There were stalls selling rifles, handguns, shiny knives, chocolates, computers, bras, beer (at 9am) … all legitimately acquired, of course. However, my favorite was this:

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Yes, they are used. For those who wish to see close up what such used items might, um, accumulate:

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Just I was taking this shot, I heard a yell, looked up and met this very friendly man …

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Ah, Prague, city of romance …