Prague 1: The Seedier Side

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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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 …

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