prague is a city full of transients. as far as the expat community goes, anyway. you'll find the occasional lifer, and a handful of 6-10 year residents, but for the most part, the people you meet are usually at some stage of on their way out.
a year ago i would never have thought i'd stay in prague longer than the end of the school year. in fact, when i first got here, i thought staying a month would be difficult.
now that it's official (i'm staying, at this point, indefinitely), i have to watch as all the friends i've made leave, one at a time. as everyone prepares to leave and i prepare to stay... it's time to make some new friends.
so we've employed a new tactic... speed friendship. it's pretty straightforward. you meet someone new and instead of awkward small talk and promises of future get-togethers that may or may not go unfulfilled, you immediately become best friends. because when you, or your new friend, might be leaving at any time, there's no time to waste.
we met our new friend pavel a little over two weeks ago. it was a Chat Boy's/Fatteau night* and we were dragging from Lucerna the night before (being unemployed in the summer leaves a lot of time and not much to do... so we get drunk). just as we were about to split, marie strolled up with pavel. we'd met him before, briefly, at the beer garden, but never really spent any time with him. that would soon change.
we were out until sun up (which, to be fair, isn't saying much when the sun rises at 4:30 am), got to mcdonalds so early (late?) that they weren't serving breakfast yet, and caught the first metro home.
"y'all want to go to the pool tomorrow?" pavel said as we parted ways at JZP. (he really meant "today." also, despite his czech name, he grew up in Georgia. so that should explain the y'alls.)
so a few hours later, we dragged ourselves in a hungover stupor down to the riverside to sunbathe. then we went out to dinner. then we went to akropolis for reggae night... and stayed out until sun up. again.
we saw pavel almost everyday that week, because that's what speed friendship requires. after less than 14 days, it's like we've been friends for years.
with anna and lori leaving in exactly two weeks (YIKES), all new friendships have got to be speed friendships. and it's fun. we started another speed friendship with tom, a guy we met wandering around in bratislava. at 2 pm we were introducing ourselves on the street, and by 6pm we were chipping in for a bottle of becherovka for the bus ride home.
i don't have a good conclusion for this post, as usual. i am the SNL of blogs. anyway, point is... watch out for us on the street. you may be the next victim of speed friendship.
*Chat Boy's and Fatteau are code names for two bars, Fat Boy's and Chateau, that are frequented by expats. They are on the same street, and situated in such a way that patrons of one bar often migrate to the other bar, sometimes with a drink in hand. if you say "let's go to Chat Boy's tonight" you are indicating that you'd like to go to Fat Boy's and then possibly to Chateau, or somewhere in between.