The Budvar Bar

I like this bar. It is a regulars bar. A drinking bar. It isn’t crowded on a Sunday night, but there are a few tables of folk in earnest conversation. To my left sit five older men, sipping their beers and talking in their grumbly voices. To my right four men are playing cards and gambling. Two people came in right after I did, spoke for a moment to the card players, and sat, their beers arriving at their table at the same time they did.

This bar has a non-smoking area, but it’s way in the back and I didn’t notice it until I had already settled in. There’s not too much smoke in here right now anyway.

Most people are drinking the desitku, as am I. I will try the stronger dvanactku next, to compare. What I have is pretty tasty, though. To think they call it Budweiser. The uneasy truce between the American giant and the ancient Czech pivovar will probably be broken now that the Czech Republic is part of the EU. Could be interesting.

It was a pretty good day. fuego came by and we spent the afternoon watching a hockey match between the Czech Republic and Russia. The NHL players are starting to show up now, and we were treated to lots of great passing and one pretty good scrap. Yes, American hockey fans, the labor dispute is just making things better over here. The good guys won, 4-3, but most of the game it wasn’t that close. The Russians scored their third goal with two seconds left. Yesterday’s game between Czech Republic and Finland was also good, with the Czechs scoring the tying goal with a minute left on a goalie-pulled power play, then going on to win in overtime.

One of the card players just can’t get a break. Ty vole! he just exclaimed, thumping the table and putting his head in his hands. I know what that means, but I’m not going to tell you. I think you can guess.

Between hockey periods (which were uninterrupted by commercials) fuego and I cooked breakfast and put together the new pictures and the video for the new egg episode. The last thing we did was put the video to music, and now I have that song stuck in my head. So be warned; it’s catchy.

It was a good day overall; the only thing it lacked was writing, so I better get to that now.

* * *

Time has passed, I’ve splattered my brains against The Test with no Earth-shattering result (lucky for the Earth, I guess), and I am the sole remaining customer here at the bar. The last of the card-players, an older guy, weathered, just left, riding his crutch past my table. He turned to me and smiled. “Na schlad” he said. “Na schladanou” I replied more formally. He smiled and said something else. I smiled sheepishly and shrugged, but he spoke on in a gentle cadence. I recognized one word. spizovatel. Writer. Purely by coincidence I read that word earlier today and had repeated it to myself. He smiled, nodded, touched the brim of his hat, and moved on.

Technically the bar doesn’t close for well over an hour, but now I have to wonder if I’m keeping the bartender here. She’s a nice enough lady, late fifties I’m guessing, outspoken if you know what she’s saying, and I don’t want her thinking “not this guy again” when I come back in. Still, when she asks if I want another I’ll probably say yes. If she wants me to go away she wouldn’t be making it easy for me to stay.

Blah blah blah writer blah blah.


4 thoughts on “The Budvar Bar

  1. After being told by first that this blog did not exist, then that I was forbidden to access it, I spent some time last night doing beer research.

    I had noticed that the label on the Moosehead I was drinking said that it was imported by the Gambrinus Company of San Antonio, Texas. Thinking there might be a connection with Marianna’s favorite brew, I looked it up. Turns out the company in Texas doesn’t have anything to do with the Czech Gambrinus, but it does have to do with Shiner, Pete’s, Bridgeport, and Modelo beers.

    Meanwhile, I found out that the Czech Gambrinus is part of the Pilsner Urquell family of companies, and that there’s a company that imports it in the US that charges about $48 for a case. Yikes.

    Meanwhile, the name Gambrinus itself is apparently a corruption of Jan Primus, the King of Flanders who is credited with inventing beer. (Contrary to popular belief, he is NOT the patron saint of beer and breweries — that’s St. Nicholas!) Homebrewers can order special Gambrinus malt to make their own ambrosia.

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