Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bratislava Slovakia (Part II)

Bratislava Slovakia (Part II)
July 22-23, 2009

Michael has described the fab luck we had meeting up with Jana and Hana at the Bibiana library/museum. We owe them a great debt for dropping everything to help us.

As Michael alluded, we went to Bratislava on a couple of fairly flimsy pretenses. The first flimsy pretense was that we might meet a couple experts on children’s literature if we were lucky. We were lucky there. The other flimsy pretense was that I happened to know that there was venue in Bratislava called “The Nonsense Restaurant and Bar.” The mere name of this bar was enough to get us to book tickets to this city. We needed to know why this restaurant had this name, and what kind of nonsensical drinks they might serve us. Obviously then, we were pretty excited to go there--like a couple of dweebs, really.

Anyway we did go this bar. Here is a photo to prove its existence:

However, after following the signs down a back lane we were confronted by a locked door and this sign:

The place was clearly closed, but we couldn’t read the sign, which was frustrating. So I went and got a waiter from a nearby pub and asked him to translate the sign for us. He read it to us: “The Nonsense Bar is closed… due to technical difficulties… and I don’t know.” We thanked him. Disappointed, we wondered what “technical difficulties” a nonsense bar could have? Perhaps they had a problem with their puns? Or perhaps everything in the pub was suddenly working backwards? If only they’d known we were coming. Perhaps we could have helped them with their nonsense problem.

It then occurred to me that perhaps it was a communist plot… that, perhaps, the people from the Bibiana had called the authorities and told them “There are two strange fellows in town and they are gathering our nonsense”—at which point the authorities might have immediately closed all nonsense bars due to ‘technical difficulties… and I don’t know.’

With this paranoid thought we readjusted our focus and picked an appropriate venue to mull the theory over. We went immediately to the “KGB Pub,” which comes complete with posters of Stalin and statue of Lenin. I took this photo of the very ambiguous back wall of this cavern-like drinking hole:

Note that the image of Stalin appears to have been slashed with a knife at one point, while the American flag has cigarette burns in it.

On the way home we were accosted by a thinly disguised con man who wanted some of our money. We did not give him anything, but he persisted in conversation. He wanted to know whether I was a “communist” or a “republican.” He also wanted to know what we thought about socialism and religion. Hoping to get him to go away I explained to him--in no uncertain terms--a few things about my views on these subjects. He listened, aghast, and after a few more steps he pronounced that I was an “abnormal man.” He said so twice. “You are an abnormal man.”

Cheers to that.



  1. glad you had the sign translated... does leave one wondering about the technical difficulties.