We were just arriving from Wien for what I remember. It was quite late already for whom came to an adventurous discover, not knowing yet where to sleep. We were tired and wrecked. Tcheck, that was the name we decided to give that dog when we bought him at the border in exchange of 50 tcheck crowns and a pack of marlboros, had just thrown up on sonia’s legs. I suppose that was the first moment we embodied. I immediately began to love that dog. And he noticed. We had to keep the car windows opened despite the heavy rain that was falling. Either pure water or bad smell. The choice was obvious. We had just arrived to prague and were looking for a camp site, a hostel, someplace we could rest our bodies from so many driven km. But there was no one we could ask, the city was empty. That’s when I saw them, a group of japanese with their backpacks. There was the help we needed. I immediately stopped the car and shouted the usual “excuse me !” There was no answer and so I shouted even louder.
– excuse me ! Can you give some information please !?
One of them turned around, looked at me and took two steps towards the car. Then he, or she, I can’t tell, said something to the side, in japanese I suppose. Suddenly 3 more heads turned around and started looking straight to me. After a brief moment of absolute silence – I think even the rain stopped – there It was:
– americano !
And then again, but this time a little louder:
– americano !
I turned to him and I could see him waving to the others, calling with one arm and pointing me out with the other, as he, or she, I can’t tell, shouted “americano”.
Suddenly I felt two hands grabbing my left arm, which, at this time, was glued to the steering wheel. I imagine it was equally stiff as my face would be at this point. There was a lot of them, there was grabbing, there was shaking, there was pure ecstasy, there was “americano” all over my ears, and there was a sudden fear. Then, I heard one of them saying something in japanese – I suppose – it sounded categorical, and they all went away, even faster than they came. We just stood, eyes open mouth shut, staring at their backs, leaving the place, just as it never happenend. Some meters far, one of them turned to me and gave me what I might call a deceived look. An angry and deceived look.
The silence inside the car continued as they got back on their track. No one really knew what to say. Then someone said let’s get out of hear before they come back. And I started the car and drove away.
Later on we discussed that true happening. Theories divided on the cause. It could be the beard, it could be the red hanckerchief on the top o my head (a pirate thing I used to have), it could be the marlboro hanging from the corner of my mouth. It could be the hole figure. But what the hell, who would expect to find an american guy driving a brown seat toledo with a portuguese license plate, in the center of prague ? And who could be so damn happy about that ?
Those were really strange people.