For a few people of my acquaintance this weekend was spent recovering from Sean’s stag party, held between 18:00 Friday evening and approximately midday on Saturday in Warsaw. We’re unable to compete with the films, I’m afraid, as we had no stolen tigers, kidnapped triad drug dealers, missing teeth or indeed anything too outrageous but it was fun all the same.
Your endurance on this marathon was going to end up being measured by how many bars you attended – this equating to how much alcohol you consumed and how long you managed to stay up and endure all the nonsense! In total there were 8 venues given here with approximate time of departure in brackets – Hard Rock (20:30), Warsaw Tortilla Factory (24:00), Porto Praga (01:00), unknown bar in Praga 1 (02:00), unknown bar in Praga 2 (03:15), 11 Listopad club in Praga (05:00), Lemon Bar in the centre (07:00), Bradleys (13:00). We lost our first in Tortilla Factory, then one more in the first Praga bar, another at the second and one more at 11 Listopad. Myself, I departed at 06:00 from Lemon Bar leaving the last four to go on to Bradleys to watch, as best they could, the rugby.
The organisation of the event had been something of a nightmare for Mike and it had been gradually whittled down from a four day weekend in Zakopane with all kinds of activities to just the one extended pub crawl with footie and rugger on the TV. Despite the setbacks, he had created a list of “rules” that we were to try and keep up with throughout the night and these added some spice to what might otherwise have been a fairly droll piss-up. The rules included things like press-ups, left hand drinking, drinking strange cocktails, various penalties and a list of things that Sean had to collect amongst them were a traffic cone, dog lead, champagne glass, ladies bra and so on. Writing this I realise just how sad we are – but it has to be done!
The evening started calmly enough in Hard Rock, this really being a pre-event to stock up on food. This done we headed to Tortilla Factory to watch England & Macedonia work out a fairly boring 2-2 draw. The highlight here was Sean’s first bra. It was clear that getting bras in Warsaw was not as hard as you might think and so various trade-offs were proposed where surplus bras might be used to offset things like dog leads, being as not many walk their dog in the middle of the night. Off to Porto Praga, an upscale restaurant on the other side of the river where we appeared to be quite out of place. Mike took Sean through the list of questions about his bride to be. He scored well, too well in fact. We then staggered through the Praga streets, picking up a traffic cone on the way. Unknown bar 1 came next and this is where Sean managed to get a bra he was allowed to keep. Dave decided he’d show it to the Holy Virgin Mary:
Okay, truth is he was trying to show how a bottle of beer would fit inside the bra….or something like that and the holy shrine was just incidental. Obviously, having now taken possession of a bra, it went on to play a featuring role for the rest of the evening.
Unknown bar 2 came next and was just across the street from unknown bar 1. Nice place this one and I’d have been happy to stay longer but there was a call for us to walk to 11 Listopad and so off we went. A couple of shots from bar 2:
We walked for at least 30 minutes in completely the wrong direction along the silent streets of Praga in the deep early morn. A taxi drove past and half the gang climbed in. The other half kept walking, then gave up and called a taxi. After a long drive, mostly back to where we started, we found 11 Listopad club. Run-down would be a generous description but it was alive at 04:00 and what’s more there was a guy selling life-saving kiełbasa so all was good. I remember a strange incident with security who would not let me back in with the glass I had recently left with (to have a smoke outside). Didn’t quite understand what was going on there but I had to down the drink and leave the glass with him before entering again.
We enjoyed the music for a while and then moved back to civilisation on the other side of the river to an apparently classy joint called Lemon Bar. This was a stark contrast to where we had spent the last few hours. Full of the “pretty things” and busy enough for spillage onto the street outside the best it had to offer me was a coffee and an omelette – both very welcome. Sean indulged in his last round of press-ups, tried on an argument for size with one of the pretty things and then settled for more beer! Quote of the night came from here when discussing the passing of Steve Jobs, Sean was heard to mumble “I don’t use Facebook much anyway!” (thanks Mike!)
By this time I was having serious trouble keeping my eyes open so decided it was best to escape now rather than endure endless hours of rugby. I left, caught a taxi home and was in bed somewhere around 07:00.
The groom got home around 14:00 that afternoon, having watch-slept the rugby. His wife-to-be captured his homecoming! Enjoy!