The Other Side

Every voice I can hear is Australian or English; even the staff are expats. The barman's delighted when I order Czech liquor, because no one else ever does. In the evenings we hang around eating pizza and playing pool. Tonight's our sixth night, and we have two more booked. No locals, no unfamiliar meals, no dash to the bus station, no use for the phrasebook: this how the other, other half live.

Suddenly we've got a base to come back to, somewhere we can let our guard down at the end of the day. While I'm finding it hard to respect our hard-drinking clue-challenged fellow travellers, I'm welcoming the change. Travel as relaxation, instead of as Impossible Mission: Assimilate Culture - what an intriguing concept.

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