I had a very successful friend-date this weekend. Actually, it was a multiple-friend-date with some of the Prague-based ladies in my life. As I mentioned right at the outset of this blog making friends in a new city where you don’t know a soul and don’t really speak the language, is no mean feat.
It’s a little bit like proper dating – really fun, good opportunity to meet people and be your “best” self, but with the potential for great disappointment. It can be disheartening to get your hopes up on meeting the man of your dreams (or, in my case, making a new pal), only to find out that they’re a bit of a nutter, a bit too cool for school, or that, harmlessly enough, you just don’t quite “click”.
There are some complete deal-breakers, however. In the recent past, I prepared for a friend-date that did not end so well. I “met” this person through a friend of a friend who read this blog and put us in touch. I trotted along in my friend-date No 1 outfit, which has to meet the elegant-yet-casual, pretty-and-interesting-but-not-too-pretty-or-too-interesting, please-be-my-friend-but-don’t-think-I’m-desperate criteria. Not an easy look to reach coming straight from work, but just about do-able. It’s exactly like proper dating. Finding an outfit that looks as if it came straight from work/pre-date drink with a friend rather than going home to change first, but is actually nothing like what I wear to work in real life. It requires clothes worn by characters in Ally McBeal, where everyone is perfectly manicured and coiffured the whole time, rather than in real offices, where people are not.
Anyway, this particular friend-date started well enough but somehow, it emerged that she didn’t like the American series Friends. Now, I am tolerant of people’s TV viewing choices. I am comparatively a bit of a TV loser, having never watched The West Wing, Skins, The Green Wing, Beverly Hills 90210, Blackadder, Bottom or any of the other long-running series that a number of my closest friends seem to have spent a large proportion of their lives enjoying. I spent six months in London without a TV at all and didn’t really notice, except that there wasn’t anything to point the furniture at.
But Friends isn’t really TV is it? It’s Friends - I mean, it was so ingrained in the psyche of me and my peer group that it’s basically real life! My teenage years were partially defined by whether Rachel and Ross would hit it off and Chandler Bing’s over pronunciation of most words. I spent eight to ten years and several hair-dos appreciating Jennifer Anniston’s effortless portrayal of Rachel Green and have been known to waste entire Saturdays over the same period watching televised re-runs of Series 2 and 3. Being friends with a non-Friends friend was inconceivable.
Maybe if I had already known this particular friend-date before she told me this, or if we had already managed to establish some common ground prior to this devastating revelation, her Friend-less nature wouldn’t have been such a problem. But as a first impression, I have to say it left me cold. It was the friend-date equivalent of a man speaking with his mouth full, licking his knife and not offering (even half heartedly) to pay. Next!
Fortunately, no such revelations were made on Saturday. We went to a wine bar in Karlin. The location itself was a discovery to me. It is testament to my complete lack of direction and/or spatial awareness that until Saturday evening I had considered Karlin to be miles away from where I lived and so gave myself 45 minutes to get there. It took fifteen. I keep trying to remind myself that nowhere in Prague takes that long to get to, especially from the centre. But I think I still plan my weekends on London-time, where every journey, no matter where the destination or departure point may be, is guaranteed to take between 35 and 45 minutes.
We had a lovely night at V&R Imports (also known as Robert’s as its San Francisco owner is so named). If you haven’t been there but like wine, it is definitely worth a visit. Miss Knedlíkova (whose blog inspired me to go there in the first place) reviewed it and definitely did it justice. I will not try to reinvent the wheel by repeating her review here – but please do check it out. I had one of the most relaxed and fun evenings I’ve had in Prague to date (testament to the lovely group that I girl-dated with) and it is one of the most excellent venues I have been to.
And it has a sofa much like the one in Central Perk. Job done.