I have to say that generally the idea of stag dos fills me with dread. Gangs of marauding young (or not so young) men engaged in a kind of collective tribal rite of passage where you must drink vast amounts of alcohol and exchange male banter and do something suitably embarassing to the groom to be. I don’t really get it.
I did have a stag do but to be honest I just invited my friends male and female and we had a night out – nothing particularly staggy about it.
I think it used to be a simple affair involving a night (yes one night) on the town – a pub crawl perhaps of your favourite haunts. Then cheap air travel to destinations selling cheap beer became a reality and the Stag Weekend was born. Basically you get to do the same thing for a whole weekend and sample some of the (alcoholic) culture of a foreign city.
How did I end up there for a stag do? Well I was invited by a good friend so I couldn’t really refuse. Counting it for the 50 50 project is perhaps a bit of a cheat as I have been to Prague and have been on stag do but never the two together. Taking this to its logical conclusion then there would be endless mundane possibilities for the 50 50 challenge e.g. getting on a bus to…anywhere I haven’t been before etc. However I thought the Prague Stag do was a worthy addition to the challenge.
The weekend had the key ingredient of many stag dos, plenty of cheap beer and this was the dominating theme throughout. Prague centre was full of stag dos on the Friday and Saturday, groups of young men, with stags dressed in costume and supporters in especially printed team T-shirts.
The phrase “herding cats” was repeated several times during the course of the weekend. Trying to keep a group of people together in a strange place is tricky at the best of times, but when they are drunk and no-one knows where they are going it becomes nigh on impossible. And so it proved to be with umpteen circuits of the town square completed and no kind of destination any closer in sight I threw in the towel and snuck off to my bed. Lightweight, I hear you cry.
To get to the hotel you have to run the gauntlet of “cabaret” ushers dressed in clinical all white or gaudy all red costumes enticing you in to all manner of not so salubroious institutions. Why these colours I have no idea.
Don’t get me wrong. There was culture and as a group of middle aged men we did make perhaps more of an effort to see something of the city than most. The Castle, Town Square, Jewish Museum, Charles Bridge are all amazing sights and the City is worth spending a good length of time in, but if you are looking for cultural appreciation a stag do is probably not the best way to appreciate it.