What a stunning development though - I love the way these guys have (belatedly) embraced house music. But didn't they listen to Run DMC? There was a time in the mid-90s when 'black' Americans would have violently hurt you for suggesting that some of their instrumentals were lacking a new sort of energy. Whatever. To store up this notion, Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull worms into earshot.
Today there is less walking. Further territories are mapped though. We take a tumble from the main old town and its ornate inside-outside canopy lounges, along the shrubbed belt towards the train station. Booming Tannoy from somewhere inside blinding-glare stonework. We check the confusing schedules for a service to Warsaw. Three hours. Too long. How about Bratislava? Six hours. Too long. The salt crucifix must wait. Instead we enter a mall and visit the Adidas shop for some gold and black 'firebird' trousers.
More caged fortresses. Weathered-down fly-posters for bizarre festivals in unusual locations. Kamikaze cars. Obscure embassies. A pitchfork network of routes. I think we might be lost this time. No more energy. Another fantasy drinking spot spied down an alleyway. This Legotown shanty space crammed in between apartments and hotels is my favourite so far. I have to push light violet rug-covered chairs away just to make a vague path and find a seat in the half-shade. Imagine: some plastic-white seating, a few tatty throws, some semblance of gazebos, sprinkled brilliantly in a tiny L-shape beneath high European three-storey buildings. You're someway there.
A cartoon-spaceship shaft of comedy alien-abduction light buffers its way through the high tenement walls and blinds me right in the eyes, we're saturated momentarily by this ultra-sharp solar fudge. The Professor yells out "CRAP!", probably for about the twentieth time already this weekend, and the bearded boy still hasn't told me why. For some reason he hasn't and for some extra reason I fail to ask him every time he says it. What he does explain is a leftfield experience we had many moons ago - reminding me that in 2001, just after we finished our A-levels, we saw Outkast at Radio One's big weekend in Manchester and that Andre 3000 was wearing fluorescent pink space trousers. I think he may have mentioned this before to my foliage-fucked Scouse mind, yet it still astonishes and delights me to this day. Like when you're reminded of something you already knew but it still thrills the amazement g-spot. Outkast? Live? In a field? Pre-'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'? Us? Get in!
Slowly licking down our third Coke now. Lazing hungover and sunburnt on the odd settees, blatantly checking out the very attractive black-haired girl across the way. Beautiful, dreamy dabs of Amy Winehouse circa 'Frank'* foam out an unseen soundsystem and fade to underwater sudgreying light. The girl has bright pink nail varnish.
*Note: just five weeks later she was found dead in London, aged 27, something that adds another, fuck-off poignant sheen to this shivering episode.
© Copyright 2016 John Maher