by captain oddsocks
August 4, 2005
If you manage to cross the wide, busy road safely, you’ll enter through a door from one side of the building. The first things you will see are the computers just inside the door, set up to offer Internet access. Beside them are a couple of flashing-light gaming machines, and after that is the bar holding up the elbows of a bored barmaid. Along the front of the bar is a row of tall stools made from ultra-modern plastic in bright colours.
Along the entire length of the wall opposite the bar is a row of benches and kidney-shaped tables, with chairs of the same brightly-coloured plastic. At the end of the bar opposite the door is a low stage with a lighting rig suspended above it. There’s also a movie screen upon which was playing MTV during both of my visits. It’s a pity that the music doesn’t match the screen. Most of the time it is local radio, which is ordinary at best. ‘Girls on Film’ by Duran Duran was the highlight of a tedious playlist until a couple of young guys with tousled hair and long shorts entered the bar. They ordered drinks on their way past the bar and went to put coins in what I thought was a cigarette machine mounted on the wall near the entrance to the toilets. Seconds later, the cigarette machine became a jukebox, and Krankenhaus was transformed into "Shady’s world".
I had my usual Kofola, which is like a cross between Cola and Sarsparilla, in a half-litre glass for 21Sk. I also noticed that espresso with milk was 23Sk, without milk 17Sk, cappuccino was 25Sk, and half-litres of beer were 19.80Sk for Czech Budvar and 18.80Sk for the local Topvar.
I was there early in the evening, but the longer I stayed, the more lively the bar became. The young guys in long shorts were soon joined by more young guys who played table football for a while but, unfortunately, let the music return to the crappy local radio station. More people arrived to use the Internet, order energy drinks, and glide around on rollerblades. There was also a small outdoor seating area that would have been good, had the weather been better.
The bright colours and modern furniture seemed a bit out of place at first, but after a while, it grew on me, and I found myself back again on the second night of my stay. Most things were the same, except that the young guys wearing Beatles haircuts like helmets had been replaced by older guys playing cards for money and smoking like steam trains. I ordered the same drink, and the barmaid looked just as bored.
Krankenhaus is open from 11am-2am on weekdays, except Friday, when it stays open until 6am. On Saturday, it opens from 3pm-3am, and Sunday from 3pm-2am.
From journal Trencin: Castle Over the River Vah