Introduction: Down and out in Prague and Cluj-Napoca

Homeless woman on the streets of Cluj-Napoca, Romania

I’m 9 months into my second run at living permanently in Europe having fled a comparatively normal gay life in Chicago. If anything, this second attempt has been even more stressful and unlucky (and ill-planned) than the first, after which I returned to Chicago with only 50 bucks in my pocket after coming to Prague with 12,000 USD – all of it blown within 6 months.

This time in less than 60 days I was mugged and pickpocketed – all my money, my debit cards, my driver’s license, everything, stolen from me. I was in Romania not the Czech Republic at the time and if I hadn’t met some really kind people and if I hadn’t had a very nice digital camera to sell, a Canon Digital Rebel, I would have been on the streets of Cluj-Napoca without support of any kind. As it was I had to borrow money from an American friend to even pay my hotel bill.

I got past all that and back to Prague in my old apartment to find that the millionaire heir to the Kodak fortune to whom I’d rented my flat for a month (for a cheap 850 USD) had allowed rent boys to spend the night with him and they had stolen my printer, broken my washing machine and damaged my parquet floors (there went my security deposit), as well as damaging the lock to my front door so that it had to be replaced. Did I get an apology or any compensation from this guy? No. He didn’t even buy me a beer when a bunch of gay expats went out for pivo the next time he was in town.

But anyway I’m getting ahead of myself.

This is the third blog I’ve begun while living abroad. The first one, called The Rent Boys of Prague, documented in detail my adventures among the young male prostitutes here in the City of a Thousand Spires. It was well-received but is now off-line.

I continued writing while I was back in the States but because nothing interesting really happens to me there, the blog was filled with movie and music reviews and some personal crap. It wasn’t until I returned to Prague in September 2004, exactly one year to the day when I’d arrived the first time, that the liveliness of the writing and of my life took over the blog again. Once again, if you searched for “Prague rent boys,” or any combination thereof, on Google I was number one. And number two. And number three, usually.

Because of the theft in Romania, however, and the subsequent loss of my Powerbook (I tell everyone I lost it in a bet but actually it went to an electronics bazaar so I could pay my rent; where it went after that will have to wait.), and the crushing theft of my external hard drive containing 20 years of music collecting along with all my programs, back-ups of my blogs and Web sites, digital photos, prose and poetry and pretty much everything else I owned that could be stored digitally, I was unable to maintain the second blog having no money to pay for hosting nor any debit card with which to pay. I’ve been running for my life ever since, hopping from one apartment to another without fully paying rent, teaching English, taking gay tourists on tours, and yes, even pimping a little – anything to subsist until I finish the fucking first book and hopefully get it published. Or until my friends open that fucking bar and hire me. Or until I’m deported.

So much has happened since I stopped posting on the first blog that a lot of background will have to be filled in as I go along. I’ve been through, um, let’s see, about five young men, not all of them for pay, one of the originals is now back with me and helping me out and I’m meeting a young gypsy or Romany guy tonight at a bar for drinks. He’s a nice guy but I’ve generally found that sex is better with rent boys than with your average Czech or Slovak gay boy. In addition, I’m four months behind on rent although somehow have not been kicked out. I’m anxious to find out what happens next.

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