The Last Czech Samurai.

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My Dads always been a dreamer, and a fulfiller of dreams. When we got back from Morocco – where 21 of us were crammed into an ex army ambulance – he decided he was going to make a bus. He bought an ex army bus and kitted it out with a bar, toilets, TV’s, seating, tables, beds. It was pretty impressive to be fair, as he just did it one day. A minor downset was the name, although for its desired clientele, I guess it was quite fitting. “The Boogie Bus”. My Dad pretty much just built it, got a driver, and rented it out to stag do’s, football matches, whatever, all the things I hated. But, on occasion, he did take my friends and I on little trips out. There were the regular trips to Amsterdam, which are a whole other chapter, and then there’s Barca and Prague. Prague was first.

I brought Noox and Sprout. As we were all 16ish, we each had a nick name, unfortunately… So we drove through stopping off in Netherlands, Germany, each for a day or so, untill we reached The Czech Republic. Having no interest in the history and culture of Prague at the time, we hammered Majestic park until moving into a more remote area. We took the bus into some vast woodlands. There was a market close by, and a small fair, real gypsy like. They sold knock off Blind hoodies, Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses, and knives. We decided to take our new weapons into the woods. We were armed with throwing knives and ninja stars. After stabbing a few trees, we started walking on into the boundless forest. It was Noox, Nick and myself, as sprout had gone back to the bus. As we ventured deeper we started to hear voices, people talking. We started to follow the voices, getting louder deeper into the trees. By this time it was pitch black, no sign of light, using our phones as torches. The only guidance we had was this sound. Closer we realized these were amplified voices. It was quite the odd experience, surrounded by endless nature, with three square mobile screens pointing to the ground, and this overwhelming soundtrack. We were pretty caned as well…

As we moved on, the voices became a films audio. A patch of trees became a mesh metal fence, a cage inside the mass of towering Scots Pine. The mesh was in front of darkness, there was something solid inside. This it was where the sound was coming from. We followed the mesh round until we reaches a corner, and then light. Through the mesh was Tom Cruise, wielding a samurai sword. It was an outdoor cinema, playing The Last Samurai, in English, with Czech subtitles. We continued up the mesh to an opening, and a shop. I bought some Mentos and we sat on tiered log seating for the remaining duration of the film, in amazement of what we had stumbled upon. That was a good day.

words, photos and drawing Jamie Jenkinson

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