If you go back to my first blog entry, I predicted (planned?) that at some point I would write about the differences between life in Boston and Prague. And that I would start passing judgment on those differences. Mostly in jest.
A commitment is a commitment, so here goes.
1. Beer. Sausage. Beer & sausage. Sausage & beer. If this isn’t the beer & sausage capital of the world, state your case. I mean, the local hypermarket must have 40 varieties behind the counter.
2. Bread. Your basic hypermarket beats the best artisanal bread store in Boston. Hands down.
3. Countryside. Green, rolling hills. Unspoiled forests. Lots of both. If you are a cow, or a walker, you’re in heaven.
4. Architecture. Another obvious one next to beer. Doesn’t matter. It’s beautiful, revered and preserved.
5. Traditions. Despite a lot of external changes imposed on the country in the last 70 years (first Nazism, then Communism, then global Capitalism), traditions endure. Did I mention beer? But also food, manners, the value of friendship and a healthy dose of cynicism/secularism.
6. Public transportation. It’s everywhere and it’s cheap. Subways, trams, buses. You can live without a car. Easily.
1. Traditions. I was told, not asked, that my dumplings would not be served at the same time as my Caesar salad. They are not suitable together, according to some unspoken food tradition.
2. The damned coins you must deposit to obtain a shopping cart. Is 50 cents really a deterrent to theft? Plus, I had a job at age 14 retrieving those carts from the far corners of the parking lot. Why take those kids’ jobs away? The best example was encountering this system in a grocery store located in a basement. If you can smuggle the cart out via the elevator, more power to you.
3. Smoking. If the UK can stop smoking in pubs, Czechs can too.
4. Service. Somehow I long for the fake, plastic smile of the American server. Many in the service sector here realize that it’s the customer paying the bills. A few are still immune to this truth.
JUST PLAIN WEIRD
1. ZZSHMP. This is the name of a local ambulance chain. Imagine calling 911 and pleading for an ambulance. Caller: “Help, send ZZSHMP!” Operator, to co-worker: “Wow, this dude must be gurgling blood. Probably too late to save him”.
2. This logo. Are they trying to sell smoked sausages or a means to extract tapeworms?