It is almost Easter. And I hate Easter and its traditions.
In the Czech Republic the tradition goes that women have to be spanked on Easter Monday. Throughout the day men [usually in groups] visit their female relatives and friends and spank them with special whips.
Ouch? It gets worse…
These whips are hand-made from willow rods, the length ranges from 50 centimeters to two meters. There are ribbons at the end. There used to be a tradition that women would add their own ribbons so the whip would say how many women the particular man has already visited but this seems to fizzle out.
And women are chased around [if they decide to make it interesting or to play along], or they just stand motionless and the male visitors would spank her butt. However, it should not hurt. Or at least not throughout the whole procedure.
The visitors receive eggs. Usually colored or otherwise decorated. Boys might get chocolate bunnies.
Of course many men also receive shots of alcohol. And so it happens that a guy who visits his tenth woman on the day is, well, wasted.
I should say I do not observe this tradition. I used to, as a kid. But ever since I could have said no, I don’t. Most of the situations are terribly awkward. The girls know you are coming, they know what they are supposed to do and they pretend to like it…. Waaaay strange….
All you American readers who have been to a Florida spring break, had fun, seen some exposed tits and drunk college chicks having sex in public, please show off hands…
Wow, that is some forest of hands we got here…
Compared to what you experienced the Czech “spring break” is dull and boring and stupid. The spring break in the Brno Region starts next Monday.
First of all, there are 14 administrative regions in the Czech Republic and spring break weeks are somehow distributed among them. And so, some regions have “spring break” this week. Middle of February, almost no snow, and no warm part of the country to go to. If not to get drunk and wasted, at least to swim and stare at the aforementioned exposed breasts of college girls.
Second, the level of independence in case of high school kids is not as high compared to Americans. The legal age to drive is 18. But then again, so is the legal age to drink. But where? Only pubs in your home town, or you gotta go abroad, if you feel that you have to have some change during your spring break.
Most parents do not want to waste five days from their paid vacation to stay home and watch their out-of-control kids. So the kids to get out of control.
When I lived and worked in Bratislava, Slovakia, one of the things I enjoyed as a Czech guy was going to grocery stores, markets and other places like that where I would talk to clerks, cashiers, or waitresses. Simply because the Slovak language is beautiful and when spoken by 20-something girls (if they don’t look like the Osborne daughter) it is even more beautiful.
In downtown Brno there is a Billa grocery store. Two cashiers and one girl at the deli counter are Slovaks. There is something very interesting about a Slovak girl taking your order of 300 grams of chicken ham and some pizza pepperoni. You talk to her in Czech and she responds in Slovak. You perfectly understand each other and when you have your meat in your cart she says in a sweet voice: “Dovi” which is a short form of Good bye in Slovak.
Can’t imagine going to a store in San Diego and have the Mexican owner or cashier say Hasta la vista or Adios when you leave…
But it does work here…Gotta love it.
As of January 1 the new healthcare reform laws stipulate that patients pay a 30-crown ($1.30) one-off fee for visiting a doctor’s office. Many many people oppose this novelty and some opposition politicians claim that the law is anti-social.
My yesterday’s visit to a dentist who has the most state-of-the-art equipment consisted of a prevention check (despite the fact is was not on the twice-per-year schedule), tartar removal (perfect job done) and a ten-minute consultation about my canine tooth that begins to stick out a little for which I might need braces for a while.
It was absolutely worth those 30 crowns.
I don’t understand why people oppose this idea. Especially pensioners are willing to spend three thousand crowns for their dogs’ medicines and operations… and now they are not willing to spend 30 crowns for a visit to their own doctor?
Okay, I admit, they had paid health insurance for more than fifty years so it might seem a bit unfair… I just checked by paycheck slip, I pay health insurance in the amount of 1300 crowns ($60) per month…
This is my third day on Gran Canaria and I haven’t seen a single Czech person since I got off the plane on Saturday evening. Some people who were on the same plane were being total yokels when checking in, when boarding and especially as they were checking in in the hotel. Middle-aged overweight couples who don’t speak a word of any foreign language. When the receptionist asked them a very simple question they just stood there and stared blankly and it took the guy about thirty seconds to break the silence and ask his wife Hey, mom, any idea what he wants?
In case you don’t know, middle-aged Czech yokels [not-so bright people with low education levels and lousy jobs] call each other mom [vocative singular "mamo"] or dad [vocative singular "tato"].
The worst thing that followed was that the male yokel tried to explain his problem to the receptionist in Czech. And he thought he would make himself clear by repeating words and speaking louder. I haven’t felt more awkward in months and I was this close to leaving the line but I realized I have to wait to check-in…
As a kid learning English I remember a song called What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor. The song mentions several solutions but it does not include call an ambulance that will transport him into a detox that all taxpayers pay for and the drunken person only pays some overnight fee, or not.
The above is exactly what we saw happening last night. According to iDNES.cz news server, the detox beds in Prague were full by 6 p.m. December 31, i.e. six hours before midnight. Furthermore, most injuries that paramedics had to deal with were head injuries of people who tripped and fell while intoxicated. And there were several cases of alcohol poisoning.
In other words, people whose job is to save lives [which I think should mean lives of those whose lives have to be saved] had to deal with irresponsible idiots whose idea of celebrating the New Year is to get wasted in public.
What shall we do with a drunken Czech on the night of December 31? Leave him [yeah, mostly it is him] where he is. He did not need help to get drunk and wasted, and he did not care for advice on how to be careful when drinking and celebrating, why would he need help now? He might freeze to death, you say? Possibly. But more likely not…last night it was 2 degrees Celsius in Brno.
Let’s remind the fact that as of today Czechs will pay various fees for medical services…see one of previous posts below. So the responsibility for one’s health and medical records is a huge issue now. It is not the best way to start– by getting drunk and seeking professional assistance from people who should be helping the unfortunate ones. Not the stupid ones.
Ironically, the said song includes the verse Put him in bed with the captain’s daughter. I never understood the meaning of this verse because a girl would be stupid to have sex with a drunken guy when she can have a dozen of other just-as-horny and sober sailors.
Today I went to a fitness slash wellness center that is located in a hotel but does not belong to the hotel. The hotel itself is closed for the holidays and it opens tomorrow.
It is 12:40 p.m. and the wellness opens at 1 p.m. I am trying to enter the hotel lobby. Sorry, the hotel is closed and the wellness center opens in twenty minutes, the receptionist says. She has to guard the empty hotel.
It is fifteen below Celsius outside. Can I wait here in the lobby until the wellness center opens? I ask. The door to the center is about twenty feet away.
No can do, the lady replies. We are closed. You could wait in the front office of the wellness center, if they let you in.
I step outside and I spend the next twenty minutes outside the front entrance in freezing-cold weather, while the lady gets back to doing nothing in an empty lobby of an empty hotel…
I haven’t laughed so hard in many days.
A Czech jeweller sells engagement rings on-line. Yeah, guys, if you want to get married and you like what this company has to offer, you can browse their catalogue.
But make sure you ENTER THE NUMBER OF RINGS YOU WANT TO PURCHASE.
In case you haven’t noticed, Czech men probably like to buy two or more engagement rings…
It reminds me of Valentine’s Day cards “I Love You Only” that are sold in 5-packs.
Some department stores and malls and shopping galleries have already put up their Christmas lights, artificial trees and snowflake decorations.
It is November 8 for crying out loud. Six weeks before “the present time”.
Czech employees of Foxconn IT company in the Czech town of Pardubice are signing a petition against their fellow workers from Eastern Europe (the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, or Belarus), the Pardubicky denik daily informed today.
The authors of the petition claim that the hygiene habits and standards of these foreigners are “terrible”. Among the examples they mention is that the foreigners often throw used toilet paper to wastebaskets, instead to the toilet bowl.
The company now has 6,500 employees, of this number more than 2,000 are foreigners.
The management promises to expand the bathrooms and to teach foreign employees local cultural habits.