Leaving Czech

Leaving Czech

 

As I am getting ready to do one of my least favorite things – packing – to leave Europe to head back to the US a couple of things comes to mind as I think back of my week.  That the Czech people aren’t very friendly as a culture.  At least the folks we came across in Prague.  Many of them are still raised with the Communist mentality of not trusting, not smiling and definitely not friendly. What I can make of it is that the Czech people aren’t as enamored with Western culture as the rest of the previous Communist countries. Russia and Chinese want to learn and know about many American things – but not the Czech people. I think under the communist regime it just didn’t occur to them to think past the day to day of survival. They mentally this culture isn’t made up of dreamers or wonderer’s like the other communist countries.  So as a result in their  post communist world they still carry many of the traits as the communist days.  Try to get some money refunded from a posted invoice is like pulling teeth. In dealing with our catering manager in pre-planning anything unusual off the menu “was not possible” until I asked to speak to his boss.   If you as a tourist try to strike a conversation or get directions with a local you aren’t going to get much out of them. Nor are they interested in asking you questions about life in America or American culture. Very odd for a city who makes a HUGE chunk of change off of tourists.  Shopping here for me wasn’t great. I have been to about 15 countries in Europe and this has been by far the worst. This was the place to go shopping years ago because the country was so cheap. Not so much anymore they have caught up with the times and everywhere you go there are many stores that sell a lot of the.  It must be the same glass shop owner who owns about 10 shops throughout old town.  When I shop for something unique from a city that is exactly what I want it to be unique. As a result I didn’t end up bringing much home – which was ok for my pocketbook.

 

One thing that I thought was very sweet – was we gave our convention services manager a tip – he immediately said this was very unusual and that he would give it to the banqueting staff. We told him we wanted him to have it as he did a great job with us.

 

The other thing I was hoping to do more here was youtubing – but I couldn’t get anything worth filming out of the culinary team so that went by the wayside as well..  Food turned out to be much better than I thought. We had some very surprisingly nice meals.  The key is TO NOT EAT in Old Town.  Irene and I found a lovely restaurant about a 20 minute walk from the hotel which we went to twice. The atmosphere was the nicest and most modern of any of the restaurants we had been too and the food very good with a huge variety.  The owners 4 young guys are not from Czech so they were very friendly.  They had a huge variety of food on their menu which surprised me.  They really understood proper seasoning of food.  The other surprise for me – was how many pizza and pasta restaurants there were here. I thinking probably because it was cheap. The pizza is good – very thin crust none of this thick crust garbage you get back in the US. Of course their ice cream is so much better as well.

 

Time to start packing for a very long day back home.

 

 That is my story for now and I am sticking to it.

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