my personal idea on Prague!

Discussion in 'Expat Life' started by cecco angiolieri, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. cecco angiolieri

    cecco angiolieri Well-Known Member

    well... first time i've been here...september 96, Prague was wild and amazing. I moved here in march 2000, and i suddenly realize that times were changing, in a worse way unfortunately.
    now, after 4 years in which i saw prague's drivers discover the leasing and change their cars( not their bad driving skills and behaviours)and girls become fatter and more snob, i have to say that only the police didn't follow this trend! Their approach to the foreigner drivers have always the same aim: ask for some money whilst the unlucky driver's passport is in their hands!
    The incompetence of czech politicians is one of the many reasons of today's situation: Prague is becoming the week-end target for all the worst european travellers. Prostitution, drugs and cheap Pivo are becoming the main attraction of Prague.
    An evening walk in Venceslas Square will show you lack of police controls, the widespread prostitution will show you the only God that 45 years of Communism left this contry: MONEY!
    Then don't ask yourself why all the czech aren't smiling at you and why they look like just fired and left by their wives; they're secluded in this nation (where you can go if you earn circa 350 euro per month!) moreover they work cause of foreign direct investments and that's another thing they cannot tolerate, the foreigners are still invading.their own lands!
    Then remember you’re an invader too, and don’t pretend to be treated like a welcomed guest, maintain a low profile and you’ll probably earn some respect from them.

    I wrote a lot…. of bullshits for some of you.
    I don’t care, those are part of my opinions and I’d like to have the opportunity to hear what YOU think about.
    Without regrets,
    your Cecco Angiolieri.
  2. Andy

    Andy Member

    Interesting comments Cecco, As you said they are your thoughts so it is not for me to challenge them. As a frequent traveller to CR I would add that CR has seen many changes in the last 20 years...........The CR has more to offer than just experience is that Czech people are friendly and welcoming......but of course like anywhere you will get the whole spectrum of people. Being English I don't see prague as being any different to London......the problems of prostitution are everywhere.....yes in prague this is fuelled by agreement i don't like to see the weekend travellers especially the english 'lager louts' frequenting 'Old Town Square'.......however CR is a small economy and needs the tourist industry. In comparison to developed large economies, czech people do earn less, under communism the Czech people were strangled wih the lack of opportunity but this is changing.........with the integration into Europe will see the emergence of many Czech entrepreneurs....I find the Czechs to be the most open-minded intelligent people I have ever met.....The Czech Republic is the heart of Europe and this is where it belongs......the next 5 years will see changes in CR.......some good and some bad........but for me the CR is a magical place where I like spending my time... just a few comments................Andy :lol:
  3. maartenv

    maartenv Well-Known Member

    Some of my thoughts too.

    In my former job I've been around. I was an engineer, installing and solving problems on rare machines, and thus I had to travel a lot.

    I've been places for just a few day's, and sometimes for two month's in a row. I liked the longer stays, since I had some time to get to know people, and some of the country. My stay in Minnesota, and in Helsinki, have been special, and though it was for work, I had some of the best times of my life there.

    The Czech Republic was different. I've been there two weeks in a row at the most. Normally it's difficult to get to know people and their culture in such a short time. Although it was always on a holiday trip, the Czech Republic caused something to click inside of me. A positive thing. The people are kind, and friendly.

    Returning to the CR many times has never been without meeting some of my new made friends there, and the welcome I get is undescribable. It's not just the kind things they do, the whole ambiance is nice.

    I'm planning to live there some time, and hope to have some luck via my current job, to get a transfer.

    Living over there on a western salery will make one an exeption, since the incomes, and cost of living are low for the standard Czech. Keeping a low profile in the way you show your money would be wise.

    However, keepig a low profile in general is a thing I do not plan to do. I will need the help of my current Czech friends, and the help of new ones to make my stay plesent there. I intend to participate with the Czechs as much as possible, and be like them. This ofcourse without the struggle for money, but for the rest I like to become a respected part of some local community. This will be the most plesant way for me and the Czechs, and it's the best way to understand their culture and language.

    It will take years to make this ideal a reality, but in the end it's gonna be worth it I guess. The CR has changed, and will continue to change. I have faith in the people, and hope to give some positive help from my side in the changes to come.

    My expierience with the Czech officials, like policemen is also on the other side of the scope as you describe it. My father once left his mobile home (we take it on holiday's sometimes) parked just over the border. I had some difficulties entering the country with a sailplane trailor once, and had to wait for approval to enter the country. (the trailer was too long to be towed behind a normal car, but in the end I got permission to continue)

    After a few hours we found our mobile home to be locked with a clamp around the wheel. It was wrongly parked. After explaining the situation to the policemen, of being falsely held at the border, he removed the clamp, and gave my dad the key's of the home. My father left them outside, sticking in the door, and the policemen locked the home, and kept the key. No fine was given, and he would not even accept an apple from holland, as a way for us to show our appreciation.

    An other incident involved not having a 10 day ticket for driving over the highway. I was unaware (so badly prepared) that a road I often drive was upgraded to the highway status. I was stopped at a gas station, and was allowed to buy a ticket there, and continue my journey. Again no fine or payments to the cop.

    My expierience in the CR is good. Some bad things happen, like breaking in to a friend car, but that's the case in every European big city. Also in the CR's major cities. These are however incidents, that are not particular to the CR.

    I know however for a fact that corruption, as one could call it, can cross your path, and it's a bad thing. Efforts have been taken, and will continue to be made to get this out of the community. The Czech Republic is joining the European Community in May, and a lot of good and bad changes will result from this. In the end and on the long term, it's the best thing for the country, in my humble opinion.

    I am not against spreading the bad things of a country. It's good to know the dark side too. Your story however does not reflect my expierience.
    I hope I'm right.
  4. praguegirl

    praguegirl Member

    Well, Cecco, I am Czech girl and I live in Prague. And be honest I understand very good what you wrote and why.
    But you know, I think this are only impressions of someone who see only a surface of life and culture in here.
    Wenceslaus square isnt place which reflects real life and culture in the Czech republic. Casinos, prostitutes, thieves, street criminality, expensive restaurants, hotels and disco-clubs - this everything is only one part of Praha and unfortunatelly this is what milions of foreign tourists can see. But be honest: huge number of western people are comming in Prague, because of cheap beer and because of our girls - they dont care about our culture, about architecture or our history...I must tell you honestly, it makes me upset to hear sentence as: "I was in Prague.You have soooo cheap beer and so cheap prices." Aha! So this is main impression about Prague...

    That Czechs dont smile is true...well, sometimes I am in metro and I feel I am doing the is like a masque - probably from the communistic time. Something like: dont show your feelings! Because you never know. But I think you would be very surpriced to meet the same "acid faces" in their private or as their guest in their house. But this is something what as normal tourist cannot see and feel...

    Yes, we earn only 350 euros per month and I can ensure you it isnt very funny to live with this money in here. But I think we take it easy...we try to live as normal as it is possible and because we really know what it means to have economic problems, I think,we (or many of us) can really appreciate what we have now. I agree that for many of Czechs money are becoming to be god...but you know, maybe try to imagine your life with 350 euros/month in here and you will recognize that many of Czechs cannot choose. They must think about money, everyday...they have childern etc....than it is easy to be corrupted or to steal in the street..I dont think it is right and it can justify criminal, but this is how this world works. Money rules.

    But anyway thank you for your reflection. It is very interesting what other people see in my city. I dont think we are perfect, because nobody is and I see many very stupid and sad things everyday in my city and in my country. I think you do the same in your...

  5. czpauly

    czpauly Member

    When I was in school in Olomouc, I travelled between Olomouc and Prague (and Brno, Zlin, etc. etc.). When I first arrived, I was excited for how cheap the beer was.. and the food... and everything, and yes, this is what I thought was great about the country for a long time... but after a while... you really get to see what is great. I'm from the USA, so of course... I have a lot of complaining to do about my own country. Czech is like Catholic schoolgirl compared to the Mafia Bully USA :)
  6. czechless

    czechless Member

    Ciao Cecco,
    I understand every point that you made...we share some of the same passionate views about how money is God to many people in the world. I can attest to this because I'm American and I still live in America...the country that I'm totally disgusted with at this point. Unfortunately, I'm unable to just pick up and leave, because in fact I do have some responsibilities I need to take care about before I make that move. It's not even my country, but our seedy politicians that show nothing of what my country's basis for existence is....a country for the people, by the people and of the's the most contradictory statement ever procured. If that was the case, then every citizen of this country would have health care coverage, university degree, housing and food to eat. New Hampshire's motto is "Live Free or Die", what I think the statement should read is " some people have to die before they become free" My country is 2.3 trillion dollars in debt because our "brilliant" leader decided to go and murder people and lie about cachets of weapons that don't exist. If the 1.2 million dollars a day that my government spends to fund a blatently criminal action was put to obvious use such as fighting hunger in North Korea, Etheopia, Afgahnistan, Iraq and the park down the street from where I live. It seems as if America's main concern right now is the fact that petrol has risen from $1.50 per gallon, to $1.90 a gallon...send a personal thanx to 1600 Pensylvania Ave, Washington, DC. I'll get off of my soapbox rightnow because these are some reall problems. In India, women are being set on fire because their family's simply cannot pay dowery payments to their husbands and their families. Sierra Leone...the Ivory Coast...these are very real problems...prostitution on Wenseslas Square is a problem of course, but not as severe as the other's. I agree with you that the police are criminals too, but there are prostitutes walking the streets where I live too. The Los Angeles Police Department of the early 1990's was the most corrupt in the world at that time....there were beatings, protests and riots....this happens everywhere in every major city in every part of the world. Unfortunately, I would like to see this cleaned up such as you, because they are priority factors, but it is virtually impossible to put expect such change during these times. Prague is beautiful, and it offers wonderful things like any city does, but this happens in New York City, London, Berlin, Roma....everywhere....we can only hope things will change. I prefer Ceske Budejovice over Prague's smaller and has just as much beautiful architecture and charm....look foward to hearing from you.
  7. wickedman

    wickedman New Member

    Mr Cecco...
    I'm italian like you but I will answer in english so that everyone can understand.
    I actually LIVE in Prague (like many italians), I respect your opinion but I think you're TOTALLY wrong about Czech Republic and I'm not surprised that you're italian!

    1 - The average salary in Prague is about 500 euro and I can assure you that people from Prague can afford more things than you in Italy. Actually people from Prague earns more than people from such countries from UE like Greek and Portugal, not to count that everything here is half of the price. PLEASE let's stop saying that czech people are poor because you're TOTALLY wrong!!!!The whole Prague is about MONEY!

    2 - Prostitution, corruption and other shit you're talking about are in every country of the world, this is not exception. Corruption anyway is FAR more in our country and if you're italian you know it unless you're living in Mars. And lack of police control??? I guess you're blind...

    3 - Czech people are not very kind with some italians (not with all the tourists!).This is true and the reason is that for example in restaurants italians are THE ONLY ONE people who doesn't give tips (because in Italy we have tips included in price).So it's easy to understand why czechs are not happy with you... what about italians here? people are shouting, making noise and mess, totally without behaviour.. myself I'm ashamed for them don't be surprised they don't smile at you.

    I'm sorry to write all these things to you but I got very angry feeling of stupid italians (or other foreigners) who think they're the best without at least knowing the country and the culture that is behind.

    I live here 2 years and I've never been so happy to left my country for the Czech Republic! Heaven doesn't exist in Earth, though.
  8. drknow

    drknow New Member

    Your comments are quite consistent with the daily Radio Prague I've watching for over one year.. Sad but true! On the other hand, I do not beleive that this is unique to the Czech Republic.. The enitre globe seems to be in chaos, very remenissant of the pre WWII years in europe.

    I'm an expatriate, that left CZ as a young child..Born in the Bratislava Protectorate who's parents were citizens of the Czech & Moravian Protectorate -- that is how after the 1939 invasion, the occupying Germans refered to Czechoslovakia -- Hence, my interest in Czech and Slovak affairs is personal, since I'm now in my retirement, and intend to returm HOME for my wanning years.

    Now that Czechosolavia divided, I need to make a choise weather I want my Czech or Slovak citizenship reinstated.. This choise is hard, but I'm leaning towards the Czech, for it seems, the political/economic situation is more stable and less ethic squables are evident on the surface..

    I currently live in the Southwest Desert in the US, became a US citizen after serving in the military and am searching for a peacefull existence. I'll like to hear from a NATIVE Czech about real life in the republic.

  9. Dear Cecco!

    I was born in the Czech Republic and I have spent most of my life living in Prague. I dont know what particular experiences you made during your stay in Prague but I would like to share my point of view.
    First, I dont think that Czech people treat foreigners as invaders or unwanted guests. Tourism is an important part of the CR economy. Having lots of tourists is in our best interest. Another issue is what the tourists do in the CR. I remember a bunch of foreign students accompanied by their "professor" watching football (soccer) world championship on a portable TV during an excursion in a former concentration camp Terezin. Obviously, you have to respect the country's culture and social values to earn the people's respect. But I guess, it's universal...
    And why Czechs are not smilling at you? I don't know if you're from a big city or a small town but from my personal experience I didn't see people in London, Paris, LA or Beijing smiling at me more or they didn't seem any happier or friendlier than people in Prague... I think it's a big city mentality.... I wouldn't worry about people not smiling at you too much. :)
    You also said:"they're secluded in this nation (where you can go if you earn circa 350 euro per month!)". I must admit I don't know the numbers for what an average income in the EU is... and it may take me longer to save up for a trip but what really matters to me is that I CAN travel. I have freedom to decide where I want to go and I don't need my gov's approval. I think a lot of people take this freedom for granted.
    And when we're talking about the government...
    You mentioned incompetence of Czech politicians... I am not too impressed with my government either...but can you give me an example of a government that consists of only competent politicans? Every country has problems with its government on a certain level so before you start critizing the Czech one......


  10. Hello I know i am new but ,what this about cheap beer and pretty girls?
    Of course that's why we like to come here!
    When you get pass that Praha is one of the most beautiful places i've ever been.

    I respect Cecco opinon at the same time I have mine >most of what he says goes for the rest of the planet!
    You have your fat girls bad politicans unhappy non-smiling people everywhere> For the most part the Czechs i've encountered bend over backwards to help me wich is the same where i'm from so maybe it's my experience with people that allows me these perks!

    With that said cant wait to come back this fall!!! anyone who has tips ,tricks ,or interested in showing me around would nice
  11. ChrisD

    ChrisD New Member

    Hello, I'm new here and my English is not perfect. I'm German and lived 6 years in California as well as some years in Switzerland. I traveled a lot and discovered the four corners of the world - except our neighbours to the East. The iron courtain had cut out of my mind those countries for many years.

    Four years ago I met a here in Germany a girl from the Czech Republic who works here (one of the lucky few ones I then thought).

    As she is from Southern Bohemia (only a 3 hours drive away) I soon got the opportunity to accept an invitation to visit her home there.

    Yes, after crossing the border I saw the prostitutes along the road.Yes, I saw many houses in poor conditions. And more old cars then here.But I was prepared for that, as my friend had told me all the beautiful and the not so beautiful aspects about her country.

    What I experienced from then on, was the beginning of a love story with the Czech Republic. I was welcomed with warm and friendly smiles that made me feel at home there immediately. I discovered the beauty of the country, Sumava first, then a real jewel: Cesky Krumlov (a UNESCO Heritage Site), Ceske Budejovice, beautiful castles and finally Prague, one of the most splendid cities I have ever seen.

    Having a Czech friend taking me around certainly made it easy for me to avoid unpleasant experiences I might otherwise have had. But I know from all my travels, that every country has its dark sides.

    I returned to the Czech Republic many more times, got to know better the attractions and met my friend's friends in other parts of the country. They showed me areas, where seldom tourist go and I got a good idea that live is not a piece of cake for them in those regions.

    As I had said before - this beautiful neighbouring country and its people have found a place in my heart and I consider myself lucky to have found not only a very good and fond friend but also the opportunity to discover this wonderful countryunder the guidance of a local.

    Our next visit will be in August to the Music Festival in Cesky Krumlov - held every year mostly outdoors in front of the spectacular castle.

    And yes - I love the Beer and the Knedlicky. And I find the Czech girls pretty and most of them are NOT fat ;-) But the Czech Republic is full of surprises beyond that.

    Now that the Czech Republic is part of the EU, the economic impact will be felt by both locals and visitors. Prices will go up faster than wages. Many people fear, that the Czech will suffer as much as the East Germans did and still do after the reunification of Germany. In some ways this might be true. But new jobs will be created by Western companies there. And in one way, the Czech economy is already moving faster than those Western companies are moving there: Did you know, that the car manufacturer Skoda has moved part of its production from the Czech Republic to India ? Well labour is cheaper there of course. An interesting migration has begun...

    Sorry again for my English.
    Munich, Germany
  12. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    This conversation reminds me of an old Chinese tale. A traveler, coming to a village encounters an old man sitting by the road.

    "Old man, how are the people around here?" he asks.

    "How were the people where you come from?" the old man responds.

    "They were very unfriendly."

    "You will find that they are the same here."

    A few days later, another traveler stops by the old man.

    "Old man, how are the people around here?" he asks.

    "How were the people where you come from?" the old man responds.

    "They were very nice."

    "You will find that they are the same here."
  13. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    How true that is, Eva. One will find whatever he/she looks for.

    BENEDIKTA Member

    I just came across this website which my wife looks at and had a couple of comments I thought I'd share. My wife is Czech from Plzen and I have spent time with her in the Czech Republic. Concerning the people of Prague not smiling, crime, prostitutes, etc., it seems that this is to be found in any city in Eurpoe with a population of 1,000,000. If one really wants to see a country and know her culture and people, he must quite the capital city for a few days and go to the smaller cities, towns, and the countryside. If all I knew of France was Paris, I'd never want to go there again. Similarly, If all I had ever seen of Czech was Prague, I wouldn't hate the place, but I wouldn't have much of a place in my heart for Czech or the people there (no offense to the people of Prague as many are wonderful folks- my son's godparents are from there). As for Czech people being cold and unfriendly, I was at a point a few years back in Plzen when I was starting to feel this and was rather tired of the place. It so happened, though, that one day after taking a long walk in the woods south of Plzen with my then one year old daugter, we came upon a typical little Czech village. Upon walking into the village an old man stared at us and offered no greeting and I thought "Typical", with much bitterness in my heart towards these people. Suddenly the sky opened up and the rain began to pour in torrents. We had nowhere to go except to try and take cover next to a wall by the street. Very soon, a door opened up from across the way and a middle- aged woman hollered at us to come inside. Once in, she and her elderly mother offered us fruit from their garden, homemade cakes, juice, and even a place to change a wet diaper. After the rain had stopped, we went on our way and I must say the bitterness towards those "unfriendly" Czechs was gone. I began to wonder if half a century of communism didn't cause the nation to somewhat shut down their emotions in public but to open up their true selves at home. I've had other experiences where mean looking folks suddenly offered help out of nowhere, but none are as memorable as the one described above. As for prostitutes, it seems to me that, being always near the German and Austrian boarders and in the big tourist destination of Prague, one could almost blame the forigners for this problem, especially the Germans (this is especially true near the boarders). Also, If you lingered for a while and heard these women speak, nine times out of ten you'd hear Russian or some other East-Slavic language-not Czech. Just a few thoughts I had on the topic. Thanks- Robert (Kentucky-originally from Mississippi)
  15. Irish_student

    Irish_student Active Member

    to be quite honest cecco, life is what you make of seems like you don't really enjoy prague too much...but, in truth, there are fat snobbish girls, useless politicians, unsmiling people and ignorant drivers everywhere. It's the same in Ireland. But if you don't like wenceslaus square, don't go there. where i come from, there are certain parts of the city if you walk through on your own, you WILL be stabbed, mugged, raped, or all three. But you can just steer clear of these areas. There is more, I'm sure, to the czech republic than getting drunk for very little...I'm going over there in two weeks, and okay, I'ld be lying if i didn't say I'm looking forward to the cheap beer and cigarettes and the beautiful women. but i want to do so much more than just get drunk and go on the pull (i can do that just as well in Limerick in Ireland) it's up to yourself to look for the good things, like the culture, the history, and the heritage of the area. If you don't like wenceslaus square, don't go there! find somewhere else to go!
  16. Joss

    Joss Active Member

    Dear All

    I have found this dialogue very interesting and I'm glad to have read all of the comments. I live with my Moravian girlfrield here in the UK and I have been priveliged to get to know her family and see life in both Praha and 'hicktown' Southern Moravia. I have sat in my girlfriends mum's flat and looked out of the window at the factory in the valley rotting away after one takeover after another. Ive been to the very basic shops and got to know about who is having the affair with who in the block. On the other hand I have looked out of the same window and looked up a the beautiful unspoiled forrests as far as my eye can see, I have sat in the pub with my new friends and cheered on the Czech republic in the European Championships, eaten great food, enjoyed one of the most honest welcomes you could ever have. No one was wearing Gucci had Prada on their handbags (pocket books) and no-one judged me.

    My experience of the Czech people is that over and above all they are what they are and they say what they think. People of good humour and courage, but on the other hand trying to get out of the economic gutter where europe has left them. Some are bitter and want out, some are determined to stay and make a life many just put up with it because after three generations of being oppressed by someone they know little else.

    I love my Czech family but I know that I will never know what it is to be Czech. In that one family there are those who are too old to change, those who can't be bothered to much else than go down the pub, those who had to get the hell out and those who decided to stay.

    Either way I see all of my new family as just that, family warts and all. If you get to know the Czech Republic at all, think of it as a family and although you may have your dissapointments you will find something that is to love for the rest of your life. How many of us from around the world can say that of our own countries? Who heard of anyone saying they fell in love with the character of the US, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany. My experience is that Czech people I know may have left to escape from poor circumstances, or to get on but they all love to come HOME, taste fresh buchty, drink a freshly pulled Budvar, have some of Babicka's chrismas cookies and watch old black & white fairy tales on sunday morning television like they did when they were kids. They can still do that. How many of us envy them that sense of identity and passion for who they are. Most of us lost that feeling for our own countries long ago. We are all too smart and sophisticated. Czech Republic, warts and all please don't change.
  17. lellodj

    lellodj Member


    i am a new member.i have come across this site by chance and i decided to give my contribution to this discussion.
    I dont want to look arrogane but i know about Czech surely more than all the foreigners who wrote on here till now.
    My first time in Czech was when the comunists were still there.
    Cecco Angiolieri said few wrong things but the feeling he has i can understand it fully.The country and especially prague has changed a lot and i have seen the changes through all these years,It is sad to see it changing for someone who waS many years ago.Prague is now full of loud dutch farmers trying to buy things cheaper in supermarkets and groups of drunken english men trying out all the night is really sad but it is happening and you can't stop it..Everything got very commercial and thick and no one can deny this.
    What i found czech people lost is mainly their sim plicity that made them so attractive to foreigners.You can find a bit of this simplicity only if you go to the deepest heat of the country , like small villages but also there things changed a lot.
    Czechs are special when you got to know them well bur very distant when you dont know them, especially in Prague.The border of modernisation is moving further and further and if one travels there must accept that.
    Still i think this remains one of the most beautiful countries in europe.
  18. Irish_student

    Irish_student Active Member

    the one thing I've noticed about the czech republic is that, in Olomouc, it's still very czech, but there are no czech people in Prague. Which is a shame really. But there is much more to the czech republic than just prague. If you're sick of prague, go to Moravia somewhere.

Share This Page