The most clever Czech invention ever!

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by Viktor, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    i've been living here five years on a permanent basis - as i said, i rarely venture into prague, but am very happy in my little old farmhouse standing in the middle of a field - i actually have much more time to do the things i want rather than working 12-hour days for a boss that doesn't appreciate it

    i can't recall ever being overcharged - even the few times i have gone out to eat in prague or any other larger town

    nor do i have any specific complaints about service anywhere either - not more so than i ever had elsewhere in any other country - sometimes you run into bad experiences, and sometimes good ones - i thinks that applies worldwide?

    as far as bureaucracy, i'd much rather deal with the financni urad over here than the irs

    some people complain about the foreigner's police here - funny thing is, the things they complain about are the same bureaucratic things any alien in the u.s. complains about
  2. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    It is sad that Victor is an ethnic Czech. Maybe it is some animosity against his former fatherland?
  3. wissy

    wissy Well-Known Member

    Am i missing something or am i just niave? Two weeks spent in Prague in August this year. Eight of us the first week, five of us for the second week. We ate out as a group every evening at different types of restaurants ranging from ethnic Czech through to Italian. We were obviously tourists and in a few instances needed help in translating the menus and ordering. We encountered no problems or resentment whatsoever and found the prices very competative compared with England. Maybe we were lucky. We were always polite, we smiled and made a point of saying please and thank you in Czech. I think those small efforts were appreciated. I am sure that some people/tourists in the eyes of the Czechs can come across as rude and arrogant (we certainly saw one or two of them) and maybe it is that which antagonises some Czech hosts. The only 'rip off' i encountered was being charged an extortionate price for an ice cream in Municiple Square outside the Obecni Dum. I gave the ice-cream back to a very disgruntled seller! :D :)
  4. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    I can be a fourth example.

    Never had any problems with anyone trying to rip me off, even though had lunches even in touristy areas of Prague ($285 is really something you need to be specifically looking for).

    And the friendliness and patience of service people (like phone companies) as I've tried to get things done with my practically non-existent Czech never failed to amaze me. This reminds me of a waitress in a pretty touristy pub/restaurant in Prague - she actually took time to teach me some new food-related vocabulary:)

    I'm sure shit happens, but it happens anywhere.

    Maybe the only thing I would say is different on the negative side and appears to be a very "Czech" thing is not replying to queries by e-mail (or replying a month or so later:))
  5. SMZ

    SMZ Well-Known Member

    So glad to see some others with positive experiences!

    I have had many people stop me when I'm wearing my "Czech Rep" jacket to tell me how much they enjoyed their trips to Prague (etc.) and how they can't wait to return.

    The funniest was the time a guy practically chased me through O'Hare airport just to tell me what a great vacation to Prague he'd been on a few months earlier. He told me that he thought I might be from the Czech Republic and wanted to be sure to pass along his "thanks" from him and his family.

    Oddly enough, the only person to tell me a bad thing about a trip to the CR was someone who related the tale of their neighbor who had a wallet lifted by pickpockets -- but when I met the neighbor a few days later (the one who lost the wallet), he casually mentioned it as an aside, then spent the rest of the conversation going on about how great the trip was.

    I've travelled extensively throughout the US (not much outside of it), and have had great experiences and not-so-great ones. From what I saw last year in the CR, things there aren't worse than going to, say, Orlando. It's full of tourists and not all of the service workers are thrilled to be there. So what else is new? I can choose to let that ruin my day/week/year/life -- or not.

    Feel free to call me Pollyanna, but I guess I'd rather be a happy naive person than a realistic grump! :D

  6. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    I'm not a ethnic Czech - I was born there and we left when I was 6 years old, 1949 -- However, my citizenship as well as the family propieties were confiscated by the Commusnist regime (for the common good), the liberators and saviors of the Czechoslovak Republic!

    My entire life, I dreamed of returning HOME. But after my last visit, I realized, that the Czech Repuiblic is not realy MY HOME ANYMORE! Fact being, that I envisioned the Czechoslovakia of 1949 -- based on the ex-pats I've met and been exposed to in these last 56 years. Hence, this is nothing personal, but in my view;" todays Czechs are not made of the cloth" as the ones I've had the pleasure of associating with my entire life in exile.

    Hence, I'll stay here on this side of the ocean, that way I do not have to worry about being ripped of or overcharged, since here I know the rules of game...In CZ the game rules are made up as the game progresses! The cab fare is what is registetred on the meter period... Threfore, if they need to rip off someone, forwhat ever reaqson. God Bless them, but it will not be me anymore. I'll vactaion/travel elsewhere, were I can get the full value for my money! CZ is definetly not it for me under the current business practices and conditions..

  7. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    Having some relatives who have had to flee the regime a long time ago (from Estonia) and also having met some other people sharing the same fate, I can say that this really nothing uncommon. I have no idea how it would feel like to be forced to leave your homeland and stay in a foreign country (or more of them) for the rest of your life, but it seems to me that most people who have gone through this never really feel like they're coming back to home. Things are different not only because a lot of time has passed, but also because the evolving capitalism of the ex-communist countries really is something different from the one working in the "western world". Having been brought up in the middle of all the changes I cannot really say that I understand the way you might be feeling about it, but I can see how you might have a really different perspective. So you're right - just stay where you feel like you're at home and enjoy it. Nothing wrong with that.
  8. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    my parents had to leave czechoslovakia in 1948, immediately after the communist coup, thus i was born elsewhere but all my life i heard about how one day we would be able to go home - basically that's what i did when i had a chance - and i do truly feel at home here

    maybe i am strange, but i get along much better with most of the people here than i did with many in the u.s. - i grew up amongst quite a few czechs in an urban environment, thus there was some rivalry, a quite frequent "keeping up with the Joneses" attitude, and a LOT of gossip - here i live in a small village and people are still of the sort that help each other out when there is a need, most of them are not as materialistic as the people i knew in the states, but there is still a LOT of gossip - maybe tis the difference between urban and rural? - there are good and bad everywhere - as i said, i personally haven't had any such bad experiences as you seem to have had during your visit here, but i do avoid bigger towns and cities as much as i can

    it is true that my parents also wanted to be like things were at the time they left and there were many things they did not like when they were finally able to at least come and visit after 1989 - mostly related to politics and none of them related to poor service, higher prices, etc.
  9. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Ouch, that's harsh! Viktor, when my American husband first moved to Prague for a year in 1993, he had such a positive experience that he extended his stay to four years. Then he moved back to the U.S. - with me in tow - and we lasted there for seven years. We've been living in Prague again for over a year, happy as clams. See, some people do return. As for positive comments about people's visit to CZ, why not start here:

    Viktor, I'm sorry you feel so bitter about the Czech Republic. Even though I complain about customer service here (I must have lived in some wonderland for those seven years!), I see that as one negative against many positives and I believe that service will only get better with time. I've already seen a huge improvement over the past several years. I think there are many great things about this country and what you wrote above is just painful. Honestly, expecting to find things the way they were in 1949 seems a tad unrealistic.
  10. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    I'm sorry to sound "anti-Czech", but I'm merely stating as it was when I visit. It had it's good points also, that I enjoyed very much matter of fact, I even reminessed about my visit in 1970, and this is stricly my opinion, I felt that most if not all people were friendlier and relaxed. They mostly complained about not having sanitary paper, or that 12% beer at times was hard to find --everyone had plenty of money,and no where to spend it, since there was a shortage of almost everithing --But they were happy!
    Also, at that time I still had "living" relatives to spend time with and no need for flea infested hotel rooms.

    I realize that things are now "different" and times changed, but I did find myself at times, wondering the streets, as if looking for yesterday! Going past the house on Pariska, where mother was born or our house in Jablonec .n.n ,were we lived, and how different it looks now, decaying and falling apart. That is hard to overlook...

    However, depite all incidental hassles it is not the cost that bother me --30 days with all inclusde, I sent less than 30K Kcs it not bad, and if it cost 40 or 50 it did not matter, What got to me, were the "arrogant" attitute --I got you by the @#$% -- when you pull out the print out from the on line reservation, they offered and confirmed, 400Kc w/breakfast per night --this was in Vysoke Myto -- and they decided to change it to 750Kc. plus
    breakfast. This was "the point" that pissed me off. For if on line, they would of asked 750Kc, I would of agreed anyway -- but trying to stick it to you since they think you have no chice, is different. That is what I'm talking about.

    Fortunetly, there was an other hotel in this small town, even nicer two blocks down the street I checked in, for 850Kc w/Breakfast, and stayed 9 days instead the original 4 that I had planned. The town, the people were great, but that one greedy business person almost spoiled the trip.

    Deal with people up front, no gimmicks and then everyone will benefit from it -- do not try to rip off the traveler, and you'll receive a larger tip that you could of scammed anyway. Everyone walks away happy!


    PS. I was reading the forum, when you and Jeff were still in the states. You must admit, even 3 or 4 years ago, people were complaining about the less than acceptable expereinces in the Czech Republic. My comments are nothing strange or new. I too hope that things improve, for there is much to be lost, if the tourism industry to CZ is killed off, by the few greedy businesses - yes,it is the few that leave the lasting bad impression ....
  11. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    Perhaps you are right, I'm indeed a bitter oldman, that has animosity towards the Czech Republic, and the prevailing thivery and scams!

    However, I wonder how you personally would feel, if indeed you shared the same set off circumstance I was faced with during my last visit.

    During the communist occupation, I could justify and blame everithing on the "peoples party" gurus and the Russian invaders, but now that the Republic is again finally free of any foreign influence -- governed by Czechs for Czechs -- how then you would justify, the rentention of the stolen (by the Czech communist party bosses ) propriety, and retain it to the present day, not to return it to it's proper owners.

    How patriotic would you be today, if your family would stripped of all possessions and propiety that was under legal family ownership up to 100 years -- Yea, they even survived the years the Nazi occupation, just to be robbed by their fellow countrymen 3 years after the end of the war -- and within a week tracking accross Europe, with only the clothes on your back and two small children in hand . Competely homeless only due to the fact that you decied to speak up for your righs to you own proriety.

    Betya that you would be a bit less that enthusiastic about the new regime and it's future. A wounderfull Republic founded on the blood and sweat of others, circullating stolen propriety among its realtives and friends -- stolen propiety remains stolen until it is returned to the righfull owner, regardless who actualy stole it!

    I think the funniest incident I've encountered, was in Jablonec n.n., when I was taking pictures of my parents house, my gradfather house and his apartment buildings. I was apporached by a "owner resident" curious whay I was taking all those photos? I introduced myself as the" 'real owners son and grandson" and even described the inside of the residence layout, and where my room was, which immediately upset him, that he even called out his wife. She then immediately began to "expalin" that my grandafther "sold " them the proprieties in 1968 -- and she pulled out some papers that attested to the fact, that indded grandpa sold the propriety. However, since I was still not satisfied, she volunteered to take me to city hall, and show me the offcial records on the books.

    I agreed, but insisted to stop elswere first , since it was on the way--the cemitery at the edge of town, and I took them to Row B, number 50 . There were the graves of grandap Viktor with the DOD as May 17, 1960 and next to his was grandma Viktorie DOD July 12 ,196 just looked at them and asked them: I wonder how did grandpa get his hand out through solid marbel (no visible holes anywhere), to sign the ownership transfer papers? They just turned around and waked away,not wanting to go the Registrars Office anymore. I checked the books,and indeed the papers were signed and filed properly, making the transaction legitimate at this time. I guess, the scam is not unique, and was done over and over thruout the Republic, but since most owner or heirs are dead now, this ex-pats stolen proprierty transfer is a common occurance among the FREE. Originaly I had intentions of returning home, but after what I experienced, I just can't help not having any faith in thecurent system. Unless they all come clean first - -return all the stolen prpriety to it's righfull owners -- for I think it would be very fullish and risky to invest in a country, with a history of propriety theft by the govenment -- and I would not want to experience the same fate twice in one lifetime.

    Those of you who find it attractive, go ahead and enjoy -- but if that is the political history of the country, history is bound to repeat itself, and it is only a matter of time! Not mine opinion, ask any historian, and he/she will tellyou the same. The 1st Republic was dismantelled by a forgein occu[yinf army, but the 2nd Republic was dismantelled almost overnigh by the Czechs themselves -- waht are the odds the 3rd time around. With these adds, the outcome is quite iffy -- Yea, animosity might not be quite the appropriate term. Larsony is now an inbread almost genetic trade of the Czech populous. possibly beyond redemtion. Since it is impossible or impractical to return all the stolen proriety to the rghfull owners -- that would cause too many curent partiots to become homeless overnight -- sad but true.... That is why, I do not care to return to my homeland anymore.. Not all Czechs are guilty,but a was overwhelmig majority is for AS LONG AS THEY RETAIN POSSESSION OF THE STOLEN PROPRIETY, and that reflects on their everyday behavior. They do not eveen realize that ripping of a tourist indeed stealing...

  12. lindsova

    lindsova Member

    What should we do with the land that was stolen from the Native people in North America?

    Live happily ever after ...
  13. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Blame Roosevelt and Churchill for their agreement with Stalin on the Yalta conference.
  14. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    What does the plight of the American Indian have to do with Czechs stealing propriety/land from other Czechs. The act is actualy as if one day, the Republicans since they are in power, decided to confiscate all personal and real propriety from all Democrats and give it to their less fortunate Republican members!

    Furhtemore, the Malta excuse is far too old. Much like the: "The Devil made me do it"! Stalin is gone. The Communist are gone, and no longer have any influence on Czech politics or policy. Then, what is wrong with giving back the propriety to the original owners, since it was taken by a wrongfull authority ( the Czechs by outsing the communist party from power in 1989, aknowledge that fact ). Hence, how then do they justify keeping the spoils of a fallen regime and an outsted political party.

    Perhaps your father or grandfather obtained the propriety from his cronie political buddies (that is how confiscated proriety was distributed among friends), and now you are stuck living in this house you inhereted from your family. Your hands are not clean -- thery did it, not me may be your justifiaction -- but, the absentee owner is still the righfull owner until such time that you decide to return or pay for the stolen propriety, you or yours wrongfully obtained. Only Pirates and thievs divide the spoils amongs themselves. In a free society, owners have rights and are paid for their proriety. Even in cases of "eminent domain" siezures, the owners are compensated (not always happy, but never the less compensated).


    PS. If my memory serves me right. The native Americans were compensated some for their losses by the US govenment, despite the fact, that most of the "land" was stolen from them by the Spaniards Duch, The English Crown and French, who later sold it to the American government. Hence, here is a confirmation of your argument: "stolen proriety remains stolen even if it is resold at a later date" -- that is why the American government compensated ALL tribes, regradless who originally stole the land!See, there is a good example and precedence for the newlly free Czech govenment! Once The English Crown (like Stalin)was deposed in America, the new goverment assumed the resposibility of repaying the debt of its former rulers. That is how we now have a 'free and clear tilte" to the land, not only by law, but also moraly!
  15. lindsova

    lindsova Member

    Don't make false accusations! You don't know anything about me.

    There's no point in communicating with you.
  16. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    The state has no money to compensate the original owners and no money to buy the property from new owners to give it back to the original ones. It's all about the money. Thus the "simpliest" way is to do "nothing". And BTW, the Czech Republic's laws are based on those in the totalitarian regime (and on those before this period) - it's the "juridical continuity" (that also means the "communist criminals" cannot be judged now if they didn't a crime according to the laws in that time it happened).

    BTW communists still have a strong influence nowadays (in CR), e.g. Vaclav Klaus is our president thanks to the communist's support during the voting. According to the electoral preferences, communists are the third - second strongest party here.
  17. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    That is OK, if they do not have the money, just return the propriety to it's righfull owner, in what ever condition it is. ( the government has a accurate list of all the original absentee owners). I checked this in person, this is a fact.

    Since, leglally, those occupying the permisses are but "squaters" protected by the law., the honorable act, would be to return the propriety, as an sign of good faith and dissaproval of the old regime. No appologies required or demanded. This is what honorable people would do to undo the wrongs of the past, and establish respect and confidence from the rest of the civilized world... The Czech should show the world, today they are a honorable nantion of law abiding citizenry for a start. No longer under the influence of ignorant holligans and bullies. Besides, Hitler legalized Murder under the law, but when he fell, the murderes were still held accounteble for their deeds in the World Courts, despite their claims that they were just "following orders!"

  18. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    When I underdstand "just return the propriety to it's righfull owner" as "just return the property to it's righfull owner", I have to respond, no government would do it - since they're voted by the local people, not by foreigners (wanting their old property), sorry.

    And the more time after the revolution, the more people "see" the old regime wasn't "bad" in everything. Thus the need of "disapproval of the old regime" is weaker than it was immediately after the revolution.

    BTW this "problem" will be solved itself by the time - these people wanting their old property are old and will die "soon". Understand, in my opinion, people here see the emigrants in the way "we don't care about you left us but don't go back and don't want the property you left here - you left us once, you left us for ever".
  19. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    Thank you for your so honest and candidt reply. This is [/u]EXACTLY the vibes I picked during my trip. We pushed you out in 1949 under the treat of death or life imprisionment, to squeeze you out. All we, the masses want, it your money and propriety you and what your family has, since I or my kin, did not have the will or abilty to make it on our own to get ahead in life b y working for my wants and needs. Stealing is easier!HOW BEAUTIFULLY AND DIRECTLY YOU PUT IT, I might not agree with your interpretaion, and how to get ahead in life to better yourself. But your way, is indeed one of the ways to get there. That is why I danced around the subject in my numerous posts. I did not want to expose what I noticed and heard. Comming from a knowlegeble, educated Czech native, brings the point home so much louder and clear. If I made the same statement, it wouyld be rebutted and a disgruntelled animosity towards the poor Czech people...

    I love you man, and hope you and yours make it in this world. Us ex-pats have alrerady prooven ouirselves that we can make it, and better our lives anywhere in the World without piracy, stelaing or political cohesion -- moist if not all Czaech ex-pats that live around the globe, lead better, fuller and richer lives at the same high standart or even much higher they left behind (with only the clothes on their back), while their home land fell behind, as one of the lowes standards of living in Europe. The only thing you can now sell, is the Greatness of times past which none of you contributed to in the first place. All you and your kind knew is to steal and destroy, fed by endless envy and jealousy fostered by lazyness and stupidity.

    Yes, I was seeking what was stolen from me. Not wealth or fame, by my own God given right to an IDENTITY. The wealth and materialism, we all had the skills knew how to replace, but the sence of belonging to a landwas different. You and your kind made us all STATELESS which hurt the most and has no material value, but to the indivdual soul. My generation and my parents generation were the soul of the land. The foundation of the Czech Republic, and once they were forced out-- all -- with very few exception was the bilge of society that had matrial wants, but not the forsite or will to achieve their goals and needs -- as one old Czech saying goes. Your eyes were larger than your stomachs -- You took it all from the righful owners -- the homes, the factories, the visible material accets -- but as I seen with my own eyes, you could not maintain what you plundered, since you could not get thie minds -- That is why the ex-pats prospered anywhere they landed, while the plunderes were on a hopless journey to doom, decay and desperation.

    Thus your fear of the ex-pats return is real, for they and only they can make you see your own reflection in the mirror. Unfortunetly, most ex-parts I've know, had the dream of returning home, not to plunder , pllige or steal, but to share what they learned fromtheir travels through the World and bring it home, so the country can prosper and regain it stature as a civilized advance society. The fact the last occupier left, did not free you, since freedom is something one has to work for - it just does not come home on it's own -- The fact, that the old system is still around, is quite obvious,for I'e notices may of the Red Stars were taken off the buildings, but they were not destroyed, and are stored in the basements. The one I liked the best, is the one in Dejvice, like a finger in the sky above the old secret police building, (now hotel and repainted to apease the tourist, so as not to scare them off) that was not taken down, but merely repainted Green!

    I do not have a need for the old propiety -- managed to get my own in a place, where I'm quite certain that I'll not get a know on the door during the night from a politacl boss, who has ambitions to live in my house, becaue he/she likes it better than their own -- That was your past, and as you say, might soon be your present again! Good Luck Ladis to you and the ones that share your views. This is good to know and stay away from. You state, we -- the ex-pats -- are getting old, and will die soon, that is your solution, and the World will froget! I would not take that bet!.But it's nice to know, that there is someone wating for me to die, to be free impose their will..

    Ex-pats are your constant reminder of a failed plan, and our demise will by no means improve your odds. It has been a failure for the past 56 years, and a failure it will remain. So do not hold your breath too long, before you choke on you lost cause...

    Thank you again, for you made my day.

  20. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    Interesting, however, I can't affect what happened to you. Yes, probably the people here fear of the "ex-pats" (does it mean "ex-patriots"?), maybe thus the "problems" with getting Czech citizenship (as it's described in the thread "Czech Citizenship").

    About the forgetting - I watch the reality show "VyVolení" (similar to Big Brother) and a few days ago, the young girl (19 years) and boy (21) there didn't know about the years 1968 (the Soviet occupation of our republic) and 1993 (Czechoslovakia divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia). And I heard from a guest in "VyVolení - Noční show" that maybe it's good that the young generation doesn't know about our past :shock: (In my opinion, older people don't like talking about the time 1948-1989 with young people - my own experience: at the grammar school, the teacher told us to read about this time from the schoolbok ourselves as a homework and that it won't be in the test - so no student read it :lol: :?.)

    BTW I laughed when I was reading about the "Green Star" above the old secret police building - I think, it shows some kind of Czech "resourcefulness" ;). And don't worry about our standards of living :D

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