The most clever Czech invention ever!

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

  1. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    Interesting point you make. On my last evening in Prague, I was in a group of 8 - in their 40's and 50's -- that I invited for a parting dinner as a thank you gesture to the people & spauses that helped me locate some missing family records. As we walked to the restaurant, I stopped by a "memorial marker"on a wall, to read the name, DOB & DOD, short prayer and snap a picture ( one of those things us old people do).

    When finished, I noticed that I was standing there all alone -- as in a vaccum of time and space -- and the lively chatty group, was standing about 15M away, with the back to me, in dead silence. I rejoined the group, we started walking and in a few minutes the chatt and livliness resumed. Later on in the evening, after we parted, I asked the lady companion in her early 40's (a distant relative of my bio father) what "happedned" on the street earlier that evening. Was anyone offended? No, she replied, but we do not like think or talk about those times. I did not quite understand why, but let it go. However, I did notice, the memorial did have an old dried out reef, "someone" has placed there perhaps on the last all saints day (dusicky?). Matter of fact, the numerous memorials I photographed all over Prague, they all had some old flowers or reefs on them. Therefore someone does still remembers and cares!

    By the way, the restaurant was somewhere in Smichov -- I was driven, and did not pay atention to directions -- were all 8 had a good meal, each had the polite beer or two, live band was playing and th total bill came to 1,820 Kc with tip (service) included. I even left the waiter the change of 2.000Kc and added a 100Kc. Dinner & drinks for 8 for less that $100.00 USD is really a deal in Prague, Not everyone is out to stick it to the tourist. But that is where Czechs go (no English spoken) and a casual traveler seldom finds, unless he/she is in the company of locals

    Anyway, ignoring or forgeting history may temporarily avoid one to face the "problem" or "reality", but then in the long run, it poses a danger that "history" will repeat itself. In the US for many years -- the 60's, 70's, 80's & 90's all High School books, only had only a brief mention -- short paragraph of 6 lines -- of the Vietnam conflict! What is happening today? Is it possible, that the lack of teaching/ignoring history to our young put is in the present situation. That is why oldtimers, try to tell the past to the young, so they do not make the same mistakes. We don't want them to have to suffer the same consequences as we did.Face up to your past, and perhaps then you can build a better, brighter future! If for nothing elese, you will know when the politicians are snowing you and telling you selfserving lies. The Czech people have a long peppered history of good & bad, and the same events (similar) seem to "repeat" itself over and over for 100's of years. The Czechs need to stat going forward, and keep going. This two steps forward and two steps back, is good for the shoe industry, and sells more shoes. But the people just do not get anywere. Learn from the past my freind...

    For 40 some years plus you could not wait to get rid of the communist system, and now after a 16 year try at freedom ( with mostly the same breed of politicians ), you are considerg going back --since it was allegedly better -- The grass is greener accross the fence syndrom. Open your eyes, and look, and perhaps this time you will see. The answers are all in the past, so don't ignore it -- The Czech history, improve it, not just repeat it!

  2. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    It's interesting, how the mind of young people can be influenced (suppressing the past and/or saying lies), and this young will teach their children what they learned from their parents :?. I've just finished reading very interesting article about two 13-years neonaci girls which are brought up by their mad mother who pushes the lies in their heads (the original article in Czech, for English version, try their official website). I don't understand, why Nazism is not prohibited in the USA :?.
  3. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    I'm a little late with this comment, but anyway... Viktor, I wish the communist party was banned in 1989. I regret it wasn't and I'm angry that the communists now have an important say in the Czech government. However, when I see the occasional red star or other remnant of communism on a building somewhere, I don't take it seriously. I understand it as a display of the Czech sense of humor - irony, sarcasm, recese - and as proof that we are now living in freedom and are not told whether or not we can put communist stars, American flags or Christian crosses in our windows.

    If I may make a request, I would like to ask you to try to stop generalizing in your posts and making the Czech Republic sound like a country of thieves. My parents experienced the invasion in 1968, lived through communism, were punished for not being members of the party and taught us kids how filthy a regime communism is. They didn't emigrate when they had the brief chance after the invasion because they didn't imagine in their wildest dreams that the crap would last for 20 years. They had a small kid, they had family and friends here, they didn't speak a foreign language. So they stayed. Which doesn't mean they participated in the system and stole property from others. They never had anything to do with a single communist and didn't participate in the communist ways you describe. The same goes for the friends they had back then and for lots of people who were against the regime but felt powerless to change anything. And I don't think Ladis who I'm guessing is in his early 20s is the one who stole the homes, the factories, the material assets, and did all the plundering. He's just explaining how things are for people of his generation, which I think is a meaningul addition to the discussion.

    If the Czech Republic is as rotten as you suggest and the USA is to be followed as an example of perfection, what do you have to say about the fact that a road in Oregon, USA was legally sponsored by the American Nazi Party earlier this year as part of the Adop-A-Highway program? We have a green star in Dejvice, America has their Nazi ads on the roadside. Apparently all in the name of democracy. America is not perfect and I hope you know it. Just look at the president.
  4. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm 23 and attended the first grade at a basic school during the revolution in 1989 :p
  5. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Natzizm or Communism is not prohibited in the USA. However, during the 50's there was a big ati-communism movement known as the McCarthy
    ( senator Joseph McCarthy 1954) era .He was nutty senator with a dictator complex,motivated by the Korean conflict to "purify" America where every one accused by him or his committee, even without cause was forced to apear before the committee ( much like the old Salem Which hunts of the 1600's), judged by them, fined or jailed and mostly financialy ruined. His main targets were intelectuals, artists and the Hollywood types -- The methods he applied was not much diffrent that Stalin's MO, but he was bebunked before he got to "executing anyone. Given a chance, he probably would off, but he never got to .

    Hence , the only legal requirement is for an "alternate political party" is, that the party and it's members must register with the governent . Thus as you see, , we do not have a "perfect" democracy per se, since the Repubilicans or Democrats do not have to be officialy registered anywhere. Then we have sort of "agreed up on" free elections -- look at the recent 2000 election, popular vote did not elect the Presidedn, but rather the "electoral" college, as per the constitution becuse our founding fathers did not "trust" the public to vote correctly (1776 mentality)and that they were too "stuopid" to know who is the right candidate. This still stands today...

    Therefore, if we had multiple political parties in the US, the electoral college system would not work, since it is a"winner takes all" -- the candidate who has the most votes in that state, take all electroral votes -- and the losser votes are nullified. They do not transfer polpular votes from state to state, so as the popular vote can out power the electoral!..

    It's a mess, and it's been like this since 1776 , for the past 229 years it has worked, since we did have to change the form of government. We only alternate the crooks every 4 -8 years - most students in the US do not learn this in school (ignorance is belssed policy), you only come accross this in college, if you happen to study political science, government or law. It is a flawed and perhaps deceiving process, but it seems to "have worked" -- Americans (the general public) are not as passionate about politics as are most Europeans. I've my hamburger, my wheels, maybee a job and a few bucks for a beer. All's OK, since we know that politicians are inherently crooks, who eventuasly find the Lord and repent. We printed "In God we trust" on our money, and let Him take care of the details -- Here, it's mostly were people help people and the government does not realy do that much for individual, but takes collects taxes, and then distribute the bounty among it's friends. Some of that generosity filers down to the public. Everibody eats (at times with the heltp of private charity), we have no revolutions, or unnecesary government involvement in your private life --they make us wear seat belts so the insurance companies have an excuse not to pay your claim for failure to comply. Big deal, since the seat belt is only effective 50% of the time, Tye raise taxes on the ciggarett, to make them out of your reach, for your own good health -- but the taxes are them passed down to insurance companies, and the fines collected from the tabacco manufactures are distibuted to some politicians son-in-law so he can built a bridge for 50M over a river that goes nowhere and maybee 50 people will use annualy, just to see what is on the other side!

    Not perfect, but workable and constant. No big changes, repainting or removing symbols (Like Red Stars) , no revolutions or big national strikes -- the worker does not realy have much if any laws protecting him/her so we all screw the employer as much as we can and get away with it - since his income is at least 100X of what you make, but he/she can't affort to give you a small rise. Thus we all live mostly in harmony, finish paying for our houses after 30 years and paid the bank 4 times the original purchase price. At 65 retire, mostly on a Social Security Pension, since your employer declared bankrupcy, and took off to the Bahmas with the funds of your pension plan( out of reach of the American law ) six ( 6) months after you retire...

    Thus as you see, the "alternate political" parties are legal and every election we have the results of : 1% Comminist. 2% Green Party, 2% Ralpf Nader, 3% Pat Paulson ( a famous commedian who ran in every presidential election until his death--natural -- for the past 40 some years), but these are "tollerated" since in fact, they tend to help squing the electoral college towars the desired results in the "Winner Takes All" sweepstakes.

    The redeeming factor of our not so perfect system is, that I can write this and do not have to "FEAR", that some gorilla will come to my door in the eary hours of the night, to ship me to the nearest uranium mine or worse. Take my house, all my personal possessions and rape my wife/girfreind just for fun, We do indeed have what is our most cherrished posession: DUE PROCESS, that is what decocracy is in a nutshell , Not the character sitting in the White House. Those charactes we change every 4 years, as one would a pair of dirty socks...

    Three more years, we'll all have a new pair of socks, hopefully they will be more confortable than the last pair!

  6. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    I hope my last post, somewhat "cleared" my positon. I'm not anti-Czech and fully realize,much like we do have in the US --only 51% allegedly voted for the present President -- hence, 49% of us are a bit unhappy. Thus I relize that 100% of the Czechs did not eleact the present power structure. Elections are "manipulated everywhere". You lived here and know how our "dead" manage to register to vote inelctions 20 years after death, and yet, our former President Carter (with good intentions), travels the world monitoring the fairness of the outcome (hypocracy?), but where was in in 2000

    Racist/ethnic segregation is and was the "cornerstone" of the foundation of this nation. The founding fathers were also supporters and slavery and owners. But over the years, things are slowly changing for the "better", it will never be perfect, but the system is slowly being re-tuned and refgined.

    The Oregon and 6 surrounding states, have been playing with the "separation" movement since the 50's -- they want their own country. Texas is playing with spliting in half --to create more political positons-- The South wants to rise again! People are resitent to change, The racists do not want equality, they want it to be as it was. Slavery, at least in it's modified form, is still very much alive in the US due to tha fact, that we have no labor laws at all to protect the worker. Business would love to return to the 20's -30's, were you were paid a $1.00 per day until you dropped dead -- then they shipped your dead smelly carcass to your kin, and charged them for shipping. If you did not pasy, the Sheriff would come to collect or you go to jail -- This is not that long ago , and some of it is still covertly going on. But we are improving,not by starting a completly NEW SYSTEM, but slowly hammering on the flaws and hopefully
    keep on improving and at the same time keeping the UNION TOGETHER.

    The Czech Republic is also titering on the precipis of collaps. My observation while there was, many are trying to "return" to the old ways -- they are the ones who "lost" their political patronage positions ( I call them the Red Haired ladies, since it appears that all the "old guard" bureaucrats (females) at the government offices, dye their hair RED -- males wear shirts with the collar at least one size too big, squeesed together with the widest tie I've ever seen, except on a circus clown).

    The bells of discontent are ringging loud through out the Czech Republic. That perhaps is why all the rush to make all the cash as fast as possible
    is the goal --for the lean times ahead-- I hope that I'm wrong, but if history repeats itself, the writting is there on the wall -- to an outsider, who has been gone for far too long -- to me it looks very much like my parents described the events of 1948.

    What is the solution I do not know --I'm not or never was a politician -- waht the system need, is more people like you Dana, a person who has seen the "other side" of the fence, and know for a fact, that the grass is not realy that much greener if at all. Young people, with the infusion of new ideas are needed to progerss -- unconventional crazzyness tells me, that the current "Power structure" is affraid of NUTS/IDEALISTS like me. Ex-Patriots who not only surrvived, but also succeeded out of country in their new lifes all over the globe -- As Ladis so eloqeutly put it: THEY ARE WAITING UNTIL WE ALL DIE OUT- for fear of a infussion of new ideas, that would upset the "status quo cart!"

    Truthfully, I beleive that not oo many NEED their confiscated proprieties back to make it or survive. We are not rich, but have managed to provide for ourselves and families to live out our lives quite comfortably. That is why the "system" dreads even the taught of any of us returning back home. For as Sacrotes, we could currupt the mind of the youth, not by teaching them anything new, but as a midwife, merely facilitate the birth of their taughts. Everithing is possible, you just have to give it a try, but the system does not want anyone to try anything new, for that is foreign to them and will then be thier final demise. Old Tom (Masarik) gave it a try back them, when he brought back home what he learned abroad, unfortunetly Adolf had other ideas, and our friends - Brits & French --chose ton to fullfill their mutual aid commitment, and sacrificed the Czech lands/ people to gain some time to save their own behind.

    Masarik's ideas were again ressurected after the War, but the Commies used the war as a "failure and cause of the Greman occupation" and sold the people a bill of goods. All were hungry, and the offer of a free meal sure sounded good. As later was discoverd, too goods to be true, but now with the "slovak brothers liberator " tanks at every corner, a bit too hard
    to change ones mind. Put up with it, or you get a lifetime job at the local uraniu mine.

    I hope you see, that I'm not maliciously generalizig -- but if the current leadership has won the elections, there must be at least 51% of supporters, hopping to regain their past glory and a political patronage jobs - that is a taugh opponent to overcome, the "promisse of all those birds in the bush, make one greedy and overlook the one you have in hand. Bringing in people from other lands to settle -- rather than allowing ex-pats to return -- with cash to purchase questionable titled proprieties is safer and more profitable. Beside, they'll never vote or run for political office anyway. Loudmouth ex-pats like me are ambundant all over the globe, and that would certainly upset status quo cart in no time if we returned! Ladis, chew on this for a while, and let me know how close is my assessment of the situation...

  7. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    I don't worry about the returning the old regime. Even when communists reach some positions in the goverment after some elections, the capital in CR is so much connected with foreign countries, that there are impossible things such as a nationalizing (the owners - the big foreign companies - would press governments in the countries, their headquarters are, to do something against losing their property in CR).
  8. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    Victor, I stopped to read your hateful rantings on page three. You strike me as a person who is not happy unless there is something to complain about. This is typical of you. I remember your previous posts where you berated castles and cathedrals - to you they were not things of beauty but monuments to human suffering. The number of your mishaps during the visit to CR clearly exceeds the average - you seem to be a magnet for negative experiences. I wonder whether you are able to register anything positive. All your complaints boil down to one thing: counting your money. If that's your principal interest then you are no better than those who you accuse.
  9. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Hello Eva:

    1) If you read all my posts (120), you might find that they are about equaly divided between positive and negative comment. Thus your fist observation is bias hog wash!

    2)You are not qualified to judge what makes me happy!

    3)The Castel/ Cathedral tell me were was I wrong:
    Who built them?
    Who lived in them?
    Who did they protect?
    What purpose they served to improve life?Who's life?
    What was the source of money to funds them?
    What did society (locals) benefit from them?

    4)The average visitor to the Czech Republic comes for a 5 day visit, and usualy use the services on ONE (1) hotel, ONE (1) city. I there 29 days and stayed at FIVE (5) diferent hotels. Therefore, my exposure to the elements/scams was 5.8 greater than the average. I was in morer restaurants, and exposed to more people than AVERAGE. Also, the fact that I might be a bit more OBSERVANT than the averge -- a natural tallent -- or that I do not get DRUNK as the average ( the entire period, I doubt I drank more than 15 "polite" beers), therefore, less slips by me!

    5) Where you get the "counting your money" I do not know. I might be called a "cheep skate" by scammers, for I do not let people abuse my generosity, nor do I like being overcharged -- I know how to count my change -- so this last comenet, I do not know how to rebut,and feel thast you just put it in for a dramatic ending.

    Finnaly, if this forum only wants POSITIVE comments of ones expereinces, just stipulate it in the posting rules or limit how many complaints ( negative experiences) one may post per visit to the Czech Republic! I do not know you, nor I'm as intuative (psychic) as you, therefore, I can not comment what you strike me as. I dop not take crap from ANYONE, Czechs or any other people, and tell it like it is, and it feels TO ME. Hence, if you let people walk all over you, with a ear to ear smile on you face. It's OK with me also. But do not expect me or anyone else see the world through your pink colored glasses. We all see the world from a different angle and different times, hence unless I missed something, I do not remeber you ever being named authority to determine what is considered to be GOOD or BAD. What might feel good or nice to you, an other person might think just the opposite. That is how normal and mature people are in this world. WE ALL DO NOT LIKE THE SAME THINGS OR HAVE THE SAME OPPINION ON EVERITHING. You should undrstand that, that is why they sell all different hair colors/hues, so as everyone does not look the same. Only clones are identical copies!

    Thank you very much, and I still think Casltes were instruments of power, oppression and torture of the human kind, built by the sweat and blood of subjegetad labor for the benefit of the few, who considered them selves Lords of the Land with God like power above reproach, whos only source of income was obatined by the oppresasion of his subjects that were considered expendable. The were not condos or subsidized housing for the masses!.
  10. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    did you know it is actually President MasarYk (for such a firm believer of the First Republic, you should at least spell Tatíček Masaryk's name right :) :roll: ) you can blame for not being able to get your Czech citizenship and thus your property back? he signed an agreement with the u.s. in 1928 i believe basically stating that any czech citizen who applies for u.s. citizenship automatically has czech citizenship revoked and vice versa. czech citizens who either took no other citizenship or the citizenship of any other country received czech passports almost immediately upon applying after 1989 and thus the right to reclaim property (i know of many cases that did so, either from canada or australia). i do however also know of several cases of czech citizens who never left who afre still fighting to have their property returned. usually it has to do with the use the property is now serving - i.e., original structures were pulled down and new housing built on the spot, and the like, thus not only people who left are being singled out
  11. HampshireLad

    HampshireLad Active Member

    If you could write that book, that would be most helpful, and I'm sure it would become a bestseller - trust me on this one :D
  12. cecco angiolieri

    cecco angiolieri Well-Known Member

    PostPosted: 13-Nov-05 10:06

    if this forum only wants POSITIVE comments of ones expereinces, just stipulate it in the posting rules or limit how many complaints ( negative experiences) one may post per visit to the Czech Republic!

    I do agree with Viktor.... and i want to add that heaven isn't a place/city/country on earth.... therefore czech rep. and its cities aren't paradises as well..... be polite and let Viktor and other ppl (me in example) express their dubts about what i ,without regrets, call a blind and one-way-only view of czech society expressed by many ppl in those forums.
    I want to give you a hint :
    * about the friendlyness in czech rep. look at similar web sites) and check how many ppl do complain about staffs in hotels/bars/restaurants/etc (not only Viktor) in Prague.
    * Mr. Viktor can be direct and look to someone rude in his critics but you cannot deny that he's just giving out his impressions.... just accept this :
    Opinions too, we are in a democratic forum, aren't we?

    P.S. i still have to find someone who likes the idea to pay double for a menu (printed) in english/french/spanish/italian, when then he/she have to show it to the waiter/waitress to let him/her see which number the eng/fr/es/it food is... cos ok... the menu is in another language but the waiter only speaks czech!!!!
  13. lindsova1

    lindsova1 New Member

    OK, complain all you want, but don't attack people like me who live here and love it.
  14. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    There is some truth in what you say, Viktor, but I'm not sure these monuments are such symbols.

    Actually, from what I read, written by scholars, pyramids, temples, castles, cathedrals, you name them, were never built by slaves, but by specialized workers and engineers proud of their achievements. Theirs was the most advanced technique of their times. They were organized in corporations with a strict hierarchy where knowledge was transmitted from master to mate to apprentice. Do you think that the NASA or Ariane Espace specialists regard themselves as the slaves of the oligarchy?

    Personally I am very proud of all the monuments we have in France, and like many other Frenchmen, old and young, when I visit one, I have always a thought for the remarkable men who built them. We admire them. We know they were rewarded, and these monuments stand in honour of their memory.

    Incidentally what you said has been said about the pyramids. It's an old saw. There is even a Communist character in Agatha CHRISTIE's Death on the Nile who vents the same ideas.
  15. John Rihacek

    John Rihacek Active Member

    To Dana and friends:

    Even in the land of Normalacy-service is not always the best. In the past
    two years, I have been to Arizona, Oregon,and West Virgina. The common complaints of East Coast expats in Arizona was that the locals did
    not know the meaning of the word "immeidately" or today. Sadly the same is true for the scenic state of West Virgina. On the other hand, Oregon still had the pioneer spirit and good work ethic. So it depends where you go in the world. My uncle owns a restaurant outside of Atlanta
    Georgia, and the quality of the employees is likewise poor.

    With time the Czech Republic will improve. I read somewhere that Czechoslovakia had the 8th largest GNP before WWII but fell to a third
    world nation under communism. It will take time for the Golden Years to
    return, and will not happen overnight.
  16. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    There can be no doubt about serious improvements in the economy of the former Czechoslovakia. The currencies of Czechia and Slovakia have been rising steadfastly for the past ten years, and this is evidence enough. Now that they are members of the European Union, things should be even better.
  17. brook

    brook Well-Known Member

    Speaking as someone who grew up in the South I think this has more to do with culture than with customer service. I know many New Englanders who get frustrated by the slow pace of the south. It's not that they are bad at customer service (honestly, that can be *anywhere*) more that they don't see what the hurry is. It's just a different way of looking at the world. Plus, you really will get bad customer service if you are pushy with someone in the south!

    As bad as customer service can be in the Czech Republic, I think this is also true there. Granted, you don't have to accept bad service, but you might have less stress in your life if you simply accept that it is different. It also helps to have a sense of humor. :) That's the only thing that saved me from wanting to strangle a few people. :wink:
  18. saillael

    saillael Well-Known Member

    Yes, customer service is dubious everywhere. I have lived in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Newport Beach, California. I have travelled to many more places in and out of this country, and I think for the most part the customer service you receive depends on two things: First the mood and/ or work ethic of the person serving you, and perhaps most importantly, your own attitude and demeanour to that person. We recently ate at a restaurant in a Knoxville, TN and right out of the gate, the waiter let us know he was not happy to be there. Well we poured on the southern charm and jollied him in to a much better mood and he turned out to give us really good service.

    But there are some places where no amount of pleasantness will get you good customer service. I have never been to a Macy's department store anywhere and gotten good service. The salesperson's motto at Macy's when asked a question is, "I don't know, this isn't my department," which is sometimes augmented with a, "You can look over there." I thought that was your job!
  19. Saillael, I believe you have "hit the perverbial nail on the head" here :idea: :p I found Czech service frustrating but I am now experiencing similar service occurring more frequently in my home country Australia :cry:
    I used to get by with a smile but it doesnt come across a telephone line as well as it does across a shop counter :)
    The old saying "the customer is always right" was lost along the way many years ago, and to try first with a smile just doesnt seem to open any better dialogue.
    I have been to Czech twice in the last 5 years, and I am due to return for the third time in a couple of weeks. My impression of Australian customer service will now hopefully, lend me to perservere and praise the Czech service providers. They may just be better than what I have experienced here in Aus :?
  20. Ink4u2

    Ink4u2 Active Member

    After reading all your posts re: Lousy Customer Service in the CZ, I wonder what will happen when I go to shop in Prague in July while visiting! Do you recommend certain areas to those of us unfamiiar with the city to shop for reasonably priced gifts to bring back to friends and family in the USA? I would appreciate a "head's up" about where to avoid shopping ie: tourist traps....


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