Dear Fans: We are here, my sister, mother, and of course your faithful correspondent. We spent a full six days in Ceska Budiviche (sp) Budweiss, and did not have a bad meal the entire time of our stay. Very few people spoke English, more spoke German but typical of the Czechs chose not to speak it. We attended the 23rd SVU Czechoslovak congress at the South Bohemia University. It was populated by young Czech nationals and ancient Czechs from all over the North America, and the world .....like Australia. Overall the beer was cheap, and the Budvar brewery tour reminded me of my tour of the Rolling Rock plant in Latrobe, Pennsylvania-that had no roaring fresh water spring anywhere near the plant. Budvar claims their water comes from a 300 meter artisian well--translation it could have been tap water. But the beer was good with warnings to avoid the Budvar Super Strong which our Czech guide advised us was very popular in Germany and especially in Russia as they have a lot of things to drink and forget about. Also, our Czech guide --a nice young woman with some chin whiskers told us about the Czech Republic's version of Mexicans who come in illegally, the government cannot tell you how many are in the country, and are taking all of the jobs away from Czechs. Ukrainians!!!!! Another familiar topic of conversation--just like home--was outsourcing of Czech jobs to China who work for One Dollar or two Crowns a day and has resulted in the closure of many Czech manufacturing jobs. We are now in the cosmopliatan city of Praha, and are paying three times as much for beer. However, the UK piligrams to the land of compartively cheap beer, and available Czech women are always ready to provide new tales of their exploits in love and rugby. Assuming they were sober enough to remember where in Old Town they passed out. One bloke even brought his wife back to Prague to show her where he passed out. And they say the British don't have a sense of humor. Czech Immigration and Visa restrictions to the US seem to be a real problem for young Czechs to visit the States. We all thought it was the fact that most Czechs like the Irish look just like us Americans!!!! Or the Poles for that matter, once you get past US Customs you blend in so well the INS officials chasing the Chinese and Mexican kids just run past them without giving them a second look. Quite a few Czech nationals have explained that the US government is screening the visas to keep the Romas out of the country just like the British who have Immigration officials in the Prague Airport to keep them out of England and claims of asylum. Our Czech friends told us that the word for "liar" and "gypsy" in Slovak is the same word, and the phrase is still used by Czechs that "you talk like a gypsy" to tell a person they are full of manure. On a more enlightened note we did drive to Tabor and visited the Hussite Revolt museum for history buffs it was very enlightening. The South Bohemia Museum in Ceska Budejovice contained an interesting concept on the Czech Meteor that allegedly struck between Prague and Ceska Budejovice and created a large crater that accounts for the rich deposits of silver, malachavite, and garnet. Obviously we were not drinking our way through the Czech Republic. We are planning to visit the Czech National Museum in Praha tomorrow but we do intend to take a tally on the way of all the UK nationals passed out along the way. An interesting observation on our way to the way to the Church of Our Lady of Victories ---where the Infant of Prague is located was the fair number of beggers that would prostrate themselves on the street and even Charles Bridge as if they were praying with their hands holding a baseball cap to hold their donations from the passers by. The use of dogs who would sleep in the arms of these beggers was particularly sad. How I miss the loud and obnoxious panhandlers and squeegie car window washers of New York, it was easy to ignore them without feelings of Catholic guilt. Another observation in the Czech Republic was the total absence of stray cats. It seems like dogs out number the cats in the Czech Republic with the only examples of which we noted were two house cats hanging out in windows. The Czechs really love their dogs, and many shops have idograms prohibiting the entrance of dogs. Oh lest I forget, the Hertz GPS from Ceska Bud. is great in the country until it took us right up to the Cooling Towers of Tremlin on our way to Tabor. It then failed us in Praha, and we had to find our hotel on foot using major landmarks. That was the third failure. If you go into deep woods like cities--the CPS craps out and informs you that are off the grid. Not a comforting feeling when you are a road no bigger than a cowpath with bad asphalt repair jarring the fillings out of your teeth. I cannot recall any major highways outside Praha that were worth a damm. Even E55 a major European Highway was bad. Wait did I tell you that Czechs have discovered New Jersey Concrete barriers`and "circles' what they call round abouts. Makes you homesick for the super highways and jughandles of the Garden State, and Cloverleafs. In sum, the Czech Republic needs some good Yankee roadway engineers to make the roads safe and straight. Another business that Americans in Czechs might want to pursue is the new craze of poiwer washing of buildings. My sister is telling me enough already with the power washing. She had many little girl conversations with the Czech concerieges in the Ceska Bud and came away that women everywhere are the same.