October 19, 2009
Prague was charming and foreign as always. We all stayed in an A&O Hostel about 10 minutes away from the city center. For 10€ a night, it was clean and did the job. Naturally, there was a bar downstairs and we were all given one free Pivo (Czech for beer).
Eastern Europe is still 10+ years behind the rest of the continent in technology and basic social behaviors. The fall of the USSR really had little effect on improving the way of life. There is still a lot of poverty, poor health, prostitution, hard drugs, and a tobacco addiction epidemic.
Unlike the rest of Europe, the Czech Republic has not outlawed smoking inside buildings. I am not used to constant tobacco smoke, let alone tobacco smoke while I am eating a meal.
The lag in constructive progress also has its positives… The middle ages are alive in the heart of the city with daily knight processions, guard changings, and the old market atmosphere.
The Czech drink more beer per person per year then any other country in the world. It isn’t suprising because:
1. The beer is outstanding and available everywhere.
2. It’s dirt cheap; somewhere in the range of 20-30 Kč per half liter. (26 Kč = 1€ at the time of this post.) This price also reflects beer in restaurants and clubs. In Germany, it is normally 3-4€ per half liter.
Upon arriving back at the Munich Hauptbahnhof, I was so relieved to be back in a place where I can understand what is being said to me and how to get around.
Czechisch ist gut, Deutsch ist besser…!