Wednesday, January 03, 2007


In Prague with the family. It is pretty and hence causing me once again to take lots of pictures of things and pretty much none of people (people spoil pictures, also old cars and stuff make pictures look dated in ten years time). I suppose the biggest difference between Prague and Vienna is that because Prague wasn't bombed during the war and never underwent any really major reorganization of the historic center it still has a lot of really cute windy old roads and neat little streets, where Vienna is more impressive for its big grand buildings and open spaces. My parents and brother all like Prague more than Vienna, but I still like Vienna more maybe that is just because I speak German and not Czech and feel a bit like Vienna is my city so I am a bit biased. I never said I was fair.

A few quick notes: Prague is loaded with Russians, I think I have heard more Russian than Czech, not entirely sure why I suppose because it is a bit cheaper than Western and Europe and it is probably easier for Russians to get a visa 2. I can understand a good amount of Czech, but it is more interesting to see how Czech and Russian use the same word for different things, they will both use "dobriy den" to mean "good day," but Czech uses Mecto to mean "city" where Russian uses it to mean "space," Russian also uses narodniy to mean "people's" where Czech uses it for "national," and Czech uses Rodina to mean "family" where Russian uses it to mean "motherland." There are definite connections, it is just different to see where even the words they had in common diverged 3. It is really interesting so see a sort of Eastern European orientalism at play here, people come here and think "former communist country=Soviet Union" and want Soviet kitsch stores are packed with Soviet flasks, Lenin t-shirts, Soviet military stuff, and nesting dolls, but I mean none of that stuff is Czech there in so Czech communist kitsch for their communist party or leaders, it all jumps straight to the Russian and Soviet stuff.

Also, Czech beer is really good.

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