10427213_10204335832068393_7550588325798323426_nAlthough some Czech teenagers would have a hard time remembering why today is the big day for Czechs (and Slovaks), the majority still celebrates the 17th of November as one of the biggest days in their history. Thousands of Czechs gathered in downtown Prague on Monday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Velvet Revolution that destroyed communism.

I remember that day myself – I was there…sitting on my dad’s shoulders….10 years old. Although I am unable to be there today, my friend from Prague posted some cool pictures from the commemoration event on Facebook. One of them looked like the picture below (diky Katko!).

What?

A RED card ?

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suitcase google imageMy mom came for a 2 week visit and it was bitter sweet. The first week you get used to each other and the second week, during which you are finally back to normal, it is time for her to pack again!

It really is hard. The two sides don’t see one another like forever, then you get this intense one-on-one interaction which has to work itself out first. Not even the closest members of family spend 14+ days together straight up. Even if they live next to each other and even if they visit each other once a day for an hour or so, they go back to their home. Therefore, no matter how close you are with your family, with such a fierce visit you are bound to have a squabble at some time.

Moreover, it is not only about me and my hubby anymore (like it used to be) but about the offspring as well! How did they behave during the visit? Hahna, the older one, was a bit quiet and reserved at first, but then she ‘warmed up’ and showed Babi Kuk her true upbeat personality. A 4-year-old Ava, the younger one, is less reserved with her feelings, so she told Babi that she loved her like the 3rd day (babi was very happy) but she also told her – jokingly – that she is excited for her to go home (babi was very sad). This, of course, was not taken as a joke but it was hurtful to my mom, which is understandable. Overall, my mom loved playing with them but you could also tell she is not used to the level of activity and volume the two little animals can create….especially during driving!!! [click to continue…]

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20121021-002251If you have some up-coming nuptials with the love of your life, you’ll be looking to have one last weekend without a ball and chain with your friends to celebrate. Prague is renowned for its culture, tourism and best of all, nightlife making it the perfect place to enjoy a European city break. The Czech capital has been the epicentre of Central Europe for over a thousand years, becoming steeped in both political and economic history.
Prague is home to some of the best bars within the Czech Republic, with one of the more popular being the Absintherie. The venue is a specialist in the strong alcoholic spirit absinthe (my husband’s favorite), offer visitors a wide variety of drinks ranging from different countries around Europe. Served in a glass with dry ice, absinthe has a very high percentage rating, so it is best enjoyed responsibly if drinking it straight. However, the bartenders are more than welcoming, offering patrons a range of absinthe based cocktails to whet their appetite. [click to continue…]

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Bone ChurchI came across the article called “The most terrifying places on Earth”. Completely confident that I would see a picture of ‘The Bone Church’ from Kutna Hora, I clicked on it and guess what?? There was no Kostnice listed!! I am about to write a snippy letter to the editor and CORRECT him on his HUGE mistake.

 

CZ: Predstavte si, ze Halloweenovsky clanek v novinach o nejstrasidelnejsich mistech na svete nejmenoval nasi KOSTNICI v Kunte Hore??? Jsem z toho naprosto znechucena a uz saham po peru a papiru, abych vynadala tomu editorovi….

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music-notesIf you are like me and like to listen to children Czech songs with your kids while driving AND if you are like me and are tired of the same old traditional stuff like “Prsi, prsi, jen se leje“, “Skakal pes pres oves” and so forth, THEN I have a good news for you. There are some GREAT new, hip Czech songs out there and my family loves them! Here is the list:

CZ: Jestli jste jako ja a uz nemuzete poslouchat one odrhovacky jako “Prsi, prsi” nebo “Skakal pes pres oves”, mam pro vas dobrou zpravu. Existuji totiz i aktualni zpevaci a skladatele detskych pisnicek, kteri jsou vyborni! Tady jsou:

  • Screen shot 2014-10-11 at 8.33.13 AMPiskomil se vraci

 

 

 

 

  • Screen shot 2014-10-11 at 8.29.24 AMPaskarek v rohliku I and II

 

 

 

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tuberculosis google imageThis is a great news for those who got vaccinated against Tuberculosis!

In order to volunteer at my daughter’s school I was ordered a TB test and was not very happy about it since I thought the test would be positive (my last TB vaccine was in 1987). This would mean going to get a chest X-Ray like EVERY YEAR since they want us to do the TB testing once a year.

But lo and behold, I tested negative! Not sure why or how, perhaps the TB antibodies are too old to fight back?? Or they are just not there anymore? Either way, I wanted to share this exciting news with you since many of the Czechmate Diary readers are Czech moms dealing with the same things as I am dealing with…in this case it was volunteering at school.

 

CZ: Uz neni potreba se bat TB testu! Podle ockovaciho prukazu jsem byla naposledy ockovana v roce 1987, ale pozitivne se jiz netestuji!!

 

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5123403For the San Diego crowd this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Czech violin genius Mr. Svěcený to perform his best pieces. And the greatest part? The admission is FREE!!!!

Here is some further info:

Czech School San Diego and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles 

present

Jaroslav Sveceny and Julie Svecena

in a concert where two generations of violinists meet on one stage to play famous as well as rarely-heard works for two violins from the 18th to the 21st century by Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, Boieldieu, Arriagada, Svěcený, Leclair and Bériot. They will also perform the American premiere of Svěcený’s new piece of sacral music “Church Phantasy for a Solo Violin”.

October 27th, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Village Church (Sanctuary)
6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Free admission
Seats are limited, please reserve your tickets at nhkaminsky@yahoo.com or register at www.czechschoolsandiego.com

 

 

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Optimist-Pessimist-Realist

A couple of people have asked me to write a post on positive aspects of Czech personality. One Czech lady, for example, was very upset when her Irish husband was searching on the web about the good attributes of the Irish, yet when he did the same thing for the Czechs nothing came up. Well, it is time to change the Google prospective on us!

Although we do have many negative attributes, they are well balanced by the positive ones. Well, most of the time….

 

1. We don’t wear pink glasses. We don’t walk on clouds. We are REALISTS (and,well, the negative comments sometimes come with it). Have you seen any Czech person buying a lottery ticket? That’s because we honor the fact that 99.9999999% of the time that person does not win. It is a waist of money.

2. We are honest (and yes, the negative comments sometimes come with it). If we get asked an opinion, we just say it. An exception would be woman’s hair. If we get asked about what we think of someone’s hair, and even though it looks horrible, we will most likely lie. We are not that evil.

3. We are strict with our children. That is how we were raised and that is what we like. We hate brats.

4. We are street smart. We were raised in rough times, which taught us to be resourceful and think twice about stuff.

5. We are good cooks. Our moms and grandmas had to cook everything from scratch, we had to help them as kids and that is why we know how to move smoothly in the kitchen.

6. We are frugal. Almost to the point of being cheap. If there is a deal in town we will be the first ones in line to get it.

7. We are athletic. The Czechs love to spend their energy in nature. Whether it is by swimming in a local pond, or skiing or hiking, we love to sweat in the presence of nature. That is why we have so many great athletes! Practice makes perfect.

8. We are hard workers. We like to get the job done quick and right. Forget the 6 office assistants in one office. How about you fire the five and keep the most capable one (possibly with a Czech heritage).

9. We make good best friends. You need a best friend? Search through the Czech community.People may give you the cold shoulder at first but once they warm up and get to know you more, they will be there if you need help. Just don’t ask them if they like your hair because they may just tell you the truth!

10. We have golden hands. We can fix just about anything. Don’t believe me? There is even a Czech saying about it: “Cesi maji zlate rucicky”.

CZ: Je na case, abychom Google dali nejake pozitivni informace o ceske nature. Ja jsem prisla s 10ti body, ale jestli vas napaden neco jineho, dejte vedet! Bodu muzemem mit treba milion!

1. Jsme realiste

2. Jsme pravdomluvni

3. Jsme prisni na nase deti

4. Jsme chytri (v poulicnim stylu ;)

5. Jsme vyborni kuchari

6. Jsme setrni/skromni

7. Mame sportovniho ducha

8. Jsme drici

9. Jsme dobrymi nejlepsimi kamarady

10. Mame zlate rucicky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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babicka_1971According to a recent poll the role of a classic Czech grandma, who sees her meaning of life in an unconditional care for her grandchildren, is gone in a not-so-distant past.

When we were little most grandmas were basically slaves; but  the happy kind,  the part-of-the-family kind of slaves.The parents had to work, and  the Communist after-school program was considered only if there was no grandma available. So, babicka would pick children up from school, drop them off at the ballet or a piano class, wait until it is over and walk them back home (most of them did not have a driving license). Since a lot of grandmas lived with the immediate family, they would also make lunches and sometimes even dinner….and clean up and fold the laundry.

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prague-zooI think we did pretty good if the TripAdvisor is rating the Prague ZOO as the 7th best in the world! The first place is taken by the Nebraska ZOO (!!), the second place is none other than the San Diego ZOO, and the third place went to the Spanish ZOO in Puerto de la Cruz.

The last time I went to the Prague ZOO was about 25 years ago so it’s about time to revisit that place. I bet I would not recognize it anymore! Of course, it is hard to please someone who lives in Southern California and goes to Seaworld and the San Diego Zoo on a regular basis ;).

 

CZ: Juhuu!! Prazska zologicka zahrada vyhrala podle TripAdvisora cestne 7. misto z celeho sveta! Tomu rikam pocta! Uz jsem tam par desitek let nebyla, tak je na case se podivat, jak ji vylepsili. Samozrejme, ze pro nekoho, kdo ma San Diego ZOO a Sea World temer za rohem, to bude asi strasna nuda ;).

Source: http://www.novinky.cz/domaci/344324-prazska-zoo-byla-vyhlasena-sedmou-nejlepsi-na-svete.html

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