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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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http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-image31629016OK, so I have never seen America being so smitten by anything like this! Everyone talks about it, you hear it and see it everywhere! It’s blue and it’s cold. Do you know what am I talking about? Because if you don’t, you have been living under a rock!

Yes, yes, it is the movie Frozen:).

In a few days it will be Hahna’s 7th birthday and, of course, she wants her party to be Frozen style. I wanted to buy her Frozen Elsa Barbie….but it is sold out everywhere…at the store, on-line, in Space…simply sold out.

I went to Party City to get some Frozen themed party supplies and the particular aisle was just a single hair from being completely bare. When I was leaving through the entrance door (quite ticked off, actually), this lady bumped into me, not seeing anyone in front of her because – guess what? She was holding a huge balloon of Elsa – probably the last one!

As if that was not enough, on my way to the car I could not overhear a 3 year old girl singing one of the Frozen theme songs called ‘Do you want to build a snowman’ to her mom and when the girl got stuck with some more difficult parts of the song her mom filled them in with such ease, like it was the mother’s wedding song or something. [click to continue…]

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Coldplay ghost stories album cover/ google.comI am sure most of you have seen the latest album cover of the legendary band Coldplay. It’s those magical wings in the midst of a dark, blue ocean…remember? I think Starbucks was advertising the CD at the register for a long time.

Anywhoo, guess who the artist was? A tallented, young, Czech artist named Mila Furstova. She has been living in London since the mid 90’s, living off of her paintings (one of them owns even the English Queen!). And guess how she got to England? She was an Au-pair there for 2 months (like many of us), then she fell in love with and Englishman and……read the rest of the story here (http://www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/inspiration-worked-both-ways-says-artist-mila-fuerstova-of-close-collaboration-with-coldplay).

CZ: Velke vitezstvi pro Ceske umelce! Jeden z nich – tedy jedna z nich – totiz vytvorila obal nove desky legendarni skupiny Coldplay. Jmenuje se Mila Furstova a ac puvodne pochazi z Pribramy, zije v Anglii jiz od poloviny 90. letch. Zbytek jejiho dobrodruzneho zivota se muzete dozvedet zde (http://www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/inspiration-worked-both-ways-says-artist-mila-fuerstova-of-close-collaboration-with-coldplay).

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440244-top_foto1-id6r4The  popular  Czech film festival at Karlovy Vary hosted yet another American movie star. This year it was – drumroll please – MEL GIBSON! Besides introducing his new movie he was also awarded the Crystal Globe (an art deco figure of a naked woman holding a crystal globe) for outstanding artistic contribution to the world cinema.

As he was accepting his new prize, he couldn’t help himself  to comment on it: “It’s just the kind of thing I want. The kind of fantasy I always had. A naked woman holding a ball. It’s great.” :))) [click to continue…]

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postdam.com imageHere is a really cool video on how 1000 years of European history changed the definition of borders. This is what the author says about it (not sure if he is trying to minimize what is happening in Crimea…): “The whole world is watching the crisis in Crimea, and Russia faces off with the USA and European superpowers. The dispute centers around which country the territory should belong to, and it may seem shocking in today’s modern era, but the borders of Europe have never been solid. In this time-lapse video, you can see how 1000 years of European history plays havoc on the stability of the border we take for granted today.” CZ: Jak 1000 let evropske historie zmenilo hranice jednotlivych zemi? Podivejte se na toto video a hned vam to bude vse jasne….jen at se vam z toho nezamota hlava!

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CUSTODY-BATTLE-TUGDivorce is always a sticky thing. But it cannot get any more difficult if there are children involved. My parents divorced when I was 7 years old (there was alcoholism involved) and from then on my brother and I stayed with my mom during the week and saw our dad every other weekend, sometimes during the week. It was hard, yet in our situation quite necessary.

Even till this day it is very common, even if both parents are stable, to give the main custody to the mother…father happens to be out of luck.

I recently came across an article which brought all of those childhood memories back.The Czech custody laws have been recently changing with the court system being more sympathetic to the father. There are cases where he was even given a joint custody!

‘The Czech Republic has one of the highest divorce rates in Europe with one in three marriages –and every second marriage in Prague – hitting the rocks.’  If this new trend of joint custody is going to stay, it will affect the majority of the future generation. [click to continue…]

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rubberband jumpingThis will bring you back, my Czech buddies! Not sure how is this game is called in English (if there is even a name for it) but we used to play it all the time when we were kids. Why? because there was not much else to do after school when you lived in the city during the communist times! All the TV programs started no earlier than 4pm, there was no technology and really no woods to get lost in. So we just played this game on the sidewalk for hours. [click to continue…]

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Yay! Our Czech School San Diego got an attention from a very prominent Czech newspaper Lidove noviny. We spoke to Magdalena, the interviewing lady, for about 3 hours but her writing space was unfortunately limited therefore many things were left undocumented. But that is alright, at least the Czech world now knows about us :). Thanks Magdalena!

The title by the way says ‘Czech women in the US establish schools’.

CZ: Jee, tak mame clanek o nasi ceske skolicce v San Diegu v Lidovych novinach! Je to uspech, i kdyz hodne veci, o kterych jsme si s pani novinarkou Magdalenou povidaly, se tam proste neveslo.
Our Czech School San Diego 2our Czech School San Diego

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beskydy google image / Photo: Jan HusakScreen shot 2014-05-25 at 8.31.35 AMSummer is just about here and that makes me think of vacation, of course. This time we will be exploring the beautiful area of the Czech Republic called Beskydy.Perhaps you have heard the famous Czech folk song called “Beskyde, Beskyde” and now it’s your chance to find out more about it.

My grandma came from Vsetin (a town in Beskydy) and had  many wonderful memories of picking handfuls of blueberries and strawberries in the Beskydy forests….kind of like Hansel and Gretel but she never got lost. With its mountain ridges, deep valleys, gurgling rivers, and wide forests, Beskydy is the largest protected landscape area in the Czech Republic. Its exceptional nature value lies in the original mountainous primeval forest with multiple rare plants and animal species, like the blue snail, for example. [click to continue…]

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