Every time we go to a party in Berlin, this conversation is inevitable:
Random stranger: So where are you from?
J: From Czech Republic.
Random stranger: Oh! from Prague?
Granted, Prague is the capital and the most famous city in the Czech Republic, and most of the other places have unpronounceable names (for non Czech speakers). But as J points out, there are 10 million people in the country, and only about 1 million of those are from Prague. So if you guess someone is from Prague you have a 90 percent chance of being wrong. And if the Czechman you happen to ask is J, you also have a 90 percent chance of receiving this lecture!
The funny thing is, the Prague story has even started happening to me. Although I’ve told most people where J is from, most of my friends (and even my father) still said to me when I was heading off for Christmas: “Enjoy Prague!”
Prague is a lovely city with a lot of history and beautiful buildings, but there are other places in Czech also worth visiting. Many of the towns still have very beautiful town squares, and the whole country is full of old castles. I love visiting the village he is from and cycling around the surrounding countryside and forests. And there are many places in his country I’d still like to see, such as Brno, another big city where the monk Mendel happened to do his famous sweet pea experiments, coming up with the theory of heredity, and Český Ráj, a nature reserve also known as Bohemian paradise. There are also ski resorts, caves and wine routes.
Adventures still to come!