How to be the good kind of British person in the Czech Republic
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Cracking performance, Phil.
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The receptionist raised an irriated recently libertated yet formerly communist eyebrow and walked away. I add Czech Republic to my already dense list of countries’ that I shouldn’t pursue stand-up comedy in' and move on.
Upon entry to my room, I learnt (from a flag) that they don’t call it Czech Republic. They call it Ceska Republica. Explains why the joke didn’t go to plan, I tell myself. I slip the joke in the back pocket, move on, and resolve to use it later when I see other English people. I know you’re probably thinking that they would be aware of what we call their country but do you know what Czech people call England? WELL DO YOU? (It’s Anglie). I don’t know why they do that. I also don’t know why we can’t just call them Ceska Republic. It’s not that hard to say. I know what else you’re thinking, most likely fellow British person; ‘How do I say ‘sorry’ in Czech?’ ‘Just in case’. It’s pardoan.
It’s hard to avoid the sauntering swarm of British ‘Gavin and Stacey style but not funny’ stag parties football-chanting their way around some of Prague’s oldest and most valued historical bits and pieces (Imagine how the Daily Mail would act if thousands of Czech stag parties started storming around Westminster Abbey every day?)
Remember to not be alarmed when you see them; they’re just like you and I, except they react a lot more excitably to when Chelsea Dagger comes on and once went to an Oceana just because a woman from The Only Way is Essex who looked attractive on the telly but unfortunately wasn’t in real life was DJing there.
When seeing other British people abroad, it’s important to acknoweldge them but not get ‘when a dog sees another dog’ overexcited. A stern nod will do. Similar to the one when you’re back home and see a man who is also sitting outside the changing rooms in Topshop also waiting for his girlfriend. Who cares if this results in you not meeting anyone throughout your trip? We're British and have a reputation to uphold.
Everything looks like it was prepared with care in Prague. Even the birds (not the women) here all sound a bit more rhythmic, like you’re waking up to a avian opening few bars of ‘Like Eating Glass’ by Bloc Party. The resemblances stop when the drums come in but I swear to god that’s what they sounded like. It’s an unusual idiosyncrasy for a city to have but it was a nice touch nonetheless.
The city is beautiful. Some say it just looks like Paris but with more lager. But still, beautiful nonetheless.
The people are moderately friendly (this is the country where they decided that Pluto could no longer be a planet) and the beer is very good. I don’t think you need more than two days in Prague. If you especially like castles, then there’s plenty of other Czech for you to explore. If you’re not that bothered about castles, then maybe head off to another bit of Europe.
There are over 2,000 castles in the Czech Republic. Some say it's 'The Castle Capital of the World'. Others say; 'I don't give a shit'. You probably only need to see one to get the point.
Everyone says go to Charles Bridge. It’s alright but I’ve never really been blown away by a bridge. Maybe because we’re so spoilt for bridges back in London. Just save time, climb up to Letna Park, and look at all the bridges at once.
As with a lot of Europe, they bloody love an orange roof.
You can see pretty much everything from Letna Park. Pavel; The ancient Czech God of Hills, got it just right when he chucked a hill up there. You can’t see the whole city but you can see all the important bits. Not like The Shard where you can see too much. No one in London needs to be reminded how close they are to Romford.
Other than that, I don’t think that there’s much else you should definitely do. Go to Old Town of course. Go to the square. Have some roast pork from one of the stalls. Try the traditional Czech desert; trdenik (Not a clue how to pronounce this one. The one time I tried, it came out as ‘trendle-dick’) (that wasn’t right). It’ll take a day or two for your British stomach to get used to the food so remember to stick close to the ‘ol W.C. Also the pints can start at 60p so it would just be bloody rude to avoid those. Also, you're allowed to drink the tap water, which comes in handy as the bottled water seems to cost three times as much as a beer.
Did you know that ‘goodbye’ in Czech is ‘Nashledanou’? Did you also know that just waving is a lot less time consuming than bothering to learn that?Accomodation provided by Famous Hostels. Travel provided by Eurolines.