The picture above is of an advert on the window of vacant retail premises near where we live. It is advertising an 80% reduction on the cost of frames and a 70% reduction on the cost of lens at an Optician’s Shop further along the street. But how far away is the Optician’s Shop? It isn’t a simple round 100 metres. Nor is it slightly further at 110 metres. No – it is exactly 111 metres!
This is an example of something we see quite regularly on a variety of signs here in the Czech Republic. An exactness in distance that borders on the absurd. For from where is it 111 metres to the Optician’s Shop? The poster itself is about 2 metres wide. From which end of it does anyone start measuring? And is it 111 metres to the beginning of the shop window, or to the shop door, or until one arrives at the shop counter?
Here are two more examples, this time for the benefit of car drivers, advertising how far it is to drive until you reach our newly opened Kaufland Supermarket. But surely 1 km and 2 km would do perfectly well? Once more it begs the question as to where in the Kaufland complex is the end point of this exact measurement. The route a car would take from the vehicular entrance on the public road to a car parking spot, well exceeds 100 metres.
If anyone can offer me an explanation for interesting Czech phenomenon I would love to hear from you. As always, comments are welcome. However, I do think there are some Czech people who do see the absurdity of this over-exactness with regard to distance. Possibly one such person is the owner of a shop called ‘Hardware & Software Services’, an interesting English name for a Czech business As you can see in the photograph below, this shop is only 1 metre away. However, the advert is on the side of the shop building and the entrance door is literally around the corner!