Hot dogy anyone? 🙂 © Ricky Yates
Right from the beginning of my time spent living and working in the Czech Republic, one of the things that has constantly amused me, is seeing an English word on a shop, an advertising hoarding, or in a menu, with the letter ‘y’ added to the end of the word. For example – a sports shop advertising that it sells ‘Snowboardy’ and ‘Skateboardy’.
There is a simple explanation as to why this occurs – adding the letter ‘y’ to the end of a noun, is the most common way in Czech, to make a word plural. It is the virtual equivalent of adding the letter ‘s’ in English, so that ‘snowboard’, becomes ‘snowboards’.
However, very few of even the most fluent English-speaking Czechs, understand why ‘snowboardy’ and ‘skateboardy’ . . . → Read More: Why adding the letter ‘y’ is so funny
November 2015 was quite an ecumenical month. Not only did I sit through a nearly two hour meeting in Dresden, conducted predominantly in German and attended by various German Protestant ministers and theologians, I also attended two important services in Prague, conducted in Czech.
On 21st November, I was an ecumenical guest of the Ceskobratrská církev evangelická/Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren – the main Czech Protestant Church. The service was to bid farewell to the Moderator and Synodal Council of the Church for the past six years, and to welcome and formally install their successors who had been elected a few months previously. The service was held in Salvátor Church in central Prague which is effectively the ‘Protestant Cathedral’.
Salvátor Church © Ricky Yates
Whilst the . . . → Read More: Two Ecumenical events from November 2015
Kraków, Poland © Ricky Yates
You would think that with Poland and the Czech Republic being next-door to each other, and with Polish and Czech both belonging to the West Slavic group of languages, the two countries and their respective populations, would have much in common. Surprisingly, they don’t! Whilst what follows is based on seven years of living in the Czech Republic, and only the past five days travelling through Poland, I hope it still has some validity 🙂
Some contrasts are indisputable. The area of Poland is four times greater than that of the Czech Republic. Driving across Poland these last few days has forcibly brought this home to me. It is a big country! Likewise, the population of Poland is nearly four times greater than that of the Czech Republic – 38.5 million against 10.5 million.
But even with the . . . → Read More: Contrasts between the Czech Republic and Poland
Havel navždy – Havel forever. © Ricky Yates
I had originally planned to write a blog post on this topic back in November 2014, immediately following the ‘Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day’ public holiday on Monday 17th November, which officially marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Velvet Revolution on 17th November 1989. But rather than write an immediate reaction, I eventually decided that it was better to wait somewhat longer and give myself a little more time for both research and for reflection.
For although the events of 17th November 1989 were what initially triggered the Velvet Revolution, it took several weeks before on 29th December 1989, the previously Communist Party controlled rubber stamp Czechoslovak parliament, voted dissident playwright Václav Havel, to be the new President of Czechoslovakia with the promise of holding truly democratic parliamentary elections in . . . → Read More: Twenty-five years on from the Velvet Revolution
The entrance to Vojenské nemocnice, the Military Hospital © Ricky Yates
On Wednesday 30th April, I paid my fifth visit in the last nine months, to see a Czech dermatologist at Vojenská Nemocnice, the Military Hospital here in Prague. It prompted me to think that I really ought to write a blog post all about my experience, along with a brief explanation as to how the Czech Healthcare System works. But first a bit of background about me.
Between July 1970 and February 1975, I lived and worked in Australia. During my time there, I got badly sunburnt on several occasions and have since suffered from the consequences of being a pale, white, north-European, who exposed himself to far too much Australian sun.
It took nearly twenty years before I first experienced the unwanted consequences of my unwise actions. It was in . . . → Read More: A visit to the dermatologist