Contrasts between the Czech Republic and Poland

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

Twenty-five years on from the Velvet Revolution

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

A visit to the dermatologist

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

Farmer’s Market on Saturday – Worship on Palm Sunday

Crowds at the Farmer’s Market © Ricky Yates

In early March, after a two-and-a-half month winter break, the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market at Vítezné námestí resumed. So now nearly every Saturday, we take a short bus or tram journey from the Chaplaincy Flat and explore what the market has to offer. As you can see, we are not the only ones who do so and at times, it can get quite crowded!

There are a number of stalls that we regularly visit each week for supplies of bread, eggs and potatoes. Whilst we can buy such things from our very convenient Kaufland supermarket, the produce from the Farmer’s Market does always seem fresher, is often cheaper, and one can be almost certain that the producer obtains a far better return for their labour.

Stall selling Moravian wine © Ricky Yates

Another of . . . → Read More: Farmer’s Market on Saturday – Worship on Palm Sunday

November – a time of change

Prague Castle & the Vltava River © Ricky Yates

As October has become November, so many aspects of my life and the situations around me with which I interact, have changed. I’ve therefore decided that this provides an overarching theme for a new blog post 🙂

As all across Europe, overnight between Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October, our clocks changed, going back one hour. I write this, partly for the benefit of my British son-in-law who some months ago, famously remarked, ‘I don’t suppose the clocks change where you are?’ Well yes – they do! At the same time as the United Kingdom was moving from British Summer Time (BST), back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), here in the Czech Republic, we changed from Central European Summer Time (CEST), back to Central European Time (CET). This means that we remain one hour ahead of the . . . → Read More: November – a time of change