The British General Election – a view from the Czech Republic

Marshall Ivan Konev, surrounded by floral tributes © Ricky Yates

Today, I have been struck by the irony of David Cameron and his Conservative Party, ‘winning’ the UK General Election by over 63% of the electorate NOT voting Conservative, coinciding with the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War – VE Day. The reason for the Conservatives ‘winning’ the election by gaining less than 37% of the vote, is because of the antiquated, absurd and completely undemocratic ‘first-past-the-post’ (FPTP) electoral system under which the election was conducted. The irony of this I’ll explain shortly.

Although I live in the Czech Republic, as a British citizen, I had the right to register to vote in this election but I chose not to do so. My reason for not participating was purely the FPTP electoral system. If I had chosen to register to . . . → Read More: The British General Election – a view from the Czech Republic

The Ukraine crisis as seen from the Czech Republic

The Vltava River & Charles Bridge © Ricky Yates

I hope my regular readers will forgive me for tackling a current political issue. However, as Ukraine is almost on the doorstep of the Czech Republic, I thought it appropriate to reflect on how the current crisis is seen here, and the impact the crisis may have in the near future.

Before proceeding any further, I should point out that it is not quite as close as one American TV news channel tried to illustrate. MSNBC successfully reinvented Czechoslovakia, a country that ceased to exist on 31st December 1992, and showed it as bordering Ukraine as can be seen in this link. Just to confirm, whilst Slovakia does border Ukraine, the Czech Republic does not.

What may surprise many people is the fact that Ukrainians are by far the largest group of immigrants by nationality, living and working . . . → Read More: The Ukraine crisis as seen from the Czech Republic

Travelling to Asia and back

The Dardanelles – Europe on the right, Asia on the left © Ricky Yates

It is a month and a day since I’ve published a blog post and I’m sure some of my regular visitors will be beginning to think that I’ve disappeared off the planet. Rest assured – I haven’t! However, I have been absent from Prague for 23 of those 31 days only returning to the Chaplaincy Flat on the afternoon of Tuesday 27th October having left on the afternoon of Monday 5th October. Over the next few weeks I’m going to write about what I’ve been up to, hopefully making up for the lack of news during most of October.

As the title of this post says, Sybille and I have travelled to Asia and back and we’ve done the whole journey by car! I’ve driven 4,500 miles/7,200 kilometres and we’ve visited twelve countries in total. . . . → Read More: Travelling to Asia and back

Mistaken Identity

Dalmatian islands seen from the coast road between Senj and Zadar © Ricky Yates

On Monday 6th July, we drove right across Austria via Linz in the north to Klagenfurt in the south. As we did so, the rain got heavier and heavier so that, as we headed towards the steep mountain pass that would take us into Slovenia, it was positively tipping it down. The weather was no better on the Slovenian side of the border. However, as we joined the motorway to head south towards Ljubljana, (having purchased an expensive vignette to travel relatively few km of motorway), the rain slowly started to ease. And having bypassed Ljubljana and travelled on to Postojna where we left the motorway for the somewhat windy road that leads to the Croatian border, the sun came out as though to welcome us to our holiday destination.

At the Slovenian . . . → Read More: Mistaken Identity

A 21st Century defenestration of Prague?

Temporary Residence – forever!

I blogged previously on 11th March, regarding our ongoing battle with Czech bureaucracy in seeking to obtain our residency permit with respective social security numbers from the Czech Foreign Police. Last week, more than a month after Andrea from the private registration agency had submitted all our signed & notarised forms, apostilled, translated and notarised marriage certificate, certified protocol regarding our flat etc, etc, we got an email saying that all was finally ready. Please would we attend the offices of the Foreign Police on Tuesday 12th May with our passports and health insurance cards, and our residency permit and respective social security numbers would be issued to us.

The offices of the Foreign Police open at 7.30am and we were advised to be there at that time as it would speed up proceedings. Sybille & I are not early morning people, so . . . → Read More: A 21st Century defenestration of Prague?