The Weak Will

U Slabé vule - The Weak Willed © Ricky Yates

U Slabé vule - The Weak Will © Ricky Yates

Although Saint Clement’s Church is located in the centre of Prague, it does lie slightly away from the streets most frequented by visiting tourists. It is situated in Klimentská, the street taking its name from the Czech form of Saint Clement, Svatý Kliment. Klimentská is accessed from Revolucní, which runs from Námestí Republiky to the River Vltava. Whilst Námestí Republiky is bright and busy, particularly since the opening in October 2007 of the Palladium Shopping Centre, Revolucní has always struck me as being a little run down, with a number of empty premises at street level.

It was therefore a most pleasant surprise a couple of months ago, when alighting from the Number 8 tram at the Dlouhá Trída tram stop on Revolucní, to see that one of these vacant premises directly alongside the tram stop, had been transformed into a new Bar-Restaurant entitled U Slabé vule. A quick examination of their menu and price list displayed in the window convinced us to try it out for Sunday lunch after our service.

For their city centre location, prices at U Slabé vule are remarkably reasonable. 0.5l of Staropramen is 25 Kc (£0.90). Meal prices range from 120 – 150 Kc (£4.00 – £5.00) with generous portions very nicely presented. Their printed menu, in Czech, German and English, is most notable for the almost complete absence of ‘Czenglish‘.

The premises themselves are large, reaching through as far as the street parallel to Revolucní to the west. It is almost divided in two by the kitchen and bar with the whole of the section on the Revolucní side being ‘non-smoking’, a rare provision in the Czech Republic. What is more, they enforce it!!! In several other bar-restaurants we have frequented, whilst there is nominally a non-smoking area, as soon as a smoker lights up, rather than telling him/her to move, the waiter brings an ashtray. At U Slabé vule, the customer is told to move to the smoking area – Halelujah!

The last two Monday evenings, U Slabé vule has become the venue for a new activity in the life of St. Clement’s Anglican Episcopal Church – Czech conversation classes led by my native English, Czech-speaking Churchwarden, Gerry Turner. Over a glass or two of various varieties of liquid refreshment and a simple nicely presented meal, a small group of us are trying to lose our inhibitions and converse in Czech.  Will I be successful or will I have what the name U Slabé vule actually means which is  – ‘The Weak Will‘!!

PS – As you will see from the photo above, vule should really have a kroužek (ring) above the ‘u’ which is meant to lengthen the vowel sound by 30%. As with many other diacritics, most web browsers can’t cope and would render it as ‘?’, hence I’ve had to leave it out.

2 comments to The Weak Will

  • I was told when first presented with the problem in Blogger that you can add accents using codes via your numeric keypad (a technique I remember from back in the Bronze Age of wordprocessing!). A blogging friend in Italy uses this means very successfully – so you’d either need to use a desktop system or have a plug-in keyboard.
    Wordpress provides a menu of accents which may be inserted in posts.

  • Ricky

    Minnie – I’m grateful for the thoughtfulness of your comment and apologise for approving it days ago but not replying until now.

    The problems is not that of being unable to insert diacritics – my ancient version of ‘Word’ in which I write my posts & then copy & paste them into the blog, allows me to insert any that I want or need. It is the problem that most web brousers cannot cope with most of them. Therefore, the average person will get a load of ‘??????’ when they try & read my blog, should I put them all in!