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Euro 2008 expectations

The Czech national football team has a solid international reputation. As the Czechoslovakian football team, it won the 1976 title. Czech Republic qualified for most of the recent European and World Championships and, at several occasions, made it to the best four. Expecting that the upcoming European Championships will be an exciting event for the Czechs, I hit the street today with the purpose of asking them about their expectations for the tournament.

Posted by Bruno

In Czech Republic as much as in Hungary, questions about `ambition` and `inspiration` lead to shy smiles and superficial answers. While communism erased personal dreams by the nature of its ideology, the current situation makes people almost voluntarily forget about their dreams, at the expense of longing for money and authority.

Posted by Bruno

Superficial ambitions?

Being a traveling photo journalist isn`t always an easy job. Beside the work it generates, it takes quite some effort to find a way around language barriers and to interpret people`s answers correctly. How much are people`s answers limited by foreign language skills? What do they think about me as an inquisitive stranger? How can I know they are not just bullshitting, taking the piss or making me write something completely ridiculous? How can I know I am asking questions to people who are at least to some extent representative for the entire country?

Posted by Bruno

Meet and greet

Some countries on this planet have made smiling a moral obligation. No matter whether the smile is authentic or not, paste one onto your face and you will make it through the day. The opposite is true for many people in the Czech Republic. Their `by default face` seems to programmed to display active disinterest, with distress and dislike as optionally added flavours. Czechs need to know each other before they open up, and below article sums up a couple of unwritten rules which should be observed in attempts to find out what hides behind the first impression.

Posted by Bruno

Different people have different ideas about what constitutes a nice evening out with friends. Some of the ideas are, at least partly, culturally defined. Spaniards will not start their parties before the time pubs in England have already closed. While Italians will try hard to impress members of the opposite sex, Slovenians try to sheer away from interacting with anybody that is not already part of their group of friends. But what about the Czechs?A night out

Posted by Bruno

Northern neighbours

For half a century, the border between Austria and then-Czechoslovakia marked the dividing line between the world`s competing ideologies: communist and capitalism. Czechs barely knew anything about what happened on the other side of the border, and the same was true for the Austrians. The gradual disappearance of the Iron Curtain has allowed Austrians to freely travel into Czech Republic, but how much of that opportunity are they actually using? And how much do they know about their northern neighbour from whom they were separated for so long?

Posted by Bruno

For half a century, the border between Austria and then-Czechoslovakia marked the dividing line between the world`s competing ideologies: communist and capitalism. Czechs barely knew anything about what happened on the other side of the border, and the same was true for the Austrians. The gradual disappearance of the Iron Curtain has allowed Austrians to freely travel into Czech Republic, but how much of that opportunity are they actually using? And how much do they know about their northern neighbour from whom they were separated for so long?

Posted by Bruno

If there`s one cultural concept that has proved to be worth exporting, it`s the Irish Pub. Anywhere outside Northern Ireland, the Irish tricolore and the Guinness logo stand for a warm welcome, no matter whether the local reality comes anywhere near that promise. The Irish Pub in Trutnov is doing better than that. It was set up by a real Irishman, and is now run by Gabriela, 27, Czech, who speaks perfect English with a subtle Irish accent.

Posted by Bruno

Holiday plans

The Spanish stay in Spain, the Greeks go to their birthplaces or to the islands, the Swedes leave for South-East Asia or pretty much anywhere around the world, the young Austrians all plan to get to South America and Dutch youngsters opt for the beaches of Spain and Turkey. Or Australia to travel and work. Today`s question: Where do people have a chance to run in to Czech people this summer.

Posted by Bruno

No fewer than twelve countries have been added to the European Union in the last 10 years. Czech Republic was one of the former ex-communist states which joined in May 2004. Within barely fifteen years after the revolution, Czechs have had to convert from a centrally-planned market economy with work and accommodation for everybody, into a capitalist state ran by financial gains and egoism. Today, I am asking people which communist traits have survived the revolution and are still commonplace today.

Posted by Bruno