Top 10 signs that you’re in Czech Republic

[pinit count='horizontal']

Socks and Sandals Socks and sandals Karl Lagerfeld could have a heart attack if he saw this. They even ain’t strictly indoor or a fair weather thing: some people are so used to them that they wear them even when it rains a little. Most people treat their shoes as something to get off at the first chance, which might explain the reason why there isn’t a great deal of good shoes on offer in Prague shops. Usually people have sandals wait under their desk at work and kiss them good bye when it’s time to go home and wear these dreadful things with laces called shoes.

Beer is cheaper than water Mineral water, although popular now, is still a recent introduction and considered somewhat superfluous. Being a man, I get the at least occasional odd look when I don’t order beer and instead order Mattoni (a specific brand which here is really a synonymous of sparkling water). A small bottle of Mattoni goes for an average of 35kc at most places, while half a liter of beer still averages at 30kc.

Colza Fields Colza fields Take the train from Prague to Bratislava and you’ll see kilometers and kilometers of beautiful yellow colza fields for almost half of the journey. Colza oil has been used extensively for public lighting in Central and Northern Europe for ages and it’s now being used to produce bio-diesel.

Poppy flowers Poppy seeds Guess what?! They are legal and used for baking. Yeah, I hear you, what a waste! The use of poppy seeds is banned in some countries due to the opium alkaloid content that can cause false positives in drug tests. In Czech Republic you can find them in pastries, bagels, cakes and they taste delicious. Don’t worry, they’re safe, you won’t develop an addiction. Now sorry, but I have to go get my daily fix!

Carp Monster in the bathtub It’s almost Christmas and you’ve been invited for a party at a friend’s place. You already had a few beers and need to use the bathroom, so you stand in front of the toilet bowl, aim, lock the target and release; but immediately you have the weird feeling you’re not alone, you look around, then look in the bathtub: a 10kg carp has been staring at you all the time! As Christmas approaches you’ll see loads of places at street corners selling monstrously big carps: they’re thought to bring luck and they’re part of the dinner menu and, while waiting unfed for their destiny in the bathtub, they’ll clear out of all the mud.

Trekking shoes Keen is the new Nike You never know when it’s time to go mushrooming, that’s why very few people wear normal trainers, while the majority wears trekking shoes. Keen is one of the popular brands and in Czech Republic these represent the standard sport shoes, complemented in the summer by the atrocious trekking sandals, supposedly worn for their comfort and durability, certainly not for their look.

Czech tram Tram etiquette Someone even wrote a book about it, taking it as a starting point to discuss about the Czech’s national character. Nowhere else I’ve seen people so promptly give up their seats to elderly or disabled people; and I’m not talking just about the reserved seats assigned to them. But what happens quite often is that, even with no disabled in sight, on a full tram, most hesitate to sit on a free seat, failing to realize that it could save everybody some space.

Pomlazka An Easter-n nightmare If you’re a woman don’t be surprised if on Easter Monday men will wake you up by pouring a bucket of water over your head and start whipping you with a pomlázka; this is a very old pagan tradition in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Usual targets are unmarried girls and the whole ritual has to do with fertility and although generally conducted in a playful way I’ve heard the odd report of it being performed by the grandpa, with heaps of water and hard whipping. Ouch!

Shoes on doorstep Shoes on the doorstep You know those Southern Europeans that never take their shoes off when entering a house? Well, here you’ll find that not only you have to take off your shoes, but it’s even more appropriate to do so outside the door. When someone throws a party it’s easy to tell: there’s a mountain of shoes outside the door, which are sometimes the easy target of petty gypsy thieves.

Knight Templar Knight Templars around town You have this picture of Knight Templars on their horse… but time have changed, and now they take the metro too. Medieval reenactment here is a sport and people go around on public transport with full length swords and other weapons and then go train in some public park, such as Letna. Don’t worry, it’s all normal here, it’s not some kind of highlander freak that goes chop people’s head off until there’s only one.

Did find something else to read? If not visit our main blog page.
129 comments
sylvos22
sylvos22

I live in ČR and i 100% agree. Except the last one. The shit are you talking about?

Dganung
Dganung

I can remember sandals back in the days of the North Beach artists and intellectuals, before the hippies. They wore socks and sandals. It is a cooler climate in San Francisco. I read all the comments here and NO ONE mentions the fact that Prague has most the year a cooler climate. I think I've seen sandals without socks well represented on hot summer days. What a goofy thing to go on and on about. What about Czech indifference, a source of many a painful experience not to mention a good joke.

Bara
Bara

I Guess everybody will have his pros and contras to say about a country they lived in or visited, but to get better sight of how it really works you would actually have to be from there yet have mind open enough to see all the sides not just the ones. To comment all this...I see guys and old ladies wearing sock in sandals every day even in the winter but majority of people does not do it any-more. Most people in the tram will let the old person or pregnant girl sit down, but then you see this idiot who will just comment "I am not the farther" or " He's old he sits all day anyway". We love our beer and thats why its cheep and we love our flowers thats why you see them all over the place :) Yeah leave ye shoes outside the door please I just cleaned the floor.. unless specifically told different.. Gypsy thief's??? well it could have been as well ur "white neighbour" who liked the shoes...lets face it, we are Czech...We are famous for Beer Girls and Thief's Easter really is nightmare for girls..but the water thing is opposite if u come after noon u get iced shower or few weeks old eggs on ye head. Knights over the place..I believe u have this in US as well as Japan etc..its just called cosplay ;) Keen????? Dafug is that? newer heard of them....I wear adidas... Gypsies...they are like any other people, you have them bad u have them nice..problem is the bad one are usually so bad they ruin the image for all the others has any on of U any idea how many of the "opposite racisms" is going on here like when the ticket control stops a gipsy guy or girl who has no ticket and they starts screaming "help racist" just so they don't have to pay the fine...while the white kid just runs cos he could not possibly use this excuse (unless he/she is under-age and starts screaming help paedophile touching me :P ) My best friend in school was gipsy girl and i liked to be around her and her family a lot, yet her brother tried to attack me...And guess what few years later I was attacked by classmate who was as white as the fresh fallen show.... I see why people are scared of big groups of gypsies together, I saw tree gipsy girls attacking a white girl just because she walked pass them on the street...and agues what..I saw same think happen at school when all three of the girls where just plainly white and the 2 attacking girls even from good families..:P And well yeah them social system does favorise them u know why? cos they know it they know every small rule and gap in it and are not afraid to use it for they own good..but to be hones, hand on you heart..if you had the time and knowledge, would you not do the same? And last think..the Canada story..I have to agree that that group of people that used the hospitality of Canada ruined it for all of us as now we need Visa to go there...But lets face it..What group of people went there? Where they gypsies in general..or just those scum-bags that are ruining the gipsy name?

Pjmorphis3
Pjmorphis3

Very cool, I enjoyed reading this! I felt like I learned something.:)

Boris Krumov
Boris Krumov

Hey, but ain't it cool as a glass of Pilsner Urquell ?

Bartos Marek
Bartos Marek

The socks in sandals thing , is in whole Eastern Europe

Moravian
Moravian

Prague sucks monkey's ass :D Moravia is much better, Brno, Olomouc etc.

Napali
Napali

Funny article about Czech. And yet, there is a word "gypsy" used 61x in the discussion below and people flaming. Get a life.

Jaroslav Reznik
Jaroslav Reznik

Hey, I've recently bought Keen sandals and yeah, I have Keen shoes too :) But I do not consider Keen as outdoor equipment - not very durable, especially for the price... That's another point - we like to wear/buy expensive shit - so that's the reason why everyone wears it.

Guest
Guest

THE Czech Republic. Naučte se to, konečně.

Raxaxa
Raxaxa

and i frgot 11. you are living in wooden hause in huricane area 12 . honda goldwing is small motorbike but do not worry is normal 13. you are not alowed dring beer at beech niether from paper bag 14. you are scared from sherif

Raxaxa
Raxaxa

how to recognize you are back in USA : 1. the beer is much more expensiver then water but the tast is almoust same 2. you spent 90 procent of your time in car - you go to the atm by car . 3. you and people around you are fat 4. you are talking but nobody is lisening 5. everybody claim he/she is happy but it is not true 5. even you earn much more then in czech republic - you are poor 6. you can frget about maschrooms because you do not have forest evrithing is PRIVATE 7. fishing without burning 400 l (100 gal) gas per one fich at hudge high speed motor boat is not fishing. 9. you do not have any public transport or noboady know about it 10. Poppy seeds is white not red / red is wild Jan wearing socks in sandals

Me
Me

Little gayish if you do not see all beautiful girls ;DDDD Socks = hygiene Shoes on the doorstep = clean house

Klára
Klára

Hm, Socks and sandals. I can´t rememeber last time I saw somebody wearing socks and sandals, only old people. It is true there is not enough of good shoes on offer in every shop in Prague, but there are, you just have to know where to look for them. Sandals under their desk at work? Where do you work, man? Beer is cheaper than water. If you talk about Prague –yes, it can be, because – as somebody has already mentioned – it is just marketing, but I have never seen Mattoni of 45 Kč. Keen is the new Nike. I have never heard of this brand at all. Probably it depends on part of CR. Shoes on the doorstep. It is normal to take off your shoes when entering house, but there is nothing typical about taking off shoes outsider the door. Knight Templars around town. What are you talking about ?? :D

Chuj++
Chuj++

Good point! Shoes suck indeed. Can't fathom the suffering of those confined to a pair of "proper shoes" all day long. To me, that's on par with latex underwear, comfort-wise. Why not do your feet a little favor?

Muriel
Muriel

Socks in sandals are comfortable and not changing your shoes when you enter your home is disgusting.

Guest
Guest

After reading through all the comments, I am wondering if it is just me who thinks that this is supposed 2 b just a funny article, a joke. I mean u can generalize like this about every country...

Margarethe
Margarethe

WTF, Keen? I've never heard of them! WTF, Templar knights? Where did you get that from??? + Czech people do not speak foreign languages although they (pretend to) learn them at school... (95% I would say :D)

Poor CZ mentality
Poor CZ mentality

You forgot to mention that 1) the majority of the Czech population believes that dark people are less than white (see bellow comments). 2) that a part from pork there is very little to eat, if you are vegetarian you will probably starve. 3) that they say really bad things about American junk food but almost 100% of their traditional food is rich in fat, animal saturated fat, almost everything is deep fried or processed (salame, sausage and all that crappy variances of processed meet). 4) the mentality has not yet followed the recent economical growth. Food, music, entertainment and leisure is not as I expected. Please don't take me wrong, I leave here for more than 3 years ( I really have to) and the place is just fun but can't swallow the arguments about gypsy, thieves, crime etc. They are mostly done by white and there is no cz person to mention that here. Has someone ever visited a prison in CZ? I have! and I CAN ATTEST THAT THE MAJORITY IF NOT 90% ARE WHITE PEOPLE. I really hate cz mindset. Just to mention, I am not dark or gypsy and honestly speaking, I would love to be able to come her just as a tourist (that is cool) but to adapt to the life here is a long term is almost impossible.

Ma
Ma

Seems like somebody has not been anywhere here. Go to Rome to see tough guys getting up instantly to free their seats for boarding elderly women.

Likininka
Likininka

Hey! I am from Czech republic and I don't wear socks and sandals because I haven't got sandals! I don't drink bear and Mattoni costs 25,- Kc. I think this isn't an optimistic article for us. Everyone isn't same and I think you are biased against the Czechs!

Sloth
Sloth

Another thing which is very typical is RACISM- reflected in this article as well. Be sure your shoes are "the easy target of petty gypsy thieves"... seems like the author loves stereotypes. Moreover, honestly guys, who would grab someone´s shoes?

J.K.
J.K.

Generally nice article, but this is quite nonsense: "Mineral water, although popular now, it’s still a recent introduction and considered somewhat superfluous." Mineral water is popular here for more than a century and not a recent introducition. The reason for high price is different. Many people used to judge the price level of restaurant by the price of beer - so there is a pressure to keep beer prices low... and make profit elsewhere.

LukasBlazek
LukasBlazek

@sylvos22 i live in ČR and i dont fucking know what he mean with that last one :D

Lorenzo Bolognini
Lorenzo Bolognini

Hi Klara, actually unless you work in some place that enforces a dress policy it's still easy to see socks and sandals at work. Both companies I long worked for in Prague had most employees taking off shoes and wearing sandals as soon as they got to work. Regarding Keen I just wanted to underline the fact that most people I see around wear some sort of trail shoes rather than sneakers such as Nike. I actually meant the style of shoes more than the brand. There is no right or wrong I'm just reporting my observations. You might be right about Mattoni, it just depends where you go I guess, but if you want to see some Knights training with real swords just go to Letna: they train there very often.

Dganung
Dganung

The police don't pursue the gypsies pickpocketing you because the gypsies are so good, speak another language and great actors. Wake up buddy. I was there a lot longer than you. Just because you don't see them in prison doesn't mean anything. This is their work and I've often thought the police sort of allow them this.

Tomas
Tomas

I'm so happy that you will be moving. You are in a foreign country and you are complaining about racism. What a joke. I hope you will never, ever, put your foot in this country again.

loloman
loloman

I don`t know in which prison have you been, but I was also in prison (for visit) ,my friend works there as a prison guard, and there was huge majority of gypsys (80% or more). Maybye you were in prison with low security, where are people mostly for some financial frauds. Try to take a look in some deep shit prison where are locked people for serious violent crimes...

May2880
May2880

Three years of being somewhere doesn't mean you understand and you know how the things are. Someone needs to have a global view based on nation's culture, habits, history, language... and a will to understand and reflect. I think that it's a good thing that "the mentality has not yet followed the recent economical growth"... it would be rather bad if the mentality followed the fluctuations of GDP... Concerning the food, Czech cuisine is good, maybe you just didn't have a chance... http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/864170.The_Czechoslovak_Cookbook And the junk food? It's true that in CR the junk food is even worse then elsewhere. In France, for instance, McDo is quite good and a quality of it's products very good, but I cannot say the same thing concerning the Mc Do in CR or in USA for exemple.

Hajzl
Hajzl

You dont see much gypsys in prison,whyle the goverment is afraid to by spoking they racism. 4 gypsys almost killed killed my friend,steel his wallet and phone.That was 6years ago.Only 1 is in prison but for another delict.So this is the truth you dont see gypsys in prison. 60% of gypsys didnt finish the ground school,90% of them have no job and 80% of them was punished for crime. If gypsy come to office the bacome everything,when a "white" come to office become nothing or so little so he stay at home and try help himrself alone.If a gypsy will never work,the office will calculate his pension from awerage payment.When a white work the whole life his pension will be like 60% of he gypsys. You know those things? I dont say they are all the same,im working with gypsy guy who will never go to office to get social help like the 99% of gypsys. They only cry we are racist,but its the fault of goverment,they give them advantages and benefits for nothing and they abuse it. And the gypsys are fault too,they become a new apartment and in winter they say "we are freezing" but they dont say we get the heating unit to the dump to get some money. Say it this normal: Gypsy is going to Canada,sell the apartment,even he is not the owner.fter year he comes back,become all social help for last year a and new apartment. If we are racistic,search internet and ask Canadian teachers about their experiences with czech gypsys.You will wonder.

Tomáš Vahalík
Tomáš Vahalík

Oh c'mon, there is no dark people (not counting African-American race or Mulattoes etc.), we actually can't talk about racism, we are the SAME race.. Screw prisons, look at the reality, they're causing problems everywhere (but I'm not saying that all of them are bad, but majority is) - not working, robbing, devastating buildings, gambling.. Of course, as you said, white people cause problems too, but tell me how many out of total? Considering total number of gypsies - 80% are "bad boys" - I know, always is bad to generalize, but this is not a problem of Czech mentality, it is a problem of Gypsy mentality. If you're living (I think it was typo, not leaving) for more than 3 years and still thinking they're not causing problems, then you're lucky person. EOF

Dganung
Dganung

Hey buddy, a gypsy steals it first and evaluates it later. I had a backpack full of language study notebooks stolen, The backpack was the object but that's the point. They look into it afterward. Yon can use your brain. Can a gypsy find someone to buy second hand tennis shoes in Prague. YOU BET HE CAN.

Theror
Theror

Its true.Someone had stolen my friends shoes and let him his own old shoes there. And when you cometo Czech and the gypsys steel your wallet or camera etc. you will be happy they dont hurt you.

Martina
Martina

By the way, Mattoni really can't be any "recent introduction" because it origins in Czech republic and it was sold there more than 100 years ago.

Manojrawat30
Manojrawat30

hello tomas this manoj from india i want what these guys talking about czech its true , becos i try to come there , if any problem is pls let me no , contect me manoj rawat

Nechci_uvest_mail
Nechci_uvest_mail

You don't say truth, it's only your opinion or estimate. You can not have any informations about race (or culture) of prisoners (czech state prisons can not monitore it), so how can you say the amount of gypsy prisoners? Information about state payments (unemploynment benefits and others) is untruth too, you don't know the law about pension system in Czech rep. Unemployment or child benefits aren't determined by the race. Please, read the law instead of urban legends from SPAM e-mails and nazi groups on Facebook. That's the problem with Czechs, trust in urban legends about gypsies. Gypsies don't have any special benefit opposite white citizens in Czech rep. They don't need much money to live, so sometimes don't need to work. But i know people from majority with this traits too, so it is not the speciality of gypsy community only. If you look on the street, mainly gypsy workers digs excavations, so how can you say, that 90% are unemployed? Do you have any statistical data? I'm Czech, i'm 25 a i have never had any problem with a gypsy. I lived in Žatec, city with large gypsy community and have no problem. I live in Prague, i was going to school in Žižkov daily (large gypsy community) and had no problem. I was working as a security staff and had no problem with any gypsy. How can i believe that gypsies are the only evil on the planet? I can not. I have ever had problems only with idiots, whose race was irrelevant.

The Truth About Gipsies is...
The Truth About Gipsies is...

I agree with Tomáš here, you're terribly lucky if you haven't encountered any problems with the gipsy community in Czech Republic over a period of three years. Speaking for myself, and I believe more people share this opinion, I have bad experience with the minority and I will always be careful when I see a gipsy, although if a specific gipsy behaves nice to me I don't have a problem to be nice to him too. I think it's a matter of presumtion, 'cause the number of "bad boy" gipsies is huge and a "good" gipsy is terribly hard to find, although there are such gipsies who try not to cause any problems and even work. I'd say most of Czechs don't really hate all the gipsies, but are very careful when they see one, because their reputation exceeds them. If you don't live here, you won't understand. It's nothing like racism againts black people in America, this is different, they're not even a difference race.

max
max

It's not only gypsy thieves. Trams are full of white guys who steel your stuff, taxi drivers are white, ive more bad experiences with white guys than gypsies.

Drr6
Drr6

@Nechci_uvest_mail  They are not only evil.  And they are not all evil.  We all wish we could live together in peace and sing kumbaya. 


Dganung
Dganung

You are only 25 and not a likely target. I know many of the younger Czechs could say the same thing. You are not wise to think at 25 you have the whole lifetime's experience at your fingertips. wait and see buddy. Get bald, fat, have more money, be sloppy one day or stupid another - eventually you'll discover other truths. Your knowledge is the typical arrogance of the young who "know" the world. Ha ha, big surprises coming your way over the coming decades. First one is you are old much longer than you were ever young and youth runs this in your very early thirties. Why so many young say "I want to die before I'm 30".

Drr6
Drr6

@Dganuing Correct unfortunately.  One time I was pickpocketed was by a gypsy gal.  They shame themselves with their actions.  

Dganuing
Dganuing

YES, I agree that gypsies are a difficult subculture in the Czech Republic. If they befriend there is a reason usually involving something to their profit at your expense. If you don't believe me loan a "good Gypsy" some money, one you have faith in and one who is established as in higher education (student) and you'll never see him or your money again.

Anonymus Bohemicus
Anonymus Bohemicus

Of course, they are stealing because of our racism. And bees are predominantly attacking allergic people perhaps? As far as standard racist theories go, we are the same race. This is much more a question of a caste. And guess who brought this crappy attitude to this egalitarian country.

Anna
Anna

I feel like the gypsy/roma stereotype and the crimes that they actually do commit originate from a much deeper problem: due to the racism that exists towards them they are actually more likely to commit these crimes and because the system (economic, political, social, etc.) does not accept them they are unable to change their behaviour - their lifestyle may just be different and incompatible. By treating them badly we actually contribute to the problem. Additionally, I don't believe their behaviour is an act of unkindness. If we treat them badly (and there have been many studies that show how difficult it can be for Romas to find work) they will find no other mode of survival than to steal. I also have a few Roma friends and they have all experienced quite traumatic things while in trams or on their way around town.

I.
I.

Lucky you, I have had more experience with gypsies... unfortunately. I don't say they're all like that, but stereotypes come from somewhere, right? I study in Brno and it's common to see a ten-year-old (or even less) smoking while their mother is pushing her baby carriage right next to them (a cigarette in one of her hands, of course). Once some gypsies broke into our house and were ringing all the doors. When somebody opened (like my boyfriend did), they'd just ask if some guy (Novák or Horák, which is quite common, but they could see on our doorbells, that nobody like that lived there) is there. Then they moved to another flat. One of our neighbors didn't reply and they broke into his place. Unfortunately for them he was just at the toilet and when they got there, he kicked them off. I guess, that if he didn't have two dogs and wasn't quite huge himself, he'd be just got beaten up... Another time a gypsy woman tried to steel from me in a tram. I caught her holding my wallet and passing it wrapped in some kind of fabric to a little girl. She could be 7 years old the most... I could talk like that for hours. Now ask me, where do these stereotypes origin... If they work (and most of them don't) and when they are behaving, I don't have a problem (I actually have some gypsy or semi-gypsy friends), but this is too much... I don't say that other people don't do that, but it's not a majority of them...

Trackbacks

  1. [...] generally considered quite quiet and polite, with a formidable reputation for being the home of the ‘socks with sandals’ look.  Any big city is going to have its artistic and alternative communities, Prague being no [...]