In Magazine: the trabi is still going strong, though you won’t see it on Czech roads these days, Restaurant Day is catching on in the Czech Republic a new state of the art beer-testing laboratory opens in Prague and, why airing your flat too often could get you into trouble.
“Trabi goes to Africa” is a hugely successful travel documentary on three men and one woman taking two 'Trabis' through deserts, cities and dirt roads on a 22,000 kilometre trans-continental jaunt across Africa. The team faced numerous problems but managed to keep their two yellow trabis –the east Geman car made popular in the communist years – on the road, fixing them with whatever was available in a spectacular DIY job. The author of the road movie Dan Priban, presented another travel documentary earlier this month going by the name “Taking a trabi to the world’s end.” Interest in the film premiere was huge bringing together 280 proud trabi owners from around the country.
The popularity of Restaurant Day – an idea born in Helsinki in 2011 which quickly spread around the world – is definitely catching on here in the Czech Republic. Czech gourmets and amateur cooks from around the country joined the one-day event on February 16, taking the opportunity to cook for strangers, offering their fare in parks, coffee houses which supported the event, from a table out on the street or from their own homes. Some joined the event just for the fun of it, to test their cooking skills on others than their immediate family, others plan to enter the business and see this as a small test of things to come. For those who missed the event –the next opportunity is due to come up on May 17.
Looking for a dream job? A new state-of-the-art beer–testing laboratory has just opened in the Czech capital that is expected to test some one hundred samples of the golden brew annually. In addition to the most modern technology which will focus on the quality of ingredients used and the brewing technology involved –there will be wine tasters with impeccable palates who will grade the beers on a 1 to 5 scale. Each sampling process can last for several weeks. The lab, which is to analyse the country’s most famous product, cost 16 million crowns.
Czechs have close-kit family ties. According to statistics half of Czechs lives in two or three generation households, i.e. they either live at home with their parents or have an elderly parent living with them. Czech teenagers move away from their parents fairly late in life – usually when they set up their own families. Only 15 percent of young people aged between 15 and 24 live on their own, in the 25 to 34 age bracket 40 percent of them do so. Men are slower to move from their parents than women –one in ten Czech men aged over 35 still live with their parents in what is often jokingly referred to as “mama-hotel”.
Fostering good neighbourly relations is not always easy, especially when one likes it hot. Last week the Brno police was called to deal with an ongoing feud between two neighbours which ended in an egg war. One of the women involved claimed that her neighbour in the condominium constantly kept her windows open which lowered the temperature in her own flat as well despite the fact that she was paying an arm and a leg for heating bills. When the neighbour refused to stop airing her place the 51-year-old woman launched a frontal attack – throwing raw eggs from her terrace into the neighbouring flat for several days in a row. She broke down and admitted all when the police rang her bell but vehemently defended her right to take some sort of action against her “inconsiderate” neighbour.