Blog - Reflecting on Prague

Added on Friday, 2013-10-11 17:25 CEST in category Prague
My wife and I have been living in Prague for about a year now, and although in general life here's nice, and sometimes even great, there's still a lot of "culture shock". Whereas with Moscow I simply vented my frustration, with Prague I'd like to draw a bit more balanced picture.

The Good

Life in Prague is pretty cheap :) Dinner for two at La Casa Argentina - € 20, trip by public transport - € 1, petrol - € 1.30/L, road taxes for a year - € 40 (vignette), and so on. On average prices are 30%+ lower than we're used to, and that adds up :)

Prague also has a great climate, and because of its central location we travel quite a lot. Furthermore, because it's a lot closer to the Netherlands, we've had a lot more friends come over.

The Bad

However… The Czech Republic was, and still is to some extent, a second world country. Roads are bad, flats are noisy, the police is indolent and the banking system is underdeveloped/overly complicated.

It also doesn't help that the Czech are very negative, that they suck at English, and that in general they don't really seem to like foreigners a lot. ("Excuse me, do you speak English? No? По-русски может быть? Verstehen Sie Deutsch vielleicht?" => "Ne, český!"…) There are some great exceptions, but unfortunately that's just what they are, exceptions.

(I know, I know, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. But Czech, besides not being a very beautiful language, is of no use at all outside of the Czech Republic (as opposed to, say, English, Russian or German).)

and the Ugly?

But that's where the analogy breaks down, because fair enough, Prague and the Czech Republic are anything but ugly :) There are monumental buildings and beautiful nature aplenty, so we're glad we have just a little more time to let it all soak in, before, after four long and interesting years abroad, we'll be going home (more on that soon ;).