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Showing posts from January, 2012

The untouchable Czech weekend (and shopping)

For most middle-class Americans, shopping is a weekend activity. During the workweek, there's just not enough time to do more than pick up a few items on a quick foray through a store--a kind of "emergency run."


American weekends are catch-up times, with Saturday being the busy day of housecleaning, children's sports activities, serious food shopping and the precious few hours of "recreational" shopping for some new clothes or a book. What doesn't get done on Saturday spills over to Sunday, when everyone is at the mall, shopping or eating out, gathering strength for the week to come.

In contrast, shopping is not a weekend activity here. Shopping is traditionally done during the week, a hangover from communist days when people left work early during the afternoon to stand in long lines for scarce products.

It's still acceptable to leave work early or come in late for doctor's appointments and other personal errands; this is not acceptable in the…

Where is winter?

We are still having mild weather, rainy and overcast. But today there were strong winds and maybe, just maybe, the sunny skies we had today are the herald of a high pressure system that will bring winter! Otherwise, it's business as usual here--rushing people going to work and school, crowded trams, short tempers wherever you go. Regular city life.