I really do love this city. And for the most part, I love the people that inhabit it. There isn’t much diversity here — save a few vietnamese store owners and the pockets of tourists — but the Czech people are diverse on their own. Many are, like we’d been warned, quite reserved; notably, those using public transit sit neatly and raise eyebrows at small, informal conversation or sniffling of the nose. They’d never make a scene on the metro.
My assumption was that the Czechs would dislike Americans. I figured they would be bothered by groups of American teenagers taking over their pubs, drinking their beer and spoiling their quiet tram ride to work. But it’s really the opposite: they love Americans! They play our music in clubs, watch our movies with subtitles, (fail to) cook our food in trendy restaurants, laugh at (my) jokes and often reprint menus, signs, receipts and flyers in English. And when things aren’t spelled out in English, they play charades until it’s obvious. Try saying děkuji (thank you) or dobrý den (good day) and they’ll get all giddy at your attempt to speak Czech.
They can also be a little aggressive. I was headed down an escalator in the shady metro the other night when a burly gentleman in what I believed was a gang pointed to me and made the Uncle Sam “YOU!” gesture at me. I panicked. Read more »