Kristopher Finnigan

Here are some differences between the Czech Republic and the US that I have noticed:

The biggest difference is the number of Czech people. There are more here than in the US. I am not sure why that is. It may have something to do with this wall they want to build around the country, but I’m not sure if that is to keep foreign people from invading or stupid people from escaping.

Another big difference is how close the Czech Republic is to Prague. It would take me 10 hours by plane to get to Prague from the US, but now, because I’m here, I’m already there. The Czech PM has regular, human skin tones as opposed to the American president, whose skin is a color only found in a laboratory setting. The Czech people seem a little more laid back than Americans. They don’t seem to get as upset over smaller things like Americans do, such as drinking beers in a park, bringing dogs to a cafe or exposing women’s nipples. Oh, and this is a big one, the mayonnaise over here. It is refrigerated, has a yellow tinge and tastes better. In America, it sits on a store shelf for years at a time and is a bright, florescent white color that you can’t look directly at without damaging your eyes. I’m pretty sure it’s made in the same lab that supplies the American president with his fake-tan cream.

Both the US and the Czech Republic have some beautiful countryside. But, when it comes to man-made architectural beauty, the Czech Republic is much better. Prague is one of the more visually stimulating cities in the universe. The churches, towers and other buildings in the city not only look cool, but have an interesting history behind them. I am mesmerized by the architecture when I walk through the city and I know that one of these days I am bound to accidentally walk in front of a tram as I am staring at some random doorway with an intricate design around it.

It’s hard to pick just one moment in Czech history as there are many I find interesting. I am fascinated by the 19th century history of the country as well as the medieval history. WWII and the 30 Years War are some of my favorite things to read about, and I love the stories about Rudolph II’s fascination with alchemy, where a bunch of people blew themselves up trying to create gold. Though they never successfully made gold, the positive byproduct of these experiments ended up being something much more valuable- trdelník. When it comes to the grammar, these are the things that frustrate me the most:

1) The lack of vowels in words. “s” “čtvrt” “hrb” “scvrkl” I mean what is that all about? It’s like playing scrabble with a 4 year old. 

2) The letter ř. That sound is impossible to make without getting a cramp in your tongue. Particularly hard is the Czech word for “4.” I’ve heard it pronounced many different ways by Czech speakers and I am pretty sure no one really knows how to say it correctly.