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17 October 2008 @ 11:57 pm
Your Guide to the World of Facts: Foreign Lands Edition  
Hello, gentle readers - here is an update on some of the things I have learned in my travels to foreign lands (i.e. Brno, CZR).

Hotel:</b> I am staying in the Hotel International, Brno. It is a lovely place, which handily serves guests in eight major languages without difficulty. It is located about 50m from Nahmyesti Svobody, the central city square. You know it's a town square because it has an enormous plague column in it. One of my coworkers described the plague column as a village's way of saying, "Wow, the Black Plague really sucked. Let's put up a big statue to remind us daily how awesome it is to not be living with the Black Plague."

Fun Fact: The age of consent in the Czech Republic is 15.

Hotel TV: The channels on the TV are selected based on the nationality of the guests present, Americans excluded. So on Tuesday/Wednesday, Channel 22 and 23 are Russian sitcoms, game shows and soap operas;last night (and tonight) - Channel 22 is Japanese game shows and soap operas. Which leads me to my next point:

Fact: Every soap opera in the world has the same hairdressers.

Famous Czechs that every Czech person wants to make sure you know are Czech: Milan Kundera (author, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"), Vaclav Havel (statesman, author), Anton Dvorak ("most famous composer in the world", say many Czechs), Karel Capek (author, playwright who wrote "R.U.R." and coined the term "robot"), Kurt Goedel (mathematician, "Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem" - actually, only people from Brno seem to want to claim him as Czech).

FUN FACT: Drinking alcohol on the street (no paper bag required) is not only legal, it is encouraged.

ATTN: US Action Movie Directors - if you're going to film a car chase scene in Nadrozy (sp?) Square in Prague, the people of the Czech Republic would like you to make sure the people there SPEAK CZECH and not RUSSIAN.

NEWSFLASH: Recently on my TV - Don La Fontaigne (RIP) doing a travel ad for SLOVAKIA, a REAL LIFE FAIRYTALE in THE HEART OF EUROPE.

FUN FACT: Brno, Czech Republic is home to five universities. Combining this fact with other facts is left as an exercise to the reader.

PREVIOUSLY PLAYING: The Czech dub of CUBE 2: HYPERCUBE. Unlike CSI, this dub actually seems to track pretty well.

NOW PLAYING: For the "Vikend s Braddem Pittem", our current film is SEDM, starring Morgan Freeman and Bradu Pittem. I don't know how they found a Czech dude who sounds EXACTLY like Czech Morgan Freeman, but they did (I also don't know why his name isn't all Czech-ified). Bradu Pittem? Not so much a Brad Pitt.

This post has been brought to you by Doc, your guide to the World of Facts™.
Rosamundrosa_mundi on October 17th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I feel so informed. Thanks, World of Facts™!
Rosamundrosa_mundi on October 19th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
I'm actually serious.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 19th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
Yay! (It's been busy over here, but I could imagine your voice saying that, so I did not think you were kidding)

I was in Prague yesterday, and Charles University in Prague is one of the oldest universities in the world. It has its own section of the campus which is called the "Jesuit Quarter", the buildings which were under control of the Jesuits for teaching and so on. It made me think of you and your time at Loyola.
Rosamundrosa_mundi on October 22nd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
Ok, cool. I would like to go to Prague: do they need anyone who can do a lot of technical maintenance scut work in various platforms? (Kidding.)

Wow. That's pretty cool.

I look forward to hearing more.
XCorvisxcorvis on October 17th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
Dare I ask how you discovered the age of consent?
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 17th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Surprisingly enough, this was stated (repeatedly) as the answer to several questions about cultural norms about the Czech Republic in one of the tourism guides I looked at on-line (I don't remember which, to tell you the truth). The other favorite answer was, "The Czech Republic is a land-locked country in continental Europe", which was similarly oblique.
XCorvisxcorvis on October 17th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Yay for sex tourism?
Bitwisebitwise on October 17th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
I dare you to say
"Kundera. Oh, the informer guy?"
Troysoullesshippy on October 17th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
basically i am pretty jealous
Doc, stop being your own kind of traveler and be my kind of traveler! go eat traditional Czech things! Then go to Czech coffeeshops to Czech-people watch, and then transmit to me the untransmittable information you gain from the endless hours of watching them, including full mastery of their really difficult language.
Troysoullesshippy on October 17th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: basically i am pretty jealous
also i will need all that traditional Czech food (preserved in its natural state of course, so don't you dare go and digest it for the weeks you're there) regurgitated into my waiting mouth.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 17th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Re: basically i am pretty jealous
I have been spending many evenings walking around Brno, and people-watching (which is, for the most part, the reason I have made no updates). There will be more updates as time permits.
Troysoullesshippy on October 17th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Re: basically i am pretty jealous
excellent. please continue your good work.
❀✯ L.E. Arroway ✭✈: duranlyght on October 17th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
Plague column. Way better reason to erect a column than "commerce" or "patriotism" which seem to be the best excuses in the US.
XCorvisxcorvis on October 17th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Intriguing.
Fundamental difference between us: we like to remember things that were better, they like to remember that things are better now.

That doesn't hold up, of course. We have the Vietnam Memorial which is kind of like a horizontal plague column.
XCorvisxcorvis on October 17th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Intriguing.
Now I can never run for office.
Josiah Carlsonchouyu_31 on October 18th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Re: Intriguing.
I think your comment above regarding tourism was sufficient for that.
❀✯ L.E. Arroway ✭✈: duranlyght on October 18th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Intriguing.
I second.
beltramgregor on October 19th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Intriguing.
Ah, come on guys. Something about American politicians makes me think that sex tourism is ok, but the other comment...not so much.
2 Places at oncefayde on October 20th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
Awsome! Drinking on the streets reminds me of Belfast. It was hard to get used to. Also, I can only imagin a culture where the age of consent is 15, there are 5 colleges in one city and everyone can drink on the street...
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 25th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
Remarkably restrained, really.
McGhiever: Mokomcghiever on October 24th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
Not to be creepy, but I merely happen to know that the age of consent in Minnesota is 16. So this isn't exactly a yawning chasm of cultural difference.

BTW, I hereby forbid beltramgregor from using the term "yawning chasm" in any response to this post.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 25th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
If there were anyone who would know this and I would not think it creepy, it would probably be you.

I think the wholesale outlawing of the phrase "yawning chasm" from beltramgregor's vocabulary is a universally good thing. I don't think we'd find much disagreement from, say, NATO.