place your bets on chance and apathy

February 23, 2010

First, greetings from Choco Cafe. 🙂 I’ve ordered a choco cafe and bruschetta. Delicious.

Second, the imminent death I described a few blogs back? Don’t worry, I’m still alive, but this death is really drawn-out and is getting more and more painful. I’d forgotten that the pharmacies here make you get a prescription for Sudafed so I’m mooching off friends for a lot of my drugs. I just want to get healthy again!

A common question I get regarding life in Prague are some of the cultural differences I’ve experienced.
On a day-t0-day basis, here are some common differences I’ve noticed:

– Czech people are reserved and quiet. They talk softly on trams and metros, and consider it rude when large groups are being loud. This one is most difficult for a lot of the kids on my program, and I will admit to being loud especially at night when I’m traveling on the tram after a night out!
– Sniffing instead of blowing your nose is considered more rude – completely opposite of the USA
– When on the metro or a tram, seats are reserved for the elderly or families with children. On my way to choco Cafe today, I was seated on a full metro and an elderly couple walked on board. The young man seated next to me and myself both stood up and offered them our seats, which they took graciously.
– Nobody travels in groups bigger than 2. This is also a huge indicator of spotting Americans, and the metro police (who randomly check to see if you have your tram pass) always stop us.
– The cafe culture is huge here. Because everyone lives with their parents until they’re at least 25, everyone meets up at pubs or cafes to chat with friends. I love this aspect of Europe.
– PDA is EVERYWHERE. And it’s not considered rude.
– Eating and drinking while walking or on the metro is considered very American – and if you’re spotted eating on a metro, you’ll probably be glared at.
– Spitting on the streets is common, along with not cleaning up after your dog. Warning: EVERYONE has a dog.
– Cat calling is supposed to be really disrespectful and is majorly frowned upon. Unfortunately, my and my girlfriends have experienced this too many times to truly believe that it is that bad or rude. Ugh.
– Like everywhere else in Europe, you want the check? You ask for it. This makes a lot of sense and it’s nice not being pressured by the restaurant to leave, but can be annoying at times if you want to leave in a hurry.
– This isn’t really a cultural difference, but more of a funny tradition. If you sneeze while someone is saying something, they exclaim, “It’s true!” As in, whatever statement they were making was confirmed by the fact that you sneezed. I love this one!

I’ll update on this subject more once I discover new things.

By the way, you guys should definitely check out all my friends’ blogs. Almost all of my close friends here keep blogs, and even though we are all doing basically the same things, hearing their perspective will definitely be worth your while. If you scroll down on my blog, there’s a section called “Blog Roll” with links to Jenny, Celia, Walt, Alex, and Sarah’s blogs (Becca never updates so don’t even bother with hers bwahaha). I’m mentioned in quite a lot of them too.

p.s. On a random note, if you send me a letter or a card, let me know! The mail that I check is literally two giant cubbies completely full and disorganized, some with letters from 2008. So I’ll only sift through it if I have to, and on that note, it’d be easier if you sent me things in a colored envelope or something. Just an FYI.

currently listening to: grizzly bear, “slow life”


2 Responses to “place your bets on chance and apathy”

  1. Everything you mentioned is sooo true!! 🙂

  2. Mitch said

    I like this sneezing thing.

    Lately when people sneeze in class I’ve been glaring at them and saying “Jesus Christ! Thats disgusting”

    “its true!” sounds much more fun

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