I would like to think that these guys were not real cops or off duty or something but when we went to the Police station where we had been the day before to complain about our treatment the officer, who was again extremely nice and spoke excellent English, told us that the policemen that gave me the ticket worked for another police department.
I suppose that they were city police where the guys who showed us the way to our hotel were state police. This is not unusual. I think they were definitely real police officers but I doubt seriously if there is any record of our "transaction". One of the things I love about Europe is that you absolutely don't need a car because the trains and buses go everywhere, and fairly frequently. I've never driven a car in Europe and hope I never have to.
I've never paid any kind of fine in 5 years, and never had any trouble with any police, except once in Italy , where I was just walking down the street and some Carabinieri made me empty all my pockets for no reason whatsoever. After they looked at everything, they left. But I got the feeling there's really no freedom in Italy. You're right - it is not the most car -friendly of places - the cities, anyway, in the countryside it is a breeze, and the same is true of Austria , Slovakia and Hungary.
I have lost track of the times I have been fined in these countries, but it has not put me off one little bit. It was my own silly fault for driving in those places in the first place :. I don't agree that you can get anywhere in Europe with public transportation - my husband and I have been to many, many places in the countryside and little villages inaccessible by public transportation. We prefer getting off the tourist path to cities, though.
If we were just going from one city to the next we would do it but we travel very differently from that. However, this has been a great warning, albeit a scary experience that must have been extremely frustrating and downright awful. Tip: All of your saved places can be found here in My Trips. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Profile Join. Log in Join. Avoid driving in Czech Republic. Watch this Topic. Browse forums All Browse by destination.
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How to piss off a Czech - Matador Network
Destination Expert for Istria, Croatia. Even on a day so saturated with importance for Europe, he refused on grounds that the Czech Republic "is not an EU province. On that very same clear and crisp New Year's Eve, miles to the southeast, a significantly different scene was unfolding in the Slovak capital of Bratislava. Thus, at the very same moment that their cousins to the west became if ambivalently for some the second former communist-bloc state to assume the rotating presidency of the European Union, Slovaks became the second former communist-bloc state to adopt the common European currency, bringing to 16 the total number of countries in the euro zone.
Membership in the EU means many things for the myriad states of Europe. For some it represents a greater sense of unity and a progression away from European warfare.
For others, it offers the free movement of goods and labor and the promise of greater economic integration and prosperity. For the states of the former Soviet bloc in particular, the EU symbolizes full rehabilitation and acceptance back into the European family of states. It also stands for a sense of security and for some, such as the Czech Republic, a sense of recognition as a vital partner in the future of Europe.
The Czech ascendancy to the EU presidency and the Slovak adoption of the euro are part of an ongoing process of enlarging the very definition of "Europe.
In this sense, the events of New Year's Eve in Prague and Bratislava are the latest examples of the strains and tensions these people have felt creating their own sense of nationhood while simultaneously negotiating a relationship with the rest of Europe. Czechoslovakia came into existence in in concert with the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the end of World War I. This new and relatively small state was situated in the geographic center of Europe, bounded by five states Germany, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Austria.
These neighbors looked at the newcomer with varying degrees of animosity because of the territory that each had been forced to give up to the new and independent Czech and Slovak state. From its very beginning, the union of Czechs and Slovaks was a marriage of convenience intended to preserve a slim Slavic majority over significant German and Hungarian minorities located within their new postwar borders.
Proponents of an independent Czech and Slovak state initially conceived it as a marriage of equal partnership. However, Slovak desires for a large measure of autonomy within a federated state soon fell victim to a stronger Czech economic and political heritage. Czechs were able to exercise more control over both domestic and foreign policy in large part because they enjoyed a greater degree of political sophistication, industrial development, and economic prosperity. This set the stage very early for a tense relationship between Czechs and Slovaks that has long simmered just beneath the surface of their shared history.
Despite the amicable dissolution of Czechoslovakia—the infamous Velvet Divorce—remnants of these tensions remain. The s were a pivotal decade for both Czechs and Slovaks in shaping their respective attitudes toward membership in regional and international organizations and in their expectations of what it meant to be European.
In many respects, the seeds of the New Year's celebrations, and the significance of the events those celebrations heralded, were planted in the fertile and contested soil of that first interwar decade. Czechs and Slovaks were sensitive to their status as subjugated peoples under the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Czechs had enjoyed a far greater degree of political autonomy under the Austrian half of the empire than had the Slovaks under the Hungarian half. Yet, both were determined to take advantage of the spirit of national self-determination that accompanied the Versailles Peace Settlement ending the First World War.
Czech communists confront bitter legacy of Prague Spring
Both national movements realized they would be a very slim majority within their own states unless they joined forces, promoted a shared culture and history, and defended the legitimacy of a constructed state with debatable historical precedent. The greater economic viability of a combined Czecho-Slovak state also appealed to Western statesmen more concerned with mapmaking than understanding the realities on the ground in East Central Europe.
Foremost in the minds of leading Czech politicians in the s and s was how to deal with the precarious role of small states in European affairs. Diplomatic and military alliances with France and closer economic ties with Great Britain dominated a large portion of their agendas and were intended to reinforce the importance of Czechoslovakia to European-wide peace and prosperity.
Czechoslovakia billed itself as a natural bridge between East and West and emphasized its substantial industrial base and historic connections to European institutions. It came increasingly to believe that it was indispensable to European security and prosperity. However, it was the insecurity of a small state, long relegated to minor roles within larger multinational structures i.
For example, in the s and s Czechoslovakia attempted to derail several initiatives by other European powers to create greater economic unity among the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Many of these proposals sought to capitalize on the historic interconnectedness of the region's economies by essentially re-creating a customs union among former imperial constituents. However, these plans fell out of favor among the Czechs when Great Britain and France supported projects centered in either Vienna or Budapest—as opposed to Prague.
Czechs saw any union based in one of the former imperial capitals as tantamount to resurrecting the Austro-Hungarian Empire and proof that their position in Europe was not only underappreciated but under threat. Additionally, Czechs understood that they possessed one of the most developed and stable economies in the region.
They felt this fact reserved them a leading role in any regional economic or political structure. Many observers interpreted this as Czechoslovak obstructionism, but for Czechs, this episode represented an opportunity to assert their willingness to embrace a European identity only if they were accepted as equal, first-tier members.
Czechs believed they were as crucial to European stability as Great Britain and France, but had more to lose than the larger states if that recognition was not embraced by all. The result was frustration among many Western European leaders who could not understand Prague's seemingly mixed signals.
We respect the almighty denim, and ripping it up to look cool is totally unacceptable. We are not, and never have been, Russian. We make marionettes, not Matryoshka dolls. If you need further convincing, we dislike Russians because the Soviets invaded our country with tanks in , and fucked everything up.
So just stop. We love our breads, meats, and milks and cook everything with those products. I hope you like salad. Otherwise, demanding your meal be free of dairy or gluten products, and getting exactly what you want, is not going to happen. They are two different countries, with two different cultures, and two different languages.
We get along just fine, but even so, start referring to us by our separate identities. For example, Slovaks have adopted the Euro, and Czechs would rather pay for things in beer. Czechs take their beer drinking seriously.
But apart from that, Czech Budweiser and American Budweiser have a sketchy history. Exportation drama and legalities surrounding rights to the Budweiser name have existed since the s. Czech men are actually pretty placid. They party in their own way, and that typically involves drinking about 16 beers in a smoky pub, followed by a conversation about football or complaining about their wives. We just like taking your money. But it still pisses us off that you think we suck that shit down on the regular.
Oh man, seriously?