My new commute is to Prague. Some people commute to Manhattan; my commute is overseas. My business trips are usually two weeks, although there are times I am living in a city for a month. The great thing for me, living in an international city, is that I have the opportunity to develop friendships with local colleagues and learn about the culture and the history from their perspective.
I have an apartment in the New City of Prague. The couple of weeks I was there, I observed tourists with Google maps wandering on my street, obviously looking for some sight. A colleague, knowing my street, told me the Parachutist’s Church is on my block and asked have I seen the bullet holes? did I know the story? Of course I did not. Time to Google.
What an amazing story (see link below).
So on Sunday afternoon, I was returning to my apartment and stopped at the store for toilet paper. Carrying the toilet paper under my arm (no bag), I was passing the church and figured I would stop. It’s a church. I will be in and out in five minutes. I read the historical sign, try to enter the church, and the door is locked. Time to go home with my toilet paper. I see a sign saying the museum is downstairs so decide to take a look. With my toilet paper. I spent 2½ hrs in the museum. Tourists were visiting with their guides and cameras; I had my toilet paper.
Here is what I have learned so far:
- Czechs are understated. They do not like to draw attention to themselves nor believe in exaggeration. This may be due to communist rule.
- Never say Czechoslovakia. It is the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Two distinct countries.
- The Czech Republic did not invite Hitler and the Nazis. Great Britain and France told the Czech government to allow Hitler to annex them – the Munich Agreement.
- Operation Anthropoid.
Why am I relating this story? There is a big world out there and I have so much to learn. If you take the time to question and truly understand, it is amazing and inspiring.