Archive for September, 2007

9:39 am

Czech Money

While the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, they haven’t (yet) switched to the euro. A planned changeover was supposed to begin in 2010, but now 2012 is believed to be the earliest date that they’ll start to adopt the euro.

In the meantime, of course, they’re still using their own money, the Czech crown. I like this series of postings (you have to scroll down a little bit to get past a post about an exhibition of Chinese money), describing who’s who on Czech money. While the 5000 CZK note features Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of independent Czechoslovakia, most other bills do not portray the usual politicians and government figures. The 2000 CZK bill has an opera singer, Emma Destinova; Frantisek Palacky, on the 1000 CZK bill, is better known as a historian than as a politician; a Czech authoress, Bozena Nemcova, is featured on the 500 CZK bill; the Czech "Father of Modern Education" Jan Amos Komensky is on the 200 CZK bill; on the 100 CZK banknote is Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia who is regarded by Czechs as the "Father of the Country"; while St. Anezka Ceska (Agnes of Bohemia) gets the 50 CZK bill. (With regard to Agnes of Bohemia, did anyone notice the irony of putting someone who had vowed herself to poverty on money? Or is that why they chose the smallest denomination?)

It’s a little surprising that Wenceslaus doesn’t get any money. On the other hand, he does get a public holiday (September 28, this coming Friday, as it turns out), so maybe the Czechs figured that evens it out?

1:59 am

Dutiful Pedestrians

Czech pedestrians are very complaisant when faced with traffic lights. They will stand patiently at the curb, waiting for the light to change, even when there’s no traffic in sight, even at midnight, even at 9 AM when they’re scurrying to work. (Well, actually, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Czech scurry.)

Czech drivers, on the other hand, and most particularly cab drivers, appear to consider traffic lights to be strictly advisory. Which, come to think of it, may be why the pedestrians are so cautious.

9:15 am

Diplôme de Français des Affaires, 1er Degré: The Results

So, I took this exam before I left Paris last June, and I’ve been waiting patiently for my results.

My certificate arrived today. I passed with a mention très bien, which indicates a score of 80% or better and is the highest mark given. Yippee!

9:29 am

My New(ish) Neighborhood

So, now that I’m settling kinda sorta permanently (well for a year or so anyway) in Prague, I’ve taken a new apartment, a shared flat, in Vinohrady, near Náměstí Míru.

I continue to be fascinated by the colors and ornamentation of the buildings. The three buildings I can see from out my bedroom window:

And more buildings from a random walking tour around my neighborhood:

In a very different mood, there’s this, the Žižkov TV Tower:

The Church of the Sacred Heart is also kinda sorta in my neighborhood. It’s a relatively modern church, having been completed in 1932. One of its most noteworthy features is the transparent clock in the tower (which unfortunately you can’t see from the angle at which this picture was taken):

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