Summer time in Prague usually means one thing: spending long, warm nights at the Riegrovy Sady beer garden and park. They have a big screen for watching sport events like the world cup, or bad pop music videos on the rare occasion that there is no sport to watch. The beers are cheap and plentiful and you will usually run into someone you know wether you want to or not. It’s the best part about summertime in this city.
And anyone who has lived in Prague for more than a year knows the worst part. No, I am not talking about the influx of American study abroad kids, or even the Italian tourist and their loud shoes and voices. No, I am talking about the glorious odor that rises up from this city in the summer months – specifically on public transportation. That’s right: B.O. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Please PLEASE, Czech men! Wear some deodorant and button up that shirt! No one needs to see a fifty year old guy walking around with a big belly hanging out, and then realize that he stinks too. What is wrong with people?
And this summer, I have had the rare pleasure of being the victim of yet another public transportation foible. Violence. Not once, but twice, I have found myself on the ground due to someone rushing off, or to public transport. The first was a Czech man who pushed me (with two hands!) off of the 133 bus onto the ground and then LEAPED over me. The second, this time two American girls, knocked me over while running down the hill to catch a tram. They didn’t stop as they yelled “I’m sorry”.
I am not blaming Prague for this, because there are assholes in every city. But, I am pointing a finger of shame to the general lack of courtesy in this country. I know people who have been pushed, shoved and yelled at on the Metro. A few years back I was pushed down the metro escalator by an angry old Czech lady. How hard is it to be nice? How difficult is it to give up your seat to someone – even if you don’t want to? I am hoping that these have been isolated incidents and not a precursor of things to come, because between the rudeness and the vuvuzelas – someone is going to um, get a really stern talking to.