Cold-hearted Prague

When I told my friends in Brno that I was going to move to Prague eight years ago (pretty much to the day, actually), their reactions ranged from a kind of sadness tinged with understanding to outright outrage. The former realized that I found the Moravian capital too small and was feeling somewhat claustrophobic. The latter were indignant at my decision to leave the comfort of charming, laid-back little Brno. Prague is expensive, they told me, the people are cold and selfish and only think about money.

I heard the same thing from friends in Ottawa with regards to Toronto when I was contemplating a move from what I consider The Little Choke to The Big Smoke. I shrugged off my Moravian friends’ warnings and, in doing so, I suppose I took my first steps towards being what most Czechs would call a typical Praguer.

You know what? My mates were right. OK, so it’s not London or New York, but in comparison with the rest of the Czech Republic, people here are generally colder and more money-driven. And while I am still a fairly sensitive and forgiving cat, goddamnit people here really piss me off sometimes.

Here’s what’s got me in a mood: yesterday, while on her way home from teaching, Jitka slipped and fell down the escalator in a B-line metro station. Her knees and ego are a bit bruised, but otherwise she’s alright. In need of new shoes (I keep telling her to invest in an expensive pair but she keeps buying “temporary solutions”), but fine.

After asking her if she was alright, my next question was whether anybody stopped to help her. When she said that nobody had, my heart broke. I can’t believe that nobody in a rush-hour metro crowd stopped to help a woman who was clearly in distress. That’s not just cold and selfish, that’s utterly disgusting.

I suppose the silver lining is that no thieves tried to take advantage of the situation, touchwood.

Jan 5, 08:08 (Filed under: , Personal )

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  1. Id have to agree with you Patrick.
    Whenever I visit the other towns in this country people are much friendlier, downright jolly often. But this phenomenom is the same anywhere. I love the random street conversation but the truth is that its not nearly as common here as elsewhere.

    maybe Ill see you on Sunday at the open-mic.

    Chris Coleman    Jan 6, 17:12    #