A Different Morning

original text, October 2006

You wake up, go to the bathroom, have a breakfast with coffee, drive your kids to school and then go to work. It’s so ordinary for you. You do it this way every day, your friends do it every day, your neighbour … well, your neighbour has retired now, but she surely did this sequence of actions some time ago too, if there were cars back then. You don’t even think about this routine, unless something happens and that’s not very often. But in another time or a different country, the morning would be completely different. Let’s take a typical Czech morning for example.

The first distinction is in the alarm clock. Of course, we all have clocks from Taiwan but Czech ones ring about two hours earlier. Yes, indeed. The working hours of majority of jobs is set from 7 to 3, so forget sleeping in. You have to wake up. And even coffee, the main source of morning energy, can’t help you out. The Czechs usually drink tea or cocoa and you want to be a stereotypical Czech, don’t you? So you have some tea, some bread with a ham or salami or jam … oh, that’s right, no eggs and bacon and no cereals either. A terrible breakfast indeed.

There’s not much to mention about the toilet except the well-known thing that water whirls in the other direction. Also the Czech way of brushing teeth is normal. Only the Czechs are mostly not so much sophisticated to use a dental floss or mouthwash. And males use safety razors more often than the modern powerful shavers from TV ads.

The style of clothes is world-wide, so you would have the same clothes you have now (unless you are reading this in your pyjama). So now we are ready to go. Of course, your car is broken. Not because they are so ropy; you just have to try the public transport there. As you are familiar with, every vehicle has defined number of seats and stands available. In the most of countries, these values are strictly followed for the safety of the passengers. But in the Czech Republic, it doesn’t matter how many people is stuffed inside as long as it is possible to close the doors. Getting in is very easy – you just push on the mass inside until you are there – but getting off can be very tricky.

But eventually you’ve got to work and your morning is over. So do you think you would like such a morning every day? Isn’t it nice to have your late waking up and your coffee and your bacon? Be glad for what you have here and pray for the Czechs to come to their senses.