Farmers’ markets have become an inescapable phenomenon for anyone interested in the culinary opportunities on offer in Prague. I’ve discovered that the markets in Anděl, Jiřího z Poděbrad, Holešovice, and Náplavka – on the banks of the Vltava – are somewhat akin to a traveling circus. On one day here, the next there. Familiar faces, familiar stalls, moving from one location to the next.
Police and customs officials on Tuesday raided several dozen stalls at the open-air market in the town of Aš on the Czech-German border. Some two hundred officers searched the grounds for fake goods and drugs in what is reported to be one biggest raids on an open air market in years. Twelve salespeople were detained for questioning.
Customs officers have confiscated thousands of knock-offs at a market place in the Znojmo region, in South Moravia. Among the goods found in the raid, which took place on Saturday, were fake designer watches, perfumes, and clothing with brand name logos. The exact retail value of the confiscated products will be determined on Monday, when experts evaluate the fake designer goods.
Prague’s Libuš district is home to a sprawling Vietnamese market called Sapa and is one of the main centres of the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic. The local town hall has recently complained of growing tension between the Czech and Vietnamese communities in the area, where they say the latter is forming a ghetto. Although the police have noted no significant increase in crime, the district mayor has warned of problems on the horizon.
In Business News this week: Czechs are spending much less on their Christmas shopping this year than last; the US has put the Czech Republic on a pirate-goods blacklist; unions claim that Škoda Auto is to cut back operations by three percent, and Czech sport is feeling the effects of the global financial crisis.
Business inspectors have carried out a large-scale raid on a market in the Moravian capital Brno. Over a million crowns worth of fake branded good have been uncovered at the market on the city’s Olomoucká St in an operation involving over 200 people, including police and customs officers. Several foreign nationals were arrested in the weekend’s inspection, which uncovered a factory producing counterfeit goods. The raid – described by a business inspectorate official as the biggest for at least a year – is set to continue over the whole weekend.
SAPA is about as close as you are going to get to feeling like you are in Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh City, while you are still, in fact, in Prague. At certain moments, and from certain angles, you can almost forget the prefab housing which surrounds the Vietnamese market, and believe that you are on a completely different continent. SAPA is the heart of the Czech Republic’s rapidly-expanding Vietnamese community, and not for nothing has it been dubbed ‘little Vietnam’. But unlike the Chinatowns that form an integral part of many a city, SAPA is miles
Sculptor David Cerny’s “Hanging Man” causes a panic in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A young man climbs up Prague’s famous astronomical clock to win a bet! And ski resorts in the south Bohemian mountain range are working around the clock to make artificial snow for Prague. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
Holesovice market is the largest in Prague and attracts 12 million visitors a year. Fruit and vegetable stalls are perhaps its biggest draw, though it also features some regular shops, and lots of Vietnamese stalls, selling everything from knuckledusters to fake designer clothing. Now its operators are working hard to modernize the market and clean up its image. They have even given it a new name: River Town Prague.