16-10-2004

The former Czech prime minister Milos Zeman has a new brand of beer named after him. The best Czech chefs are off to Erfurt with a pastry masterpiece: Dali's famous clock in dark and white chocolate. And, the family from next door: there's a very good reason why you should ask them to lunch. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

Beer brewers in the Slovak town of Poprad have decided to name their latest product after the former Czech prime minister Milos Zeman. The latest beer brand from Poprad will carry the proud label "Edelmann" which is the German translation of Zeman. This is no coincidence - and is linked to one of the former prime minister's gaffes while on a foreign tour. On an official visit to Slovakia some years ago, Mr. Zeman told his hosts that their beer was so bad it could only be used to soak one's dentures in overnight. We hope this brand is more to Mr. Zeman's taste - producers in Poprad joked this week. Zeman - now a pensioner living a quiet life in the Moravian highlands -was not to be outdone "it has got to be better - it could hardly get any worse!" he responded.

 

"The family from next door" is the name of a project launched by the Slovo 21 association and its main goal is to help foreigners residing in the Czech Republic to integrate with society and make new friends more easily. The idea is that one hundred Czech families will invite one hundred foreign families residing here to come to lunch on October 28 - a state holiday - which most Czechs celebrate at home with an easy laid back family lunch. We want to bring whole families together in an easy way - get them to share food, try something from a different culture, talk about their problems, about their children, about their lives in general, says the organizer of the event Michaela Dvorakova. Normally this process would take much longer -but if we help to break the ice I am sure that it will be the beginning of many new friendships. The organization is taking offers from Czech families who are interested and matching them with foreign families willing to take part - taking into consideration age, professions, interests, children and language skills. Families who want to take part and think they may have a problem communicating in a foreign language should not hesitate -there will be students on standby ready to help out. In any case -if you are a Czech or foreign family and want to make new friends in this way - please go to www.slovo21.cz. for more information.

 

Do you like to savour the taste of a good cigar after lunch? Then there's a competition you might like to take part in - a contest in how long you can linger over your cigar. Smoking a cigar in the longest time possible is an annual competition in the town of Olomouc and many cigar smokers spend months practicing for it. Every year the jury chooses a different type of cigar for the contest. This year it was a Stanislaw Corona from the Dominican Republic. It is 14 centimetres long and weighs 20 grams and the winner - Petr Urbancik from Opava - managed to smoke it for an admirable 2 hours, 30 minutes and 5 seconds!

 

A ten member team of Czech chefs is heading for the international chefs contest in the German town of Erfurt this weekend. They say that competition will be tough in all categories - and their strongest rivals will be chefs from London and New York. The Czech team of pastry chefs is entering the contest with a Dali work of art in dark and white chocolate this year - one of Dali's trademark "melting" clocks, as you can see on RP's web page. I can't imagine how anyone could bear to nibble on that and spoil the perfection...

 

Collectors of antiques from across the Czech Republic are expected to descend on the Moravia town of Olomouc in two weeks time for an annual sales exhibition of antiques. It is said to be an opportunity to pick up some great pieces. The cheapest items start at 100 crowns but if you have money to burn - you can buy office furnishings for 2,2 million crowns. For instance, a Biedermeier clock is being sold for 55,000 Czech crowns. You'll find furniture, watches, clocks, jewellery, paintings, porcelain and glass, among other things - and not least an exhibition of fashion -clothes and accessories from the 19th and 20th centuries. So if you are interested check that exhibition out - it is called Moravsky Antik and it is on from the 23rd until 31st of October in the town of Olomouc.

 

Erazim Kohak in front of his billboard, photo: CTKErazim Kohak in front of his billboard, photo: CTK Philosopher Erazim Kohak who is running in the senate by-elections surprised voters in Prague 4 by painting his own billboard before their very eyes this week. Unlike his rivals who stared down from professionally made billboards wearing their best suit and the obligatory smile - Mr. Kohak turned up in a red chequered shirt, green hat and bearing several cans of paint. He ascended a mobile platform and painted a rainbow, people of different colours, a dog and a horse. People can read what they like into it, he said.

 

On Schumann Square, right next to the headquarters of the European Commission you will now find a huge bright circus tent that contains the past, present and future of the European Union. On entering it you will come face to face with one of the architects of European integration Jean Monet, a huge conference table bearing all 90.000 pages of EU legislature and a big crystal ball in which you can see the past, present and future of the EU. On the inside walls of the tent - each member state has been allotted its own presentation space - and the result is a jumble of faces, landmarks, trademarks, slogans and motifs. The Czech collage contains the good soldier Svejk, Vaclav Havel, Jaromir Jagr, Vaclav Klaus, Martina Navratilova, beer and dumplings, the porn star Dolly Buster, astronaut Vladimir Remek, a pink tank, the little mole - a popular storybook character - and a million other things. Some visitors say it is totally chaotic - but others love studying the national collages to identify different people and motifs. And of course it is not meant to be taken entirely seriously - it envisages a future in which the EU will have 50 member states - and will be called simply "The Union". "It is provocative - says one visitor - it makes you think about what could happen both in the positive and negative sense".

16-10-2004