29-10-2006

This week in Mailbox: New Radio Prague programme leaflets are in print! Response to last weekend's programmes, the CzechWrecks rally, typos in the transcripts of our programmes, an incident during a military excercise in Sweden and more. Listeners quoted: Baber Shehzad, Jonathan Murphy, Jerry Fridrich, Ed Riley, Frank Miata, Stephani Shelton, Vic Maddex.

Hello. You are listening to Mailbox, Radio Prague's weekly programme devoted to your letters and e-mails. Thank you very much for those many Eid Mubarak greetings we've been getting during the week. This week, our Hindu listeners in Bihar and Nepal have been celebrating the festival of Chhath - also, many thanks for the greetings.

I'd like to remind you that our new leaflets with the winter season programme schedule and the frequencies are now in print, so if you'd like to have one, do let us know and we will send it to you free of charge wherever you are on the planet.

Our listener Baber Shehzad from Pakistan listened to last week's edition of Mailbox and says he enjoyed the interview with our listener Colin Law from New Zealand. And so did Jonathan Murphy from Ireland.

"I must say I enjoyed the interview with your listener from New Zealand and must congratulate him on his efforts to learn Czech! It is always very interesting to hear why other listeners tune into Radio Prague. Letter from Prague also caught my attention. I have always been struck by the manner in which some Czechs persist in going against their customers, even when they would benefit from being more pleasant. This is, as you so correctly point out, completely alien to most from the West. Customer service and indeed Czech attitudes towards authority are both important matters to raise, and I thank you for doing so."

As you know, Radio Prague is more than just a radio station. For the benefit of that part of our audience who do not own a shortwave radio or cannot listen to our programmes on the internet, for some years now we have been transcribing everything we broadcast, which is more than most radio stations anywhere will do. As the process needs to be quite fast sometimes, mistakes and typos do occur in the texts which we try to put right as soon as possible. Sometimes the readers point out the typos and misspellings to us. One of the more critical ones is Jerry Fridrich who wasn't happy with the spelling in our recent story about a festival of comic art taking place just off Prague's Wenceslas Square.

"Who is the square named after? Wenscelas sounds a bit Hungarian to me. Is he/she actually a person? We have here St. Wenceslaus church which is consecrated to the patron saint of the Czech Lands. At least, so I've been told. I couldn't help not noticing that you spell his name quite often, if not always, without the vowel "u", ie. Wenceslas (if I am not mistaken). This looks somewhat similar to your Wenscelas (if you excuse my imagination)."

Thank you very much, Jerry, for letting us know about the typo. It has been now fixed on the webpage. And yes, we spell Wenceslas without the "u" vowel. It appears to be the more common variety. Google produces 1,420,000 results for Wenceslas and only 259,000 for Wenceslaus. (His real name was Vaclav anyway.)

Ed Riley from somewhere in cyberspace writes:

"Some time ago you reported that a rally for old cars was being organised to start at Calais, France, and finishing in Prague. As I remember there some concern as to the roadworthiness of these old but not vintage vehicles. What was the outcome of this rally? Did it ever go ahead?"

The CzechWrecks rallye left Britain on Friday, September 1 and finished in Prague on Monday, September 4. Sixty teams took part, in cars purchased for less than £100. Some 40 cars made it to Prague, having driven over 1,300 miles, and undertaken a series of daily challenges to collect points in the meantime. Czech border police were on the alert following rumours in the press that the participants would be dumping hundreds of old cars on the streets of Prague and that's why some teams didn't make it over the border on their first attempt, including the organisers themselves. But that did not seem to dampen their spirits and they are already organising a CzechWrecks 2007.

On a vaguely related topic, Frank Miata who lives in Prague responded to our article on an incident that happened during a Czech-Swedish military exercise when a Czech pilot accidentally aimed at the wrong target.

"The joint military exercise between Sweden and the Czech Air Force appears to have produced a bit of a close call for a plane towing a target. Could it be that the auto driving habits of young Czechs have influenced the flying style of the military's pilots? It still appears that it is safer to be a Czech fighter pilot than a Czech auto driver."

And on a more positive note, Stephani Shelton from the United States writes:

"Every now and then I just want to tell you guys what a good job I think you do. The daily summaries are extremely useful to keep up with the news. And I check out some of the features you highlight which are really well done and interesting. Being a broadcast reporter and producer who started in radio at the age of 14, I am always interested in how other broadcast operations work. I visited Radio Praha sometime in the middle 90's, I think. I will never forget that elevator which never stopped - you had to hold your breath and just step on it like an escalator. It was an education (as well as a panic attack). Over the years in radio and TV reporting and producing - I have discovered that your bosses almost never tell you when you're doing a good job - only when you've screwed up. So all of us on the front lines tend to compliment each other for good stories etc. So I'm sending this along from a colleague in the US - your work is appreciated!"

Thank you very much, Stefani, and by the way, yes, you are right about the bosses.

And finally, Vic Maddex from England:

"I just wanted to let you know that I have been listening to your radio station on shortwave in the 49m band whilst driving my car in England. I know a lot of people are stopping transmissions on shortwave and using internet, but you can't easily listen to that in the car! Thanks for keeping me entertained."

The pleasure is on our side! And thanks for letting us know you are out there listening.

 

Now, you have until Tuesday to send us your answers to this month's quiz question which is very easy, I believe:

Which US Secretary of State was born in Prague?

The deadline for your answers is Tuesday, October 31. The address is Radio Prague, 12099, Prague or English@radio.cz. Thanks for listening and till next week, bye-bye.

29-10-2006

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