Over the last seventeen years Czechs have gotten increasingly used to fast food and now many accept everything from hamburgers to hot dogs to pizza as part of their regular diet, if not every day than certainly from time to time. Forgotten are the days when there were only one or two international franchises in town: there are increasingly more venues to choose, with ever more variety.
Gone are the days when the only thing you could get at a Czech flower shop were a few wilting carnations. Nowadays, you can find a florist at every corner, packed with Dutch tulips and flowers of every colour and shape. According to recent data of the Czech Association of Flower Growers, Czechs are spending an increasing amount of money on flowers.
Hundreds of scouts around the Czech Republic have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the scouting movement. One event involved 60 Czech scouts meeting 40 from Poland on the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, Snezka. There have also been scouts' gatherings on other Czech mountains, including Praded, Bezdez and Blanik.
The International scouting movement celebrated its 100th birthday on Wednesday, and Czechs, along with scouts from around 200 other countries, have been taking part in the festivities. There are now more than 45,000 scouts in the Czech Republic - a far cry from the 13 that attended the first Czech scout camp back in 1912. The rise in membership is impressive, but it's been a bumpy ride for the Czech scouting movement over its first hundred years. With a brief history of scouting in the Czech Republic, here's Rosie Johnston:
Under communism, when travelling was far from easy, many Czechs' main form of escape was spending time at their country cottages. In the 1990s it remained an extremely common part of life in the Czech Republic, with many families continuing to load up their cars and head to their chata every weekend. But now, it seems, this is changing.
The number of Czechs spending weekends at their country cottages has fallen significantly, suggests a survey quoted in Lidove noviny. The poll found that while in 2001 19 percent spent weekends at their "chalupa", in 2007 the figure has fallen to less than 8 percent. A sociologist told the daily the reason for the drop was that young people today have less free time and either work or stay at home at weekends.
On hearing cicadas, most Czechs recall Croatia. Last summer, around 1 000 000 Czechs travelled there to enjoy summer vacation. In other words, one tenth of all citizens of the Czech Republic including newborns and the elderly crossed the Croatian border during the high tourist season. I asked Goran, who has worked in tourism here on Rab Island in Croatia for 15 years, which nationality of tourists he considers the most numerous, in Goran's words the most "populated".
The 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival came to a close on Saturday night with a glitzy ceremony at the town's Thermal hotel. The festival's prize the Crystal Globe was presented to a number of directors and actors - and to US star Danny DeVito, who got an award for outstanding contribution to world cinema.
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