Daily: Christmas Market Friends
People in this part of the world can get a reputation for being cold and unfriendly so when we decided to move to Prague, even though I knew I would at least know someone here, I prepared myself for the worst. Our experience has not been that people are cold or unwelcoming if you drill down even just the littlest bit. Is the lady ringing up your tchotcke trinkets from the tourist trap stall a beacon of warmth? No. But I feel like that happens everywhere. One can really only take so many tourist shenanigans.
There are certainly cultural differences. Visiting a medical practitioner you might not get a warm and fuzzy feeling. Getting any kind of government paperwork is a real…experience, but Andy and I often refer to our little piece of the neighborhood as Stars Hallow. The characters are funny and quirky. Even the cranky ones nod with a “dobry den” as we pass by. Everybody “knows a guy” who can help you out, and just as a for instance, if you lock yourself IN your building, the friendly police will come to your rescue. By the way, someone finally fixed that door so you can’t get locked in. Thank you, Someone!
Today we stopped by the butcher to get some meat on our way home from the park. Andy and I both really love the owner of the shop and while he has a bit of gruffness to him, he will patiently walk you through whatever you need him to. Since meat lasts approximately zero seconds in the fridge and I am so paranoid about food poisoning myself, we buy fresh nearly every day. He knows us well. I was carrying a bundle of sticks and we had Gus with us so I stayed back by the door and watched as the butcher gave Andy a mini Czech lesson and taught him the best way to order what he needed . It was so kind.
The owners of these hands belong to three older strangers we met at the Dresden Christmas market. As we sipped our gluhwine, they used every last bit of their English to tell us about themselves and answer our questions. As a long time fan of traveling, I can say with some confidence, that if you approach people with respect and an open heart, no matter what their color or culture, most often the results will be positive. We all respond to kindness.