So work progresses. Since my records weren't microfilmed yet, I had to get special permission to see the originals. It's pretty exciting. I'll tell you all about it, hope it doesn't go on too long. All day I look at the records from the city council starting in 1893. Every page. Wow, pretty neat, huh? Hope that wasn't too exciting for you all.
And now for our special update on the war against terrorism — The Czechs strike back! Yes, I'm safe here in Prague because the Czech army is protecting me. A few recent events of note:
The Czech army put several armored personnel carriers in front of Radio Free Europe (actually half of them broke down on the drive in) to deter terrorist attacks. Last month a local artist stole the headlights off them and put them on display in the national museum.
Several weeks ago a rocket launcher was found in a field near the airport. No news yet on how it got there.
Last week an army helicopter crashed. Investigators determined the cause of the crash — it was out of fuel.
Two months ago an army helicopter had its gun fall off while flying over a residential neighborhood.
The Czech airforce has a little jet fighter made by a Czech company. They want to sell it abroad, but had a setback this week when the defense minister called it "more of a danger to the person flying it than to any enemy."
So the legend of the Good Soldier Schweik* lives on. Last week Prime Minister Zeman offered the US full Czech military support in the war against terrorism. No word yet on Washington's response...
Life in Prague? Who knows, it's dark by the time I get out of the archives. A few things are the same as in 99:
Crazy Horn Man. Just a guy who sits on the Charles bridge, wearing plastic horns and sticking his tongue out. All the while selling drawings he's made of himself doing this. Since the Charles Bridge is the most expensive place to get a permit for, he must make some money at it. Perhaps he's not so crazy after all.
The naked weather girl is still here. On Nova TV (The equivalent of a big three network) the weather is done by a naked woman who comes out and then dresses appropriately for the day's temperature. Fear not, there is also a weather guy, but you don't see him much. Perhaps he is reluctant to appear on cold days.
And the other thing still the same, I saw the rascist Russian artist I met last time, still here. [See Letter From Abroad 1999 — Four] Ah good old Prague.
Dat's all folks!
*Good Soldier Schweik — Famous novel by Jaroslav Hasek** depicting a character who gets through life in WWI by acting so stupid authority figures can't decide what to do with him. Germans read it as typical Czech idiocy while Czechs have taken the character to heart as representing clever passive resistance to authority.
**Jaroslav Hasek — Famous Czech writer who recommended that everyone should drink at least 18 beers a day. His most famous book Schweik was actually never completed due to his unfortuneate death at a young age from liver failure.