An intern in my office knew that I was travelling to Czech Republic so she shared her travel experience with me, ‘you have to go to Cesky Krumlov. It’s beautiful! That’s also where most of the photos of Czech Republic are taken.’ Hence, it was on my agenda. I was too busy at work before the trip so instead of planning everything, I decided to just book a local tour that included everything.
There I was. I mean, we were. See? I told you. I was like a tour guide taking them around. It is good to just join a local tour when you are travelling with other people especially when the people you are travelling with are inexperienced backpackers / travellers – they can’t blame you if the arrangements are poor. So, there you go. Fortunately, there was nothing to complain about. The local tour was great.
‘Horno’ was the first word that popped up in my mind. I had to check if it was Spanish or German as I always mix the two up. I know the two are two very different languages but if you have learnt more than two languages, you will know even if they are very different, it’s easy to mix them up. Ok. It’s a Spanish word. I have once said something in German and then all of a sudden said ‘pero’. The Austrian guy laughed but he understood what I said because he also knows Spanish.
It was an interesting experience. I also find that people in Czech still tend to talk to male than female. Even if the acquaintance I travelled with looked skinny and short and I looked stronger and taller than he, Czech people still tended to start a conversation with him first. When my friend and I joined the conversations and apparently, we were more knowledgeable about the topic, they still, most of the time, kept their eye contact with the guy, unless I started to utter a few words in Deutsch. It appears that in some countries, the status of women is still lower than that of men and men still think they are superior to women. In fact, my acquaintance who is an Asian thinks that way too but because he was travelling with two females, he hid it quite well and only showed it when he started a conversation with some guys in a store… read on.
There were various kinds of puppets. We saw a team of Argentinian football (soccer) players in the store. I took the Messi puppet and played with it. While I was playing with it, I talked to myself, ‘kick the ball with your left foot.’ The shopkeeper was smiling. I smiled back. My acquaintance was selecting a puppet for his friends. When he heard me saying that, he asked, ‘how do you know that Messi used his left foot?’ I didn’t reply to him. Instead, I continued to play with the puppet and said, ‘see? He’s using his left foot here.’ He then shook his head and said, ‘girls don’t know anything about football.’ as he said that, he turned to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper smiled and agreed. I put down the puppet. They continued to say something bad about women and how ignorant women were when it came to football etc. They stopped their discussion when my acquaintance bought some puppets.
I lost my interest in any of the things in the shop when they started that conversation.
I shouldn’t have let that acquaintance to tag along again when I travelled to Kazakhstan in 2013. His ego together with his sense of superiority grew even more than that in 2012.
3 – 4 April 2012
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