Magazine

06-05-2006

A group of students training to be car mechanics in the town of Tisnov have created something unique in the motoring world - a car with two steering wheels. Convicts and police officers play their annual "friendly" football game. And, why do Czechs fear weddings in the month of May? Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

A group of students training to be car mechanics in the town of Tisnov have created something unique in the motoring world - a car with two steering wheels. This bizarre model was welded together from two Skoda cars cut down the middle and each side has its own motor and gears. Interestingly, one end has covered 180 thousand kilometres, the other end - only 100 thousand. It took 10 students four months to make and they show it off at every opportunity. No need to say they never lack spectators.

 

Thousands of girls dressed up as witches last weekend for Walpurgis night. While their less fortunate dummy counterparts went up in smoke on hundreds of bonfires across the country, the real witches had a great night out - flaunting their wigs and warts, trying out black and white magic and flirting with the boys. On Prague's Kampa island a girls "witch band" performed for the crowd and people could buy all sorts of magic herbs and potions to try out. As every year there was a contest for Best Witch and this year the winner was a three year old girl. Asked how a three year old could have all the right attributes, the head of the jury - a woman - said "simple, there's a witch hidden inside every one of us girls."

 

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK The castle at Lipnice nad Sazavou was the site of a pagan wedding last week, the first such event in 2,000 years. Twenty six year old Viona and 24 year old Sokol exchanges vows in the firelight to the sound of drums. The newlyweds said they didn't care that a pagan wedding was not official. "This is far more real than a registry office" the bridegroom told journalists. Moreover they said they both liked the idea that the Celts could enter into marriage for a specified period of time.

 

Well, not everyone is into passion and mysticism - others far prefer money and luxuries. The winner of the first Czech radio reality show " The million crown bride" 26 year old Dana married a man she picked out of a hundred contestants in order to win the said million crowns. Thrown into the bargain were an expensive wedding feast, a wedding night at a five star hotel, a luxury car and an exotic holiday. Dana and Ondrej are also unlikely to stick together for longer than necessary but that decision will have very little to do with Celtic tradition.

 

And, while we are on the subject of weddings - there are not likely to be many of them in the coming four weeks. There's a widespread prejudice in the Czech Republic about weddings in May which are said to end in death within the year. This saying dates back to the 17th century when a May wedding was often followed by childbirth in February and weakened by a long, cold winter and plenty of manual labour women often succumbed to the ordeal. Although this no longer applies, the prejudice remains -and so in May registry offices remain empty and the town hall authorities use the time for maintenance work.

 

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK Can you imagine 12 mayors cramped onto a space the size of one square metre? Well, mayors from Vysocina claim that "where there's a will there's a way" - and challenged to get into the Czech book of records they actually performed this feat before a crowd of spectators, fitting onto a board the size of one square metre. The head of the Czech Records agency Miroslav Marek confirmed the set record and noted that it was interesting to see how creative some mayors were in addressing the challenge. Some firms use these games to ascertain leadership qualities in their applicants, Marek pointed out. Well, with general elections coming up maybe that's the way to go....

 

The Museum of Arts in the town of Olomouc is organizing a special event for children interested in photography. As a side event to an exhibition of photographs called The Life of Things, the museum has invited kids to visit free of charge on May 13th and bring along several objects for a still life photograph - things that have a special significance for them or objects that they feel tell a story. Professional photographers will help them create a still life and take several pictures which they can then take home. The Museum plans to exhibit the best photos on its web page.

 

Fourteen new cross-border tourist trails are to open this weekend in the Czech-Austrian border regions. These trails are part of an agreement aimed at revitalizing contacts and so called "weekend tourism". The trails can be used by hikers, skiers, horse riders or cyclists and unlike regular border crossings they will be monitored only sporadically. Four such tourist trails are open across the Czech-German border and are very popular with the locals.

 

Policemen and convicts are not usually on the best of terms but on one day of the year in the town of Straz pod Ralskem they meet for a football friendly. Well, at least it is called a football friendly. In actual fact the convicts spend many months debating strategy so that they can give the officers a good beating on the field and they have their own team of supporters on the sidelines. The long awaited event took place last week and the police officers' team came out of it victorious. Well, they have more free time in which to practice. As for the convicts, they've gone back to planning the perfect strategy...

06-05-2006