Sunday, May 18, 2008

Brno, Czech Republic

Brno was bloody cold – while subconsciously I knew that it would, but as Joey says in Friends “The cold had reached my special place!”.

So I was on a due-diligence trip for my organization and the work, though, not taxing took hours and then to add to the misery no one really speaks English and the customer though, thankfully, at least spoke broken English and that helped! This only meant that I had to talk slow as hell!

So anyways, reached here on a Sunday and had the whole week there only thankfully I had company this time, a German colleague (MS) of mine who flew in on Monday morning.

The organization for which we were doing the due-diligence was in a mall and in the evenings we would take off and go to a coffee bar, which had a really contemporary look and feel to it, which took me by surprise as I was not expecting it at all, considering that the Czech Republic was a communist state about a decade and a half back. There was this guy who the two of us suspected, was gay, and served us everyday we went there. In fact MS actually forgot his cigarettes one day and the guy very coyly came to our table and handed him the cigarettes and I just teased MS the whole trip and was laughing at him all the time we were in Brno.

The trip was going just fine, except that I had a fight on email with someone my superior in the organization. More on that later.

Anyhow, so Brno is this really small town with a popular university. So the general population was young and white and as I said before I was sticking out like a sore thumb as I was the only dark skinned person in the whole town.

The town in itself is very stark – from what I have read about communism, the general architecture was very bare and necessitated. There was nothing that I saw that was stood out for its architecture. However, I have taken some pictures for your pleasure.

I, however, just love the concept of a town square that every city that I have visited in Europe has. It is simply awesome. It means that there is breathing space in the centre of every town and, more often than not, there are usually no vehicles allowed so everyone is on foot or cycling. I mean, coming form India, we rarely walk in India, simply because of the scores of people that we have apart from which, our cities are just not planned.

As I was in Brno, so close to Christmas, I had the opportunity to go to the Christmas market and have hot wine – well – its just so bloody delicious and, might I add, bloody potent! MS and I had 4 each and waking was an effort. Food though is just the same across Europe and if you are vegetarian on a small trip (which means you will stay in a hotel) God help you!

Oh, before I forget, the trams – even though I did not get a chance to ride any of them (my hotel was about 30 seconds walking distance from the client location) looked so archaic, though charming!

Last but not the least, in India, we are extremely aware that Skoda (originally a Czech Company, before Volkswagen bought them out), the car manufacturer, manufactures the most technically advanced cars. In Czech Republic, Skoda cars are as common as the bloody Tata Indica is in India and I was laughing at this fact. Just goes on to reinforce the cliché that what is precious for one, might not be for someone else.

Then, the hard-disk of my laptop crashed and boy was it embarrassing – the customer did not find it funny – fortunately I had already sent out all my presentations to MS and I used his laptop for presentations.

So that was that – finished my work and took the last bus out of Brno and stayed the night at the Prague Marriot at the airport – a really nice and ultra modern hotel and flew back to India the next day by Lufthansa, which is a truly horrid airline considering the flights to India don’t even have bloody personal TVs – I mean even local Indian airlines have them!

So that’s the story of my Brno trip…

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