You Say Goodbye, I say Hello

Trip Start Oct 24, 2010
Trip End Nov 12, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Hlavní Mesto Praha,
Saturday, October 30, 2010

I truly believe people here should make Czech language a tourist attraction. It’s a completely different world (for a latin-originated language speaker, naturally). Not only the sound is interesting, but what draws my attention the most are the written words. I don’t know if it’s the higher concentration of consonants, the graphic symbols, the way letters connect to each other or, more probably, a combination of it all, but every written phrase in Czech seems to me like concrete poetry. It’s as if the words make a drawing of something. Obviously, something I never understand.

Of course, if you know a few important expressions (“dobrư den”, “děkuji”, “promin'te”), it won’t be that hard to be polite. Everyone in Prague knows there are plenty of tourists and they seem to be OK with English-speaking. But you’ll always sound nicer if you try to say at least “hello” in their language.

It took me, though, a while to switch languages. At the beginning, I was mixing English, German (or something that could look like it), Portuguese and Czech (or something...), nearly creating a whole new idiom, one that only I could understand. Since I’m going to Budapest later on this trip, I already start to wonder what language I will come up with at the end of my holidays. I’m actually afraid I even might forget how to speak Portuguese and never again mingle with my own people, becoming a sort of outcast in my country, hidden in a cave somewhere and talking only to a bear.

And it must be a quite boring thing, having conversations with a bear, who wouldn’t know a thing about politics, football, music, women or any other usual conversation topic.
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