The sad fact is that many tourists visit the Czech Republic knowing no more about it than that beer is cheap and the women are beautiful. That lack of knowledge has led to frustration among Czechs, most of whom are well-educated and well-informed about the world around them.
While the Czechs can often come across as a little stiff, or even unfriendly, beneath the layers of social reserve are a deeply sincere and caring people. It’s a side most visitors never get to see unless they are alert to it. Those fortunate enough to make friends with Czechs see it in the fierce loyalty they have for their intimates.
The Czechs are also deeply, blackly funny, with a distinctive, many-layered sense of humor. They are a people who have made laughing through tears a national survival strategy.
This book introduces you to the customs, values, and attitudes of a remarkable people, and the role of history in shaping these. It describes Czech life at home and in the workplace, and offers practical advice on what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar social situations.
Visiting the Czech Republic will always be worthwhile—its incredible sights are enough to satisfy any aesthete’s need for beauty. But the real rewards will come for the visitor who cares enough to try to get inside the culture, beyond the reserve to the complex corners of the Czech soul.
The most common social invitation from a Czech would be for a beer or two at a hospoda (Pub). The person doing the inviting would expect to pay, although it is polite to offer to buy subsequent rounds, depending on whether the pub asks for payment per round or at the end.