My wife hasn’t been home for Christmas in 5 years.
As much as we’d both probably like to just go back and forth every year for the holidays, income might prevent us from such a pleasure; and so this year was extra special. Not only for Petra, but also for me who hadn’t spent a single Christmas anywhere else but with my own family. Seeing how another culture celebrated it, was interesting and refreshing to say the least. The fact that I could eat the main course (carp and fish head soup) instead of eating bread and vegetables was a nice plus. I did miss the Conaway fireplace and my dad’s Lionel train whurring around the tree with tiny puffs of smoke as Bing Crosby sang holiday carols in the background and my mother happily singing along, though.
Before I go into the expected stuff about how great our trip was, I’d like to take a moment to be my usual pessimistic self and focus briefly on a rather small issue that became a rather big issue for an intense 12 hours over the Atlantic. One thing Petra and I both learned the hard way on this trip; is that traveling during the holidays is THE WORST. If you’re considering having a child or (god forbid) MORE children. Just take an international flight to any destination during the holidays and spend 8-12 hours SURROUNDED by completely self absorbed, narcissistic, sneezing, screaming, crying, yelling, fighting, puking, crapping little balls of disease everywhere you look, and I’m sure you’ll be on your way to the drugstore to pick up a packet of condoms or refill your prescription for the pill faster than you can say tied tubes. As my father said “Check to make sure the plane isn’t colored yellow. You might be on a school bus!”. Regardless, we did actually make it all the way to Petra’s home town of Sumperk in just over 15 hours of constant travel; planes, trains, and automobiles without slapping a parent in the face for gross negligence of their duties in proper parenthood (I know, I know. It’s different when it’s your kid. But that’s why I’m not having kids and if I did, I would not subject them to 12 hours of torturous travel at 3 months or 2 years old, as this is just plain selfish and incredibly naive and stupid at the same time). To be clear, it’s not that I don’t like or blame the children. It’s those specific kind of parents (that seem to be everywhere these days)…and their bratty kids that make me want to punch a baby (I’m kidding of course. I would NEVER punch a baby. Not unless they were asking for it.)
But enough about children and their even more annoying unqualified parents.
During our wonderful holiday we attended a pig kill roast, drank 2 different types of homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream, visited with Petra’s friends from when she was in choir long ago, wandered the streets of her lovely small town, went bowling with the family, made a special trip to Bohemia to visit with a documentary film maker we met on a plane the last time we were in Prague, ate ridiculous amounts of Christmas cookies (and I do mean ridiculous), climbed to the highest point in the Jesiniky mountains, celebrated another excellent evening at Petra’s Uncle Jiri’s bungalow, drank copious amounts of slivovice, beer, and liquers, and lastly celebrated a wonderful Christmas with the family AND their delightful well behaved children.
It was a really fantastic time.
I’d like to take the time to thank them all for giving us such a wonderful trip, feeding us, putting us up, showing us around, and all in all making our visit so pleasurable. Petra and I are so lucky to be surrounded by so many great people in our lives.
There is no hospitality like the Czechs.