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Maria & Brett's HUGE Trip 06-07-08-09-? ok, so the Socceroos lost in 'that' penalty against Italy; Adriatic summers aren't long enough (bliss!); and we found that you should never use the term "Eastern Bloc" when talking to a Czech (Central Europe, please).

There's blood on the streets: must be Xmas in Cz Rep

CZECH REPUBLIC | Wednesday, 24 December 2008 | Views [1351]

Dice 'em up!

Dice 'em up!

Spent our time dodging flying scales and bloody innards from freshly decapitated and debowelled carp on every other street corner; fathers with their kiddies picking out the best Christmas tree to take home to mum, who's no doubt enslaved by the kitchen sink chopping up potatoes (traditional cold potatoe salad mmm!) and further filleting the carp to make carp schnitzel (mmm) for a traditional chrissy dinner - which all happens on the 24th just after "Jezisek" visits (little Jesus) who's obviously santa's little helper (no santa here) because santa can't be everywhere at once.

Welcome to the retail peak of the year - we mean, festive season!

By the way, it's a logistical nightmare for parents, this Jesizek tradition: he arrives after the first star appears in the sky (signalled usually by one of the parents out on the balcony with a lantern or torch, waving it around) then all of a sudden the presents appear under the tree - so the trick is to distract the kids long enough (not by an overnight sleep, as in the west!) to be able to put the pressies under the tree. Ask any kid what jezisek looks like and they'll be stumped, or they'll draw a cloud on a piece of paper, or they'll just smile and say they don't know. Yet the mystery surrounding the christmas visitor is enough to keep kids looking forward to the evening of the 24th... or is it just the promise of more pressies (the bigger day for kids is 5th Dec when St Mikulas comes, and if they've misbehaved they get dragged down to h... best not go there!).

Here, just as in many other countries and places round the world, Christmas week is spent dashing madly round the place buying up gifts and hiding them from loved ones; coming home late-ish after work parties; enjoying the odd indulgent spiced wine or dessert or even a whole slab of cake; and gearing up for some quality time spent with family.

So for those of you who read this, have a very happy festive season and a wonderful 2009. Enjoy your families 'cos we're looking forward to seeing ours in the new year.

Brett and Maria xx

ALL THE PICs here: http://journals.worldnomads.com/maria_brett/gallery/15011.aspx

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