Final Word from Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have you ever noticed that the main people who seem to getfined for "riding black" on the Prague metro are the haplessforeign tourists? Instead of greeting them with a smile as theyenter the station and offering them a helping hand, the DPmen in blue set a trap for them well within the payment zoneand pounce on them as they're trying to get oriented in thestrange environment. In miserable English, these Gogol-likeinspectors threaten to haul in the usually honest but alwaysbewildered tourists if they don't cough up. Police officers standby to help enforce the threat. This is doing wonders for Praguetourism, so to counter the trend the wise aldermen of MafiaSquare have decided to give free transit passes to participantsof large international conferences. What a great opportunityfor the DP men in blue! Many of the congress participantswill read in their material that the metro is free ... and thenpromptly forget their pass in the hotel room. What Prague cityhall gives with the right hand, DP will take back with the left.

Glossary of difficult words

"riding black" - a translation of a common Czech term for riding without paying;

hapless - unfortunate, luckless;

DP Praha - Dopravní podnik, the city-owned Prague transit company;

to pounce - to spring forward suddenly so as to attack or seize someone or something;

to haul someone in - to take someone to the police station or other official agency;

to cough up - to pay;

alderman - a city councilor;

Mafia Square - a derogative nickname for the square (Mariánské nám.) where Prague city hall is located;

give with the right hand, take back with the left - to make a show of giving something to someone only to take it back by another means.


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word