Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Today is Masopust - the Czech Carnival.

I am not in the Czech Republic this year to enjoy it. So I am sharing with you again the video of the last year's event.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


A recent Facebook post by an ex-pat friend of mine reminded me that I have been intending to write a post about Czech banks for some time. He was complaining that his bank asked him to pay 65kc (over £3) to pay 200kc into his girlfriend's account. Yes, you read that correctly, the charge was about a third of the sum being paid!

How do Czech banks get away with such extortionate charges? If they were in the UK - there would be general outrage and tv and radio programmes on the subject. I suppose the Czechs don't know that in other countries such as the UK free current accounts are the norm.

I have a Czech bank account (essential for paying my electricity bill). Most months the only transaction that takes place is a standing order to EON, or rather it's the only transaction other than a list of bank charges.

When I try to go to my local branch I am often caught out by the fact that the bank is closed for lunch and on Tuesday afternoon. And when I do manage to arrive when the door is open, I am always surprised by the fact that there is only one cashdesk and one lone cashier, all the rest are devoted to other activities. So heaven help you if you are standing behind some local trader with a carrier bag full of small change. Another difference in Czech banking is that they don't use cheques, instead you either go into the bank and fill in a transfer form, stamp it and drop it into a slot or you sign up for electronic banking, for which of course you will be charged extra.


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