David Talacko was born and grew up in Australia, but his roots are here in Prague. Like many people of Czech origin, he decided to settle in the Czech Republic after the fall of communism, and he now runs a shop selling sheet music in the heart of Prague's Old Town. When he first arrived in Prague he had to make do with the nursery Czech he learned from his parents, and this sometimes led to some amusing misunderstandings, as David now recalls.
"This was back in my second year in Prague, I think. I was learning Czech but it wasn't all that good, and there was one incident when my girlfriend of the time - now my wife - fell down some stairs and really badly sprained her ankle, so badly that she couldn't walk. She managed to get home, but from then on she couldn't move. So I had to go to the hospital to try and get some crutches. I was sure that I knew the word for crutches. So I just trotted off there and asked for what I thought was crutches - that was "brusle", which unfortunately means "skates". So there the woman was explaining to me - you can't get skates, you'll have to go off to a sports store or somewhere - and I was saying - but this is a hospital, you've got to be able to help me, I need these skates. Eventually, after about five minutes of this silly conversation, I said - look, can you give me a piece of paper and a pen and I'll draw them for you. I drew them and she said - oh "berle" - crutches, of course not a problem. And then she sent me upstairs and I was able to get the crutches for my wife."