Photo: Gualberto107,

In Magazine: a fifth of Czechs claim they have had sex while driving, a library makes headlines by allowing a client to pay with a button, the difficulties of teaching Czech cooks about health food and Czech trabis are ready to take on Australia.

Four out of ten Czechs have no savings

Photo: Stuart Miles,
How much do you manage to put aside for a rainy day? Four out of ten Czechs say they have no savings, and a fourth of those who do, say that their saving have dwindled in the past year or two. Although this may sound somewhat alarming, Czechs are actually just below the European average when it comes to financial responsibility. According to a survey conducted by the Ipsos agency in 13 European states, people in Romania find it hardest to put money aside. 60 percent of Romanians say they have no savings, followed by the Turks of whom 48 percent do not put money aside. Poland and Spain posted figures of 46 and 42 percent respectively and the Czech Republic is fifth on the ladder with 41 percent of people with no money in the bank. At the top end of the scale are Luxembourg with 21 percent and the Netherlands with 20 percent of respondents who admitted to having no savings to fall back on.

Photo: David Playford,  Free Images
Even so – Europeans have had to reign in their spending. Only 25 percent of Europeans said they had not curbed their expenditures in the past year. People in Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Romania spent less on holidays, the French said they had tried to reign in their food bills while women across the continent complained about having less money for clothes and cosmetics. Any of that sound familiar?

A fifth of Czechs have had sex while driving

Photo: YouTube
They say that driving on Czech roads is not easy and I can tell you a few reasons why right now. According to a January survey a fifth of Czechs admitted they have had sex while driving at least once in their lives, 40 percent of drivers say they send SMS messages while driving and 61 percent admit to talking on the phone on the road. Among the most frequent activities behind the wheel are also eating and drinking non-alcoholic beverages (thank God for small blessings) and finally 94 percent of drivers admitted to cursing on the road to let off steam. At the same time Czech drivers are very particular about who they let in their car – twenty percent of drivers said they would not allow a pet in their car while nine percent said it was off limits to their mother-in-law. Not a nice picture.

Library allows woman to pay with a button

Photo: Gualberto107,
A Czech librarian made headlines by allowing a library goer to pay for services provided with a button.“The woman was asked to pay 27 crowns and only had twenty-six on her person so she ripped off a button and asked me if I would accept the button in place of a crown – since buttons bring good luck,” the librarian said. She took the button and paid with a crown from her own pocket. The library director is now fielding a lot of questions from the public about what they would take as payment. ”We certainly do not accept buttons on a daily basis, he said. The library makes an exemption once in 50 years and that was yesterday, ”

Coffee houses with a bonus

Official Facebook of Kočkafé Freya
Coffee houses with pets are gaining increasing popularity in the world and the idea has caught on in the Czech Republic as well. By all accounts, there are now four coffee houses with cats-in-residence –three in Prague and one in Karlovy Vary. The owner of the first such coffee house in Prague Jana Pařízková –says said her sister first came with the idea after visiting such a coffee house in Japan. “First she convinced me and then we both worked hard to convince our mother to open such a coffee house here in Prague,” she recalls. Today the coffee house in Prague’s Žižkov district has seven cats in residence and has become immensely popular with people who would like to have a cat but cannot have one or with children who are always delighted with the set-up.

Liberec region trying to get school cooks to cook healthier food

Illustrative photo: Kristýna Maková
The Liberec city hall has announced a new project – it is teaching school cooks the art of making healthy food. “We don’t want to give school canteens directions about what to cook or give anyone orders – we just want to spark some enthusiasm among the school kitchen staff for health food, show them what can be done on the money they have and hope that the workshops will serve as inspiration for them in the future,” the mayor told journalists. The city hall is also encouraging parents to be more engaged in cooperating with schools about what’s on the menu. An inspection of school canteen food conducted last year revealed that school food is heavy on fats and sugar and suffers from a lack of vegetables, fruit, fish and milk.

Czech trabis ready to take on Australia

The group of Czech adventurers who travelled across Africa and Asia in a trabant – a communist era tiny plastic car built in the former East Germany -are ready to set out on a trip across Australia. The documentaries reporting on their African and Asian tours have made them immensely popular and thousands of fans crowded the Vltava embankment last weekend to give them a send-off. The trip is financed by sponsors but this time the group was short of half a million crowns and appealed to the public for donations. The response was immediate – within 24 hours they collected twice what they needed in what has been the most successful crowdfunding event in Czech history.