Photo: Oleg Fetisov

In Magazine: speed dating in Prague’s metro, a Czech teen ostensibly drinking a pint of beer through her ear has become a hit on YouTube, an Ostrava ensemble gives an opera performance in a paternoster and Prague Zoo is offering to cure your animal phobia!

Photo: Oleg Fetisov
Spring is in the air and the Prague metro is looking to serve its clients in every possible way – even to the point of helping them find the love of their life. The metro management has come up with the idea to introduce “dating cars” for singles – the last car of every train would be reserved for people in search of love. The idea, originally intended to increase ridership, has drawn many a laugh in Prague and made headlines the world over. Moreover journalists in Mexico unwittingly gave the story a new twist, causing a sensation among their readers. A poorly translated article led to the claim that the Prague metro was preparing special wagons in which people could have sex. Jokes aside, Czech commuters are not over the top about the idea of dating cars and many people claim the metro management is simply doing its best to distract people from rising prices and fewer connections. Some have given Prague’s metro to understand that rather than commuter-speed -dating they would much prefer WI-Fi connections in every carriage.

Photo: YouTube
A Czech teen ostensibly drinking a pint of beer through her ear has become a hit on YouTube. As the golden brew diminishes her friends cheer her on and the girl’s facial expression shows what an exhausting task it is to suck beer through a straw via her ear. Discerning viewers will recognize a trick well done –particularly by the fact that there is no liquid flowing through the straw. The group of teenagers produced the video for the Prague Beer Festival, never expecting it to become an international hit.

Illustrative photo: Kristýna Maková
Opera singers from an Ostrava theatre ensemble decided to mark European Opera Day by bringing culture to the masses and staging a performance in the city hall’s paternoster –a passenger lift which consists of a chain of wooden compartments moving slowly in a loop. The cabins are open meaning that an audience can assemble on any floor of the building to enjoy the rotating show. The opera singers gave a very vocal performance on the hour every hour stepping into the compartments individually or in twos to sing famous arias from Czech and world operas.

Photo: CTK
Fans of the late president Vaclav Havel can add another book of photographs to their library collection. Hereto unpublished photographs of Mr. Havel taken by ctk news agency reporters hit the bookshelves in mid-May. The photos, taken between 1988 and 2011 were taken both at official events and off-duty when the late president is seen relaxing with family and friends. The book contains some 200 photos selected from about 14,000.

Photo: Martin Němec
Suffering from an animal phobia that’s making your life difficult? Prague Zoo has a solution for you. It has launched special classes for people who want to beat their phobias by meeting their adversary face-to-face. The actual live contact with a snake or spider is preceded by informal classes where animal experts talk about the given breed in an effort to give it a “friendlier face”. The success rate is not 100 percent but there’s no harm in giving it a try. Not to mention the fact that next time you come across a house spider or garden snake it will look tiny in comparison to those you befriend at the zoo!

Photo: Filip Jandourek
Major Zeman –the communist police hero of a TV saga shown in the normalization years following the crushing of the Prague Spring – is now available as a figurine for collectors complete with a machine gun, a badge and briefcase. The notorious propaganda series is still shown on Czech tv channels and has a strange, detached appeal as communist Czechoslovakia’s answer to James Bond. Vladimir Brabec, the actor who played the detective fighting subversive and criminal elements in communist Czechoslovakia is closely identified with this hero although he has played hundreds of other characters. Indeed, he was asked to act as godfather at the figurine’s sales launch earlier this month. Asked what he planned to do with the one he received as a gift Brabec laughed and said he’d give it to his grandchildren.