Photo: CTK

In Magazine: A cookbook for men is about to hit bookshelves, a woman calls the police to chase a mouse out of her house, crowds of visitors turn up for the seventh annual tractor mud race, over half of Czechs admit to having snooped in their partner’s mobile phone and how do you tell the Prague transport authorities that busses are overcrowded?

Men who are not averse to spending time in the kitchen can finally look forward to a cookbook tailored exclusively to their needs. Its author Zuzana Humpolcová says men tend to like different kinds of food compared to women, they improvise a lot more, almost always cook with enjoyment and usually for special occasions. Her Cookbook For Men, to which some of the best Czech chefs have contributed recopies, was not something she had planned to publish. When her book “A Cookbook For My Daughter” came out her brother complained that no one ever thought of writing a cookbook for their son. So Zuzana decided to put things right. The book which is due to hit bookshelves in mid-May, contains recipes for a variety of occasions: food for one, food for the gang, food for the kids, food for a romantic evening, and even suggestions for breakfast in bed. One chapter is devoted to spicy foods another to sweet foods, the food mum used to cook and culinary masterpieces for special occasions.

Photo: Czech Television
Greenery is always welcome in any big city and Prague is no exception. But not every effort has proved successful in this respect. The Prague 5 town hall has caused an outcry by ordering 245 massive concrete containers for trees and plants that were originally meant to enhance the district but ended up being a dreadful eyesore and seriously obstructing movement along the pavements. The containers were distributed around the district last year and within days emergency services, pedestrians, mothers with prams and bikers were complaining about the lack of space. Moreover 98 of the containers were placed in historically protected zones which raised the ire of conservationists. They slapped Prague officials with a hefty fine and the district promptly started playing musical chairs with the unwanted concrete containers which would suddenly appear in different locations as the authorities tried to avoid further problems. However no one wants them in their vicinity and the local council is now racking its collective brains to try and figure out what to do with them.

Illustrative photo: Jens Buurgaard Nielsen,  CC BY 3.0 Unported
A forty-five year old woman in the town of Husovice near Brno called the police station at 1 am to report an animal invader in her home and begged for help saying she had locked all the doors and was standing in her nightgown in the garden. When officers opened the house the terrifying animal inside turned out to be a small garden mouse.

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
After the long, hard winter Czech roads are dotted with potholes and a web page showing the worst potholes in the country is highly frequented. Drivers send videos of their own finds and can even compare Czech potholes with those in Slovakia or Hungary.

Photo: CTK
Some three thousand people assembled to watch the seventh annual tractor mud race in the town of Vyskeř last weekend. Forty-six tractors took part in the race among them two pre-war veterans. Others charmed the audience with their names – Diesel Andrea, Meat-monster or Trabi tractor. This year the organizers also held a children’s race with toy tractors which turned out to be even more popular with 80 contestants aged 5 to 9 on the starting line. Even the last stragglers were rewarded with a gingerbread tractor at the finishing line and had the pleasure of getting covered in mud from head to toe.

Photo: Kristýna Maková
Do you trust your partner not to snoop in your mobile? A survey conducted among Czech and Slovak respondents indicates that 40 percent of Czechs and 44 percent of Slovaks have at some point snooped in their partner’s mobile phone. 60 percent of those who did later admitted to having done so. 43 percent of Czech women queried and almost half of Slovak women said they had at least on one occasion checked their partner’s mobile for private correspondence. A slightly smaller percentage of Czech men -37 percent – admitted to having done the same. 57 percent of those who failed to resist the urge to snoop said they would do so again. Reading private correspondence can be dangerous though. According to a Vodafone survey 60 percent of people have compromising sms messages in their mobile phones and 17 percent of Czech divorces were sparked by someone secretly checking out their partner’s mobile.

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe fans in the Czech Republic can look forward to an exhibition of Monroe imagery and memorabilia to commemorate the sex-symbol of the 1950s. The exhibition will be held at Prague Castle in cooperation with the Armentano company and the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. Among the artefacts are film costumes, personal belongings, unpublished photographs and excerpts from the actress’s diary. The exhibition will open in late May and run until mid-September. The price of tickets is 240 crowns.

Illustrative photo: Kristýna Maková
Although public transport in Prague is regarded as above standard compared to other European capitals austerity measures introduced this year have resulted in crowded busses in the rush hours. Students from the University of Agriculture in Prague decided to point this out to city transport officials in an inoffensive manner: 225 of them crowded into one of the city’s busses for a group photo. The achievement made the Czech Book of Records. Let’s hope it does not inspire the city’s transport authorities to make further cuts.