Photo: MFDnes

A Czech angler has landed the catch of his life - an Arapaima Gigas weighing over 100 kilograms. Hradec Kralove has a new attraction - a mobile tea-house. And, the Pohorelice carp gets on the EU list of protected food products. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

Czech Miss Lucie Hadasova  with Ivana Trump  (left),  photo: CTK
The new Czech Miss - elected last weekend - may look like a Barbie doll but she's no dumb blonde. Twenty year old Lucie Hadasova is a law student who says that a career in modeling is only a short-term goal in life - a way to gain recognition and make some money before going on to bigger and better things. This small victory got her a million-crown contract, a trip around the world and a car. Not bad for a start. The runner up, Eva Ceresnakova, speaks four languages and is studying economics while the second runner up Lilian Sarah Fisher is studying psychology. All three are stunners who are clearly not relying on landing a rich husband. More's the pity - when so many Czech men would love to take care of them. According to a poll just out 50 percent of Czech men said they wanted a wife they could support and come home to every evening. Unfortunately only one in ten can afford it - and the number of women willing to be financially dependent is even smaller.

Globe trotting Czech angler Jakub Vagner who boasts prize-catches from some of the world's most exotic fishing locations has just landed the catch of his life. On an expedition down the Amazon River he caught a huge specimen of the Arapaima Gigas - the biggest freshwater fish known to man. This one measured 2 meters 80cm, weighed 106 kilograms and put up a big fight. Jakub was sitting in an Indian canoe when the fish surfaced and was forced to dive in and fight for several hours - both above and below the water surface.

Photo: CTK
"When the water first parted it was like a submarine coming up and at times it pulled so hard it was like being on a water scooter - but in the end I won," he says proudly. And he brought home some stunning photographs to prove it - because as is his habit - he set the fish free shortly after conquering it.

Of course Europe's rivers also provide fine opportunities for a good catch. A fisherman from Brandenburg was fishing in the Elbe when he felt the familiar tug at his fishing rod. He reeled it in and pulled out a Czech man's driver's license. Libor Henych - the man to whom the license belongs- couldn't believe his ears when he was contacted about it. The license had been stolen from his car along with other possessions ten years ago and had long since been replaced. The driver's license must have traveled 600 kilometers along the river before being fished out.

The police have arrested a 27 year old man who leaked photos of Skoda's latest model Superb to the press before its official unveiling. The man who took the photos and sold them to Blesk, the country's most popular tabloid newspaper, is said to have been an external employee at the plant. He took the photographs on the production line using his mobile phone and sold them to Blesk for a mere twenty thousand crowns. Although photos of new Skoda models have been leaked to the press in the past they were always taken during trial runs outside the factory gates. This is the first case of industrial espionage which the police have cracked and the employee responsible could spend up to 2 years in jail for it.

The town of Hradec Kralove has a new attraction - a mobile tea-house. The "samovar-on-wheels" is built onto an old-style bicycle such as were used in England before the Second World War for the sale of roasted chestnuts or hot dogs. The mobile tea house moves around town all day offering two brands of tea to passers by.

One brew is enough to serve 30 to 40 people and several students take turns to keep it in operation. They are dressed in period costumes and half the people who stop for a quick cup do so not because they are cold and thirsty but because they want to take a snapshot of the funny samovar on wheels.

The age-limit at which you are allowed to drive a car in the Czech Republic is eighteen. But for any impatient teenagers - there is another alternative. They can get a license for small cars and start driving a year earlier. The downside is that the small cars are really small cars - nothing flashy to impress girlfriends with. The car must weigh less than half a ton - and there aren't many cars in the Czech Republic that meet this requirement. So it's really a choice between an old Fiat 500 and a Czech-constructed JAWA. As a result the interest in getting such a license is not a big as you might expect - only around 100 Czechs have one. Driving schools says that many of those who do are heading for a study stay in the United States where one can drive from age sixteen. Although a Czech license is not valid there - it gives young Czechs time to practice their driving skills before they go. There is just one tiny problem with this driving course and it surfaces on the day of the final driving test - the Fiat 500 which driving schools use is allegedly the only small car that accommodates the driver, instructor and inspector. Well, almost. The inspector squeezed into the back seat is not having the time of his life - and you need to impress him with your driving skills quickly so that he can get out before he gets severe cramps.

Photo: Archiv of CRo7
And finally - the traditional Czech Christmas specialty - carp fried in breadrumbs - will have a future in the EU. Or at least the Pohorelice carp will. This superior breed of Czech carp has just been added to a list of hundreds of EU protected food products that includes cheeses such as France's Roquefort, as well delicacies ranging from Scotch lamb to four varieties of Portuguese chestnut. Other Czech products on this prestigious list are Budvar beer, Czech hops and the so called Stramberk ears - cone shaped gingerbread cookies produced exclusively in the town of Stramberk, in north Moravia.