The pasture in Prague's Troja, photo: Vera Bidlova,

Novy Jicin is preparing a "hat rally" ! How long can a gingerbread ID last? And, grazing sheep in Prague - better than a lawn mower any day! Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

An opinion poll just out indicates that a third of Czechs are unfaithful to their partners. 39 percent of men and 27 percent of women said they had been unfaithful to their partners one or more times during the relationship or marriage. Fifteen percent of those who strayed said they were, nevertheless, very much in love with their partners. A quarter of respondents said they would be prepared to forgive a slip up and save the relationship.

Pilsen is known for its Pilsner beer, Pardubice is known for its gingerbread and the town of Novy Jicin is known for its hats. Well, at least among some Czechs. The inhabitants of Novy Jicin feel that their hat-making tradition needs some extra PR and they've come up with a plan which should spread its fame far and wide. They want to set a world record in the number of people wearing hats assembled in one place. The event is planned for the beginning of September to give people time to invite their friends and buy or make special hats for the event. The get together will take place on the main square and the town hall is hoping that thousands of people will turn up to help set a record. All manner of hats are permissible - felt, knitted, bowler hats, funny hats, straw hats, homemade hats - the more avant-garde and breath-taking the better. A special jury will assess the turn-out and award prizes to the best creations. Local school children are already busy working on their own hats in arts class - which means that at least 740 hats will be competing for the main prize.

By the way the town of Pardubice -famous for its gingerbread - has already set its own record this year: a huge gingerbread ID, in every way a perfect copy of the so called obcanka, a citizens identification card which all Czechs get at the age of 15. Only much bigger. This particular ID is made entirely of gingerbread. It weighs 55 kilos and is 2 metres high and 1 metre 40 centimetres wide. Even the photograph is picture perfect - with the help of chocolate and sweets.

The pasture in Prague's Troja,  photo: Vera Bidlova,
Prague's Troja district is still part of the Czech capital but once there you get the impression that you somewhere in the Moravian highlands. A tinkle of bells and you come upon it - the incredible sight of sheep, lambs and goats quietly grazing on the slopes of Troja. A Shepard and his dog are usually not far away - in short the last thing you'd expect to see in Prague. The sheep and goats are the work of the district authorities, part of a project aimed to help preserve various species of flora in the district. Allegedly mowing grass with lawn mowers -as is the case in most other suburban districts of Prague - damages the diversity of species, eradicating the more sensitive meadow flowers. Grazing on the other hand is considered a much more environmentally friendly alternative - thereby the sheep. The locals have welcomed this rural touch and often bring children out to watch or admire the lambs. The grazing sheep have proved such an attraction that the town hall has had to put up notices asking people not to feed the sheep and lambs bread-rolls.

Throwing away cigarette buts, spitting out chewing gum or just spitting in the streets is something that you still see in many Czech towns and cities. Twenty of them have now decided in it time to take action and teach people manners. Spitting or throwing away cigarette buts is now officially banned - and anyone caught doing so will be fined 1,000 crowns for violating the regulation.

The first Czech self-service shop in Prague's Zizkov,  photo: CTK
The first Czech self-service shop, the predecessor of today's supermarkets and hypermarkets, was opened in June of 1955 in Prague's Zizkov district, exactly forty three years after the very first self service shop opened in California, USA. The first Czech self-service shop was a tiny store selling only the most basic products -bread, butter, yogurt, milk, coffee and a few other items. Yet the novelty of helping themselves instead of being served attracted crowds of people to the store and there was almost always a queue outside its doors. The little store was around until 1989, when it was forced out by tough competition. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain the supermarket and hypermarket business has boomed. Today there are 400 supermarkets and 160 hypermarkets in the Czech Republic, the densest network in central Europe and Czechs are addicted to shopping in them night and day. Only one in five Czechs, mostly from small towns and villages, say they prefer small specialized stores.

How many really rich people are there in the Czech Republic? According to a world-wide study published by Capgemini the Czech Republic has 11, 850 people who have over 1 million US dollars in investments or on their bank accounts. The price of real estate or luxury cars is not included. One million dollars is approximately 25 million Czech crowns - for which you can buy a luxury villa near Prague Castle or a fine collection of modern art. According to the study not only is the number of "dollar millionaires" growing but the Czech Republic is currently making millionaires faster than other European states - 800 people joined the million dollar club in the last year alone.

You know how people say they are not going to let anyone walk over them. Well, that's not the case with Fakir Petr Fiedor. His speciality is asking people to walk all over him while he's lying on a bed of broken glass. He set his own personal record recently. In the course of four hours and 9 minutes 8, 694 volunteers walked over him, stepping on his body with their full weight while he rested on ten smashed bottles.

How good is your postman? See how he measures up to Milos Skorpil from the Czech Republic who was voted the fastest postman in the Czech Republic. In the course of 9 hours and 36 minutes he made 200 deliveries to twenty different towns and villages in the Pelhrimov region. His daily round is actually much smaller and less hectic - this was all in aid of Skorpil's setting his own personal record. So please don't blame your postman if things take him a bit longer!