Mailbox

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Today in Mailbox: Bouncing e-mails once again, reception quality in India, anniversary of Velvet Revolution, a listener's experience from Prague trip. Listeners quoted: Gautam Kumar Sharma, K. Thiagarajan, Mary Lou Krenek, Tony Armiger.

Welcome to Mailbox. Thanks again for the multitude of e-mails we have received over the past week, including competition entries and reception reports, as well as your comments and questions. There has been one recurrent theme in your e-mails in recent weeks, and that is bouncing mails. This is what Gautam Kumar Sharma from India wrote:

"I've sent several e-mails to you from my different e-mail accounts. But some of them have bounced back. I don't know why. A friend of mine also informed me that he had the same experience with your e-mail a few days back. Please look into the matter. This is the first time I've faced such a problem with Radio Prague e-mail address since I started using the internet as a medium of correspondence with Radio Prague from mid-October 2002. Recently, my e-mail regarding the November Quiz was shown as bounced back."

We discussed the problem in last week's Mailbox. I have again asked our internet department about the matter. The problem appears to be the fact that the Czech Radio mailing system recognises e-mails coming from certain servers, or written without punctuation or in block letters, as spam and filters them out. At that instance, you are notified automatically that your message has bounced. But, as a matter of fact, our internet department then manually scour the filtered-out mail and retrieve the messages which are not spam and forward them to us. And so far, all the messages that you reported as bounced, have got to us safely.

K. Thiagarajan from India was actually the first to complain about bouncing e-mails and was quoted in last Sunday's Mailbox. He has written in again this week:

"I found that one letter from India has complained about poor reception condition in India. Really this is a great concern, compared to previous schedule, this time reception for some frequencies are not so audible. I already brought this into your consideration. Radio Deutche Welle and Radio Canada International are covering India through relay transmitters situated near India. I suggest you may also try to beam broadcasts to India, via some relay transmitters, but this may be quite cost effective. But in programme quality you are giving us wonderful content, and it should always be congratulated to Radio Prague team."

Thank you and thank you also for letting us know about the reception in India. All your complaints and suggestions are forwarded to our shortwave experts and they are examining the cases - in fact bad reception has also been reported in Canada.

Mary Lou Krenek from Texas has responded to our special programme on November 17th, the anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution:

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"It only seems as yesterday that the phenomenal fall of the ruling Communist regime occurred. And, it was such a peaceful revolution, too; a model for other countries under human oppression to follow. Czechoslovakia, at the time, was once again restored to a great working democracy which was so brutally and unfairly taken away by the Nazis and Communists. The Czech people are suited for this form of government with positive cultural traits that allow it to flourish. And, yes, freedom has flourished in the Czech Republic in recent years since the Velvet Revolution allowing the natural order to take its course in economics, creativity, and expression. I still reflect in awe of what occurred in that part of the world in 1989."

Thank you for the nice words. One consequence of the political changes has been a boom of tourism. This e-mail has arrived from Tony Armiger from England.

"I have just returned from my first visit to your wonderful city, and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my stay. It is a truly beautiful place, the people are warm and friendly, the architecture is magnificent, and yes, of course, the beer is very good too! I have read many comments about street crime in Prague, and I must say I did not have any experience of this, and one must of course be vigilant in any city in this day and age. In fact, the only downside in my experience was the rowdy English people who get too drunk and give a bad impression of us; we're not all hooligans, I assure you! It is a shame that Prague has become so expensive in recent years, but I guess that is the price we must pay for its popularity as a tourist destination. Anyway, I shall certainly return next year, and I am saving my pennies already!"


Thank you for your kind words and as we are running out of time, let me just repeat our competition question for November:

We would like to know the name of the German industrialist, born in what is now the Czech Republic, who was honoured at the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel in 1963 as one of the Righteous among the Nations for his actions during WWII.

You have until Thursday to send us your answers to English@radio.czor Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, Czech Republic.