Some Flattery Will Get You ...
Some Flattery Will Get You Everywhere: The last-nameless Steve, who has taken the url pragueblog.blogspot.com, writes nice things about my old newspaper.
I arrived in Prague not long after they started publishing the paper. I came ready to take up an English teaching job and to give it six months to a year as a "career sabbatical," adventure, or escape depending on when and how you asked me. I booked my first few nights' accommodation in a pension through an agency at the main train station, and as I paid they handed me a copy of Prognosis. Installed in my pension, I opened up the paper and the very first thing I saw was a piece by John Allison called (if I remember correctly), "Why Teaching English is Boring." I eventually learned that this person was called the Grand Old Man of ex-pats, a pretty relative term, but that he could be counted on for something amusing in each issue, which everyone seemed to look forward to greatly in those days. It had its faults, don't we all, but Prognosis pretty well embodied that weird new Prague spirit that lasted for a few years after the revolution, and pretty well marked its end when it ceased publication in 1995.
See the benefit of retiring in your prime? (Or, er, finally going bankrupt after being run like a spastic commune.) Steve goes on to tell a little story about Havel, who the Czech Parliament is trying yet again to replace today.
Posted by at February 28, 2003 01:53 AM