Wherein DF travels to Mitteleuropa and recounts his merrie adventures to his adoring broad readership.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Czech bums and ethnic confusion

To the not-insignificant percentage of the broad readership that is homeless and/or indigent, I've got to tell you: you've got a lot to learn from Czech bums. The whole American schtick of standing on a corner, looking ragged, an asking for money is way outdated and not at all the most effective way to work people for spare change. In the C.R., the bums are way ahead of you. They don't say a word, but rather kneel on the ground with their heads pitched forward on the ground so they're not even looking at you, and they've got a hat or cup sitting on the pavement in front of them to collect the spare change--which is copiously forthcoming. I turn into Ayn Rand when I see homeless people begging for change, but this move was the most pathos-inducing bum schtick I've seen, and it almost made me give up a Koruny or two (almost).

Also, if any members of the B.R. are ethnographers, perhaps they can explain to me why some significant proportion of the Czech population doesn't have anything like a traditional Slavic look at all, but are rather dusky-skinned with straight, pitch-black hair, more the kind of look you'd expect to see in southern than central Europe. The Liverpool footballer and recent European Championship winner Milan Baros is an example.