The Holidays Strike Prague
First, holiday advertising in my own neighborhood. One would have thought that a country renowned for its beer would have been spared this billboard.
Holiday shoppers (both Czechs and others) approach the Christmas market on Staroměstské náměstí. This is one of the better directions from which to approach it. Last week I made the mistake of trying to get there from the south and found myself in such a traffic-jam (in the alley with the Museum of Sex Machines) that everyone was taking about one step forward per minute. There was a lot of jocular yelling back and forth to the effect of "Don't lose Grandma!" and the like. The people behind me seemed to imagine that if they kept pushing me I would actually be able to move forward. They were deluded. A lot of women seemed to be using small children as their personal battering rams. This didn't work all that well either. As far as I could tell, I was the only person in the crowd who found the situation less than entertaining. It seemed to me that the gingerbread I sought was being a little too dearly bought.
Admittedly, the whole scene is fairly decorative. Alex and I concluded, however, that on the whole one finds better gifts at the neighborhood Prague Christmas markets, which are not trying to sell so many tourist items. We thought the market at Náměstí Miru was superior. It's true that we could have bought mead at any market, but it was pleasanter buying it away from the crowds, especially since the vendor was using a cast of his grandma's teeth to hold down the napkins. (I hadn't brought my camera, but Alex requested permission to photograph the item, so it may appear on her blog one of these days.)