Br(u)no: The Onset of Summer
Photo credit: Zenon Moreau.
School is over for the year. Take a moment to reminisce. Do you remember when you were done with the 10 months of tests and homework and teachers and cold-morning commutes? It was all replaced by excitement, freedom and unstructured days for the whole, hot summer. So much potential for fun! So many possibilities!
Thousands of children throughout Brno will wake up this morning, probably late, and be in that envious position. Unfortunately, the reality for most adults is that this is just a memory. Most of us have the continued endless string of more workdays ahead of us.
Nevertheless, summer is a time when things slow down, people go on vacations, books get read, fruit gets eaten and beer gets drunk.
And, in this case, a new endeavor is started.
This is the first edition of a weekly column that will run in Brno Daily every Saturday. I have written the Brno Sports Report for this online English-language newspaper every week for the past two years (missing just one week during Christmas last year); now I will branch out into different terrain in order to bring a personal point of view to the city of Brno.
I have lived in Brno for just short of 13 years. I am married to a Czech woman and we have two young children. This has provided an interesting arc, from out-every-night single guy to home-with-the-kids-and-asleep-early father.
Professionally, I work as a writer for a local software company that is developing a payroll and Human Resources platform for the United States market. Writing — as a journalist for Brno Daily and in a more creative way for the Brno Writers Group — is my hobby.
I still teach — and, if you ask me, getting teenagers interested in anything is one of the most difficult things that you can do. Overall, I taught English for more than a decade at local companies and still do at Cyrilometodejska gymnasium, which is now empty of suddenly-free-for-two-months students.
One of the things that being a long-time resident of the city of Brno will provide is context. Here are some tips for dealing with the next week, particularly if you are not a soon-to-be-lazy student and have to continue working:
- First, mind the public transit schedules. Monday, the first business day of July, will include slightly different schedules for trams and busses. I’ve missed many an appointment because my timing was thrown off by these timeline changes.
- Second, people will be leaving town. The highways will be packed and the feeder streets will be jammed up, although this year the mass exodus may have ended by Friday evening.
- Third, the summer holidays may make Brno feel empty town at times, but it is not as bad as it was a decade ago. It will definitely feel that much of the city has left — particularly university students — but there are many more tourists who come to town and the city-center vibe is not really so diminished.
- Fourth, it may not be possible given the ongoing intensity, but expect construction and delays on the roadways to increase.
- Fifth, Cyrilometodej Day on July 5 and Jan Hus Day on July 6 are coming. People who aren’t already on vacation will have Friday off. Unfortunately, July 6 is a Saturday, so Czechs won’t get a day off for it. Some stores will be closed.
I hope that this column will provide thought-provoking observations of local life that will be interesting for a Saturday-morning read. If you have any suggestions or comments, please pass them along to firstname.lastname@example.org.