A Family Affair

3 Sep

Last week was an eventful one for me, for Mark not so much as he spent most of his conscious time at work. The start of the week started a bit slow with not too much to mention but mid week I headed on the bus from Munich to Prague at 6pm for my 5 hour trip which took a bit longer due to there being a major traffic jam (stau in German) getting out of Munich so I actually arrived at 11:45pm and then made my way to the hotel. I was exhausted and ready to crash but when I walked in there was this bar that was absolutely pumping downstairs with the music turned up full blast and it looked like a really cool place. Rather than sit there like nigel no friends and have a drink I decided to make my way to my room and get to bed since I had a relatively early morning the following morning.

The first port of call was to meet my Czech/English translator at a shopping mall a few train stops from where I was staying so we could sit in the food court and get all my papers sorted, stamped, signed and all the rest. This took a couple of hours and then we had to go back into the centre of town to the department where you lodge the applications. Since my family didn’t have all of my father’s documents at home that were necessary for me to apply for my Czech citizenship I had to order them from the equivalent of our Births, Deaths and Marriages in NSW so before I could lodge my application I needed to go and pick those up and pay for them and then get them notarised in a different part of the building. Finally that was over and I was ready to put the application in. This was quite a lengthy process in itself and I needed Mark’s signature on one document to make it all final…great he wasn’t there but they ended up putting all my papers forward and I just have to send that doc as soon as I have the hubbies signature on the form…which reminds me, I need to get him to do that.

So although I had put aside the majority of the day for this little exercise, it only took me until just after midday which was great and allowed me to discover a little bit more of Prague that I hadn’t yet seen even though this was now my 3rd visit. I had a walk around and grabbed a yummy lunch and got this traditional Czech cake with pastry and poppyseed paste and cherries inside…OMG so good but I can’t remember the name of it so I’m waiting on my family to get back to me on that one and I might even try whipping it up myself some day.

In the early evening my cousin, the Olympic medal canoeist, had an autograph signing in a shopping mall about 15 minutes out of the city so my other cousin, his sister, Aneta picked me up from my hotel and we went there to say hi and do a bit of shopping while we waited for them all the finish up. The Czech Republic only won 10 medals in the Olympics and most of the athletes who won one were at this signing so it was a bit of a big deal. I got the guys autographs as well as a picture with them so I felt a bit special 🙂

My Aunty owns a restaurant close by to this mall so we all went there for dinner along with my cousin’s fiancée, whom he was marrying the following morning, and every Thursday night they have a grill on so I got me some Ribs and they were goooood! It was a pretty early night since we all had a long and important occasion the next day and needed our beauty sleep.

Friday was wonderful. There are some different traditions that the Czech people have with their weddings. All the family, both sides (except the bride) get ready and have some nibbles and drinks at the place of the groom so that kicked off the day. The actual ceremony was at 10:30am and about a 30 minute drive away from their place so we had to get out of there just before 10 and head to the château where the wedding was being held. I think it’s similar to America but there was a convoy of wedding vehicles all identified by a wreath of rosemary hanging on the car windows and most of the other drivers would stop and make way for the entire line of cars to go through out of respect before carrying on their merry way.

We arrived at the venue and it was absolutely breathtaking. The gardens belonging to this place were gorgeous and inside the main room it was painted floor to ceiling like the Sistine Chapel so was just gorgeous. There was about 80 guests there and 5 newspapers and 2 tv channels there to snap away and take footage of the wedding. My cousin had given them permission to come into to the ceremony and record the entire proceedings and I don’t know how they felt but I would have wanted to punch them because they were seriously right in their faces and as a guest it really hindered your view of the couple and the ceremony. It was all over relatively quickly and no one likes a short ceremony more than me…then it was on to the next tradition.

Tradition 2 sees friends of the groom capture him or hold him hostage in some way and the bride has to pay them with alcohol or money in order to get him back. It was his canoeing team mates that took care of this and once Daniel was out of the church they hand cuffed him to an oar. Andrea, his new bride, had to dish out a bottle of alcohol to each of the boys in return getting a key which may or may not have fit the locks of the handcuffs. after she ran out of alcohol she then had to open her wallet up and finally was given the right key.

Now I’m not sure if the next thing is traditional or just happened on this occurance but all the friends and non family guests go home for the day until the “party” in the evening when they rejoin the group. Only family moved on to the next venue for a lunch that lasted until 5pm which saw tradition number 3 occur – the bride and groom tied together with a table cloth and made to feed each other…but this was just the first course and then they were free to feed themselves. The other guests then joined for the big party or reception as we would be familiar with and it was a BBQ outside shortly joined by a DJ with a bit of dancing and plenty of drinking. Tradition #4…the grooms friends kidnap the bride and take her to a nearby bar and start drinking. The groom then has to find her and the bar they are in and once he does he is in charge of paying for all of the drinks that were consumed whilst there and then they all come back to the party.

It was actually really cool to see all these different activities that go on with the wedding of another culture and so cool to see how thick these traditions are. I made a bolt at 9pm as I was absolutely knackered from my early mornings and I also had to get my stuff together and get up once again at sparrows fart to board my bus back to Munich on Saturday. I had some pretty good snoozes on the bus as well so the trip went by quite quickly.

I arrived to an awful rainy day and Mark at work so just relaxed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday put on the same weather show so we stayed in as well since Mark had to work from home the whole day and there really wasn’t anything I wanted to go out for, considering everything is shut on Sunday anyway I was quite content staying dry inside.

This week is a huge week for Markie at work since things weren’t quite in order on the business side of things this past weekend so they have to clean up their mess and have it all on track by next week so it can commence take 2. I have a few catch ups with friends and the weather is meant to come good again so we should be able to get out and about on the weekend.

Enjoy your first week of Spring everyone…meanwhile I’m getting ready for the cold cold winter that will be here before we know it…just when Summer didn’t even get started. Unreal.

Till next time…..xx

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