What does it mean to live in any country these days? I live in Belgium; I enjoy Belgian chocolates, drink Belgian beer and complain about the lack of a Belgian government but this certainly does not make me Belgian.
I do not live in Malta any more which does not make me care less about events back there, partly due to the fact that I have family there. I do not live in England any more either but I have many fond memories; my ties to the country are inexpressible but when the Eurostar roars out of the Channel Tunnel, jerking us into the sunlight, I catch sight of cars driving on the correct side of the road up the M20 and I smile because I feel that I have arrived home.
Constant travel does not help in this philosophical discussion of mine. I have spent many days in the USA but I have yet to acquire a penchant for super-sizing everything. For that matter, I have also spent lots of time in airports but have yet to acquire a taste for being annoying.
I reflect on all this as I make my way to a public talk about the benefits of living in the Czech Republic. I have been there several times before and I know what the drug requirements are but what would it be like to live there?
The Soul-Soother and I take our seats and politely sit through the opening video which displays sights that bring back memories – Charles Bridge, Vyshehrad castle, the Old Town Square. We listen to information about real-estate in Prague. I suspect that the statistics do not portray an accurate picture of things but keep quiet about that.
After coffee and nibbles, the audience shuffles its way on to the neat rows of chairs that squeak and groan as the frescos look down on us all and ignore us as is their wont. A distinguished looking gentleman occupies the stage and proceeds to tell us all about his beloved Prague. He is clearly a patriotic sort and his nose wriggles in the inferior Belgian air as he talks.
“Prague is also,” he intones, his deep voice booming around the room, “quite the golfing super power.”
My brow furrows as I try to remember if I ever heard the words ‘Prague’ and ‘Golf’ in the same sentence. I do not follow the sport but I thought I knew where the major competitions are held.
“Indeed,” he continues, “we have many golf courses around the city.” He waves his hand and the screen behind him changes to reveal the eight largest golf resorts in a 40km radius of the city centre. I begin to wonder if they serve proper Dry Martinis in the bars at these resorts.
“I am not a connoisseur of the game,” my wriggly nosed and moustachioed speaker admits to us, “I have never played. I suppose that you could consider me to be handicapped.”
I nod and keep a straight face.
(To be continued …)
Do you know of any people who can be considered handicapped? Leave us a comment and tell us about them!
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