Beware of Prague Grandmothers
Almost as ancient at the masonry in the castle walls are the grandmothers that walk the streets of Prague.
They have waded through hell and survived; two world wars, communism, revolution and the feeding frenzy of capitalism. They are bitter and they do not like you.
When one hobbles towards you - get out of the way. Step aside, give her the entire sidewalk and let her pass.
If she is impatiently waiting at the busstop let her board the bus first – try to move ahead of her and you will find yourself on the ground with grocery bag shaped bruise on your forehead.
The Grandmother Army of Prague
You might think that you are seeing the same person all over town but what you are actualy witnessing is the Prague army of grandmothers. They wear the same dress and they all have the same mission: gather a daily ration of four buns (one to feed the pigeons), a sausage, a stick of butter, and a bottle of fresh milk; put it all into two grocery bags; and get home before 11am.
They will stop at nothing to complete their mission. They will push ahead of you in line, they will haggle with the cashier over a couple of korunas, they will walk in the middle of sidewalk, they will shoot daggers from their eyes if you impede them in the slightest. Their canes turn into swift swords with the slightest provocation. Ask them the time and you could get a lash across the backside.
How To Spot A Member of the Prague Grandmothers Army
Fortunately members of the grandmothers army are easy to spot. Here are a few things to look for:
- Old, very old.
- A little hunched over, she needs to cringe her neck to see forward.
- Their uniform is a one piece all body dress that stops just above the ankles. Short sleeves, light grey and covered with little blue flower designs. It is clean but looks dirty. Grandmothers like the one piece because it is warm in the winter and airy in the summer – the dress also creates a natural pouch between the knees when peeling potatoes. On cooler days they will wear a tightly knit sweater with big buttons on the front.
- They wear a babushka. Basically a cloth tissue – the same type that old man pull out of their pockets and blows their nose with. Grandmothers put a babushka on their head, tie it under the chin and let it drop to a point down the tops of their backs. Nobody knows why they wear them.
- Always in a hurry, but moving very slow.
- A reusable cloth grocery bag – sometimes two, one in each hand.
- Walk in the exact center of the sidewalk. Not concerned with human obstacles – they will push and complain their way through any crowd be it a bunch of giddy school girls or a rowdy group of football fanatics.
- Usually wield a cane or a crutch.
- Feeding chunks of a bun to street pigeons. Their wrinkled faces are frowned and they do not seem to be getting any pleasure from it. They appear to do it out of some kind of forced duty – a burden bestowed upon them by an unknown master.
- They will force their way through the crowded bus to the door long before the bus stops at the station. Anybody who does not get out of their way will get a stern look and undecipherable mumbles.
Be careful if you see somebody with most of these characteristics . Usually they do not mind if you take a picture, just make sure you do not get in their way. They need to get those groceries home before 11am.
If you enjoyed this website, please share. Thank you.