Proud of Prague

A couple of my friends shared an article this morning from the Observer entitle “The Fall of Prague,” all about how the city is flooded with tourists and this changes its character and makes things unpleasant for residents. The comments sections were mostly in agreement, with a lot of people voicing their specific complaints: beer bikes,snake people, dancing pandas, etc…
The article talked about people living in the center (although they spelled it centre, of course) who were disturbed by the noise of the pub crawling gangs.
I disagree completely with this view. If you want to move out of Prague 1, you can sell your flat for a small fortune and move into one of Prague’s numerous quiet, green and leafy neighborhoods which are still within 20 minutes of the center by public transport, and have some cash left over. Of course there are going to be tourists in the center.
A lot of it is just the natural shift in perspective which comes with age. We were the drunken tourists once (98-99 in my case), and now we are married, have kids and live in quieter sections of Prague. So, ‘those crazy kids’ are now an annoyance.
Still, annoying as they are, I see them and I know that the things they do here, the barfing in the gutter, the singing loudly at 3 a.m., all of it, are things they will talk about with each other, and exaggerate more and more as years go by, and decades into the future when they are old and gray like me they will look at each other and say “Do you remember that time when we were in Prague….” and they will smile and laugh about how crazy they were when they were young.
It makes me proud to live here, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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