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Letter from Kobylisy, Czech Republic

Former Ken Layne roommate Douglas Arellanes has a great essay in LivinginEurope.net about living in the Prague suburb Kobylisy in the early '90s. Here's a taste:

One of the completely erroneous assumptions Czechs make about foreigners - especially Americans - is that they're all fabulously wealthy.

The truth has always been a lot grittier, and instead of the image of the American in Prague as being "overpaid, oversexed and all over Prague" embodied by Prague Post founders Lisa Frankenberg and R. Kent Hawrlyuk on the cover of a British newspaper's magazine in 1992, posing arrogantly from a luxuriously-appointed apartment in the Malá strana neighborhood under Prague Castle, all the foreigners I knew lived in cramped conditions, in the grimmest of Communist prefab panelák housing estates; places like the northern Prague suburb of Sidliště Ďablice, Kobylisy.

Rick E. Bruner | Prague Nostalgia | Jun 25, 2004 | Comments (1)


Doug is sure right about this. I knew about three Americans with money during my time in Prague -- everybody else lived on (maybe) $100 a month in some grim commie apartment block many miles away from "the action."

Then again, we made our own action. Hell, with Barney's help, we made our own *gang.*

But I can't talk about that ....

Ken Layne | Oct 4, 2004