Girl in Czechland’s not-so secret identity: a magazine interview and an Expat Blog Award nomination

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Some of you will know that there have been some exciting developments recently chez Girl in Czechland (was it Orwell who said never use a French word where an Anglo-Saxon one will do?)

I was recently interviewed by Czech magazine cilichilli: check out (pun intended) Ms Girlova attempting to protect her secret identity with wig and sunglasses. I might publish bits of it in English here if Google Translate doesn’t suffice for my readers.

Back to that not-so secret identity. Recently, a co-operation with a national British newspaper (yes, that’s definitely Czechish) led me to step out from my Girl In Czechland persona. I decided to share a link to said article featuring my name and picture on Facebook and Twitter.

Czechman was unimpressed. Unimpressed is an understatement of epic proportions. He’s very cross indeed.

Anyway, I apparently have two options.

Option 1: Continue to write as Girl In Czechland but without making any further explicit reference to who I am in the offline world.

Option 2. Put my real name on the blog as part of the About page. This means a) having to stop writing about anything Czechman or Village People related b) sinking in Czechman’s estimation as I become just another online attention seeker c) losing a certain kudos.

I haven’t entirely made up my mind yet but for this post, as you’ll see, in my last couple of posts I’ve stuck with Option 1.

Even discussing this feels a bit silly and navel-gazing – what really matters surely is whether what’s written here is worth reading or not rather than whose name is or isn’t attached to it – but it is something I have to decide. I’m interested to hear what you all think.

Ooh, yes and more shameless self-promotion if I may. I’ve been nominated for an Expats Blog Award. To win, I need my loyal readers to pop over there and leave a short positive comment. Reading some of the ones there so far has really made my day so a big thank you to you all in advance.  The winners will be decided on Sunday 16th December so do cast your vote soon.

 

39 Comments

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39 Responses to Girl in Czechland’s not-so secret identity: a magazine interview and an Expat Blog Award nomination

  1. Option 1! The village people and other personal stories are too big of a source of amusement :)

  2. MikeInBohemia

    Option 1.

  3. Option 1! Your Village People posts are some of the very best. And Czechman should be proud of all the interest your blog creates rather than thinking of you as an ‘online attention seeker’.

    Btw – you have put the wrong link in for people to leave comments as part of the Expats Blog award. The link takes you to your chillichilli interview. But may be I shouldn’t tell you as we are in competition with each other ;-)

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Ricky,

      Just a quick message to thank you for pointing out the incorrect link – very sporting of you given that we are indeed in competition and you appear to be gaining on me rather rapidly! The best of British to you anyway ;)

      GIC

      • Hello GIC,

        It wasn’t being ‘sporting’ as you describe it – I was just trying to be fair & honest. All of us, myself included, occasionally make mistakes, and I’m always grateful when someone picks up something I’ve written or done that isn’t quite right. And you did leave a very positive comment about my blog for which I am most grateful & for which, I in turn, have reciprocated.

      • girlinczechland

        Hello again Ricky,

        I’m a bit puzzled: I thought being sporting automatically involved being fair and honest! I hope you don’t think I was being sarcastic. Anyway, I think the contest is A Very Good Thing as it means I’ve been discovering lots of new blogs from in Czechland and beyond which can only be postive.

        Anyway, time for GIC to get some beauty sleep. Dobrou noc!

      • I didn’t gain sufficiently on you ;-) Congratulations on your silver award. A pity two Brits were beaten by an American :-)

      • girlinczechland

        Hello Ricky,

        It is indeed a shame that we were both pipped at the post (or trounced) by an American. Ach jo, as the locals say. Have a fantastic Christmas: no doubt the celebrations are more meaningful for you in your line of work than they are for many…

        GIC

  4. TH

    Option 1 for sure, i’d miss the posts about Village People and Czechman.
    BTW, i have just recently got to know your blog (on a Czech lesson, where else?), but i read through it during the weekend, it’s really good and interesting one. :)

  5. Gormie

    I don’t see why you couldn’t continue with the option no. 1.

  6. Michael

    Option 1…my concern for you is that you are a bit of a celebrity that might attract unwanted attention..I see Czechman’s point…if that is it.

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Michael,

      I’m not sure that is the reason for Czechman’s concern but thanks for yours anyway. It looks like Option 1 is winning this contest hands down – those Village People are more popular than I realised!

      GIc

  7. Richardinprague

    Option 1, Girl! No doubt about it!!

    By the way, what is the correct link to vote for you in the Expat blog??

  8. Orwell said “Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.” Sorry but nothing involving French.

    • girlinczechland

      Hello there,

      Since you’re obviously familiar with Orwell’s essay ‘Politics and the English Language’, allow me to quote the passage I vaguely had in mind where Saint George warns against pretentious diction:

      “Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i. e., e. g. and etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in the English language [...] The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing (hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the size formation. It is often easier to make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one’s meaning.”
      So you see French does get a mention, albeit a rather indirect one.

      GIC

      • girlinczechland

        P.S I wonder if Orwell would have bothered with blogging? Probably not.

      • No I am so familiar with Orwell but I wanted to check your quote as it sounded interesting. I thought you might want to have the original one.

        I wonder what Orwell would have said of words like robot, shampoo, tomato, bungalow, candy or tea that anglo-saxon got in exotic countries before the offered it to the world.

      • girlinczechland

        Hello again,

        Sorry if I seemed a bit grumpy in my previous response: I thought you were being a smarty-pants! I think Orwell would have been aware of the words that English had borrowed from other languages – he was that kind of clever chap. What I find strange is when languages borrow words from English but they acquire a new meaning – perhaps you’ll know ‘faire un relooking’ which some of my French students were convinced could be used in English as ‘to have a relooking’ instead of ‘to have a makeover’. Ah, the joys of learning a foreign language…

        GIC

      • anily

        Funny. It never came to my mind that English too deals with “hundreds of” foreign words and phrases becoming current in daily use, as nowadays it is English that floods all the other languages with its vocabulary. Nobody is spared.

  9. Martin Hruška

    Option 1, definitely!

    But looking at the photos in cilicili, are you really a girl? There is some old woman in glasses, maybe it’s actually a grandmother!

    Post better (naked) photos or rename your blog to “grandmother in czechland”!

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Martin,

      I see you’re a cheeky one! It’s a no to naked photos whether I choose Option 1 or 2 – and a no to publishing my name on the blog, in posts or comments on posts, until I’ve made up my mind one way or the other ;)

      GIC

    • John Smith

      Cheeky bugar !

  10. Definitely go for option 1. I wish that I had been more anonymous when I started blogging. Good luck with the blog contest.

    Cheers,
    Christopher

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Chris,

      Good luck in the contest to you too! I’m curious to know though why you wish you’d been more anonymous when you began blogging…

      GIC

  11. dasa

    option1. I know your identity from the very beginning (we met once or twice thanks to your post about guerrilla knitting at Joanna´s) and I feel I need to read more of your stories and views. Very educational for me as czech girl.

    • girlinczechland

      Hey Dasa,

      Yes I do indeed remember you too! It’s a shame that Joanna headed back to the States: she really was a fantastic hostess. Anyway, hope that life is treating you well and that we’ll see each other at future meetings of our secret club in 2013 ;)

      GIC

  12. Cinanka

    +1 for Option 1. I’ve been lurking here and having some good laughs with the observations and commentary you’ve made about CR, Czech culture/mentality, etc.. (I have a Czechman as well ;-))

    On a side note, I’ve been hoping/waiting for a part 2 of your CZ cinema picks (and series) — http://girlinczechland.com/2009/06/29/how-to-survive-rainy-days-in-czechland-low-cost-journeys-through-czech-cinema-part-i/

    The top ones that come to mind for me are the “Homolka trilogy” (Ecce Homo, Homolka, Hogo Fogo, Homolka a Tobolka), almost anything with Sverak and well… there’s so many more. I would be interested to see a list or even poll to see what others would vote for as top CZ films and notable series. Just throwing it out there :-)

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Cinanka,

      I enjoyed writing the CZ cinema picks piece and ought to do another one. I’ve watched the Homolka trilogy but think that sadly they decline in quality :( My Christmas homework is to watch Svankmejer’s version of Alice in Wonderland (available on You Tube) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fotWTGmOJ2o

      Any other suggestions for Czech Christmas viewing?

      GIC

  13. rtfm

    Hello GIC
    I’ve been following your blog for couple of months and I really like it. Option 1 seems to me the better way to go. I would keep reading your witty views about ČR eventhough you go with option 2. However as you yourself pointed out certain kudos would be lost. Part of the wondering who is GIC would be gone. Best luck whatever you decide.

  14. Martin

    When I discovered this blog more than a year ago I was curious who you are. It took me just a few minutes to google your name and photo. So maybe there is no big difference between option 1 & 2…

  15. Pavel

    You are famous now!! What´s next? Love affair and divorce with Czechman?
    Addiction to poppy colaches? Wild party with champagne jumping to the pool in clothes? I cannot wait! Photos please!

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Pavel,

      It would certainly be entertaining to write a post in which the Hollywood lifestyle goes to Ms Girlova’s head and she drives a Rolls Royce into Podoli’s outdoor pool Keith Moon style (a stunt pulled by the hedonistic drummer from The Who). It would have to be pure fiction though as I don’t have the stamina to be quite that rock and roll in real life :(

      Merry Christmas!

      GIC

  16. Sandy zuko

    Or option 3. Get Czechmans family together, learn some quality songs like YMCA and In the Navy, visit a costume shop and enter Cesko Slovensko ma talent as the Czech village people.
    Old people will love it for the songs they love from the 70s and ironic obsessed hipsters will love it for irony.
    Or you could go for the option of do whatever’s best for your career. If a newspaper is interested, then do what it takes to hold onto that. You’re talented enough to not need the secret identity and stories of the in laws.

  17. john smith

    Option 1 – but dont write humorous comments about your inlaws. All humour involves an element of ridicule, however slight (I think?). Its almost inevitable that you will insult them unintentionally at some point; even without the additional complication of cultural differences.

    Also, if your husband strongly objects to you writing comments about him, he can always leave you; your inlaws dont have that option.

    Did writing ‘A Year in Provence’ have these difficulties? That sold quite well.

    I had better stop droning on.

    • girlinczechland

      Hello readers,

      Thanks a lot for all your interesting responses to my dilemma. As most of you have voted for Option 1, then Option 1 it shall be – for the moment at least. Although some of you know who I am, let’s pretend that I’m still just A Girl In Czechland if that’s what’s going to promote domestic harmony – for the time being at least…

      GIC

  18. Sarka

    You are married to Czechman? I haven’t noticed! and I read it here quite thoroughly…

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