The last post? Girl In Czechland goes to ski school

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skiers

I don’t wish to be melodramatic. But.

This may be the last ever post from Ms Girlova.

I’m going to the mountains for a week, supposedly to complete my mission to achieve total Czech integration – by learning to ski.

I fear this is an experience I might not survive. You see while I may be highly competent in many areas of my life (she says modestly), I’m not a sporty person. There’s the legendary family story of when I requested ballet lessons as a six year old but was informed by my parents that this would be a waste of money, as I apparently ‘moved like a fairy elephant’.

Anyway, I fear that as an adult I remain too clumsy and fond of remaining upright to master winter sports of any kind. Feel the fear and do it anyway? No thanks.

Czechman will not accept this. Using a potent combination of bribery and heavy emotional blackmail , he has forced me to go to ski school. He is determined to make a skier out of me. I’m afraid I’m going to be more Eddie the Eagle Edwards than graceful queen of the slopes.

This weekend I went sales shopping at Novy Smichov. one of Prague’s main shopping malls. While hunting through the rails in search of bargains would normally be a source of delight, on this occasion I can only describe it as a chore. Why?

I was obliged to spend 1200kc (about £40) on an item of clothing with all the stylistic flair of two padded bin liners. In other words, ski trousers.

“But 1200kc isn’t that bad!” exclaimed Czechman when I objected. “And they were reduced.”

At this point I found it necessary to point out that when I was last in England, I spent that amount in Primark – a sort of poor man’s H&M – and came out with a sack full of stuff.

1200kc for one hideously ugly item of clothing does seem rather a lot – even if it is practical. And let’s not even talk about the ski goggles. At least I might be able to wear them to a fancy dress party on my return. Assuming I do return that is.

Anyway, I’ve decided to end this post with a clip of the aforementioned Eddie the Eagle Edwards – the greatest ever British ski jumper – in action.

Being the best ski jumper in a country where there are no real mountains means of course that he’s not actually very good. Apparently he used to train for the Olympics by leaping off his garden shed. Anyway, he managed to become a national hero though because he tries very hard even though it’s blatantly obvious that he’s rubbish. The Brits do love an underdog.

Perhaps I should adopt an Eddie the Eagle style attitude to the ski experience. I have no plans to attempt to ski off any ramps into mid-air as I fear that I really would break my neck.

Anyway, here’s Eddie doing his stuff. I don’t understand the commentary but the accompanying soundtrack from the Beatles says it all:

20 Comments

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20 Responses to The last post? Girl In Czechland goes to ski school

  1. Rob Maybin

    Go for it I am sure you will love it when you get there. Best of luck x

  2. Mike in Bohemia

    Good luck !

  3. Thank you for mentioning Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, I didin’t know him and don’t get me wrong I don’t mean to mock him, he is such a great character, incredibly brave and hardworking but everything about him is so hilarious. I was laughing loud reading about him on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_%22The_Eagle%22_Edwards

  4. Glad to hear you’ve become an Eddie the Eagle fan Martin Titi Doubek. I feel the same way about him as you do: I admire his pluck but still can’t help finding his antics funny. And thanks for the Wiki link: I had no idea that he’s become a reality TV star in recent years but I guess it makes sense.

  5. I don’t think that becoming a TV star is his most important achievement. The egg-eating world record (26 eggs in 10 minutes) is, from my pont of view, much more interesting and outstanding feat….I quote: “Eddie currently holds the World Record for the most raw eggs consumed in 10 minutes, he managed 26.” :)

  6. Sarka

    Zajímalo by mě, jestli se ti/Vám podařilo koupit ty lyžařské kalhoty za 1 200 Kč. Podle mě je to dost málo. Mám dojem, že lyžařské oblečené je dost drahé. Dá se to navíc považovat za investici – pro člověka, který již neroste a navíc bude asi spíš sváteční lyžař – vydrží ještě desítky let :)

  7. Hi GIC – I wish you well for your week at ski school. I’m sure you will survive :-) And as you rightly say, you have to be sportif if you are going to truly integrate into Czech society. And next time Czechman complains about you indulging in what he deems to be an expensive coffee, remind him of the cost of your ski trousers & how many coffees CZK 1200 would buy ;-)

  8. The raw egg eating is indeed an achievement. Eddie the Eagle, we salute you!

  9. Been reading these for a while and felt moved to comment by the mention of Eddie the Eagle who I remember seeing in Butlins as a kid, also dressed as a chicken as mentioned in the clip trying to jump over a swimming pool.

    Also as a gentler introduction to skiing I suggest getting a second hand cross country ski package(old skis, poles, but new boots) for around 1000kc and darting about 30 mins out of Prague. Its a bit late in the season now but when I lived near Benesov I used to get in about 2 months of bezky every year, great way to see some of the forests and rugged beauty just half an hours drive from the centre of Prague.

  10. Ana

    : )))

    This winter I also went to ski school – with similar thoughts as yours. I have survived and not only that, but, lo and behold!, I managed to learn! Well, not ready for world championship just yet, but maybe next year for a red slope? :)

  11. Sinnain

    This will sound strange but I am a Czech and I don’t know how to ski xD

    Good luck!

  12. Kevin

    Girl in Czech land neboj :>

    When My girlfriend brought me over to meet her parents she they took me skiing, no such thing as ski school though one day of the kiddies slope in Šumava. I can still see the kids luaghting at me :> and then with a monster hangover I tried the blue and red slopes. I lived to tell the tale (just)

    The next time I came over we went on a cycle trip and they only realized halfway through why I was bricking it. Having lorries and cars whizzing past you on the wrong side will do it. I was convinced they were trying to kill me off ! A few years on and having given them a grandchild I think they have postponed the hit on me :>

    enjoy the skiing I look forward to reading about your exploits :>

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Kevin,

      I enjoyed hearing about your narrow brush with death. I hope my own far less exciting exploits still make interesting reading!

      GIC

  13. MarmaLady

    Hi GIC,

    I am very worried, having spent some months catching up on your blog, you have gone skiiing and not returned. As yet… For four years I have been dating a Czechman, the honesty and ‘careful with his money’ are things I recognise from your blog! Hence also my name on this reply ;-)

    MarmaLady

    • girlinczechland

      Hello MarmaLady,

      Thanks for your concern but my silence is not due to meeting with an early death on a Czech mountain but with being a little bit too busy to sit down and finally type up my account of my adventures. Anyway, hopefully they will amuse you (but don’t watch Bridget Jones 2, it truly is terrible…)

      GIC

  14. Ned

    Effective last winter I am on an official Czech ski boycott. Yes, you read that right, I am boycotting skiing in the Czech Republic. Not that I have ever skied before in my life, but if in the past someone had offered to take me skiing, I might have said yes. But as of last winter, I am ACTIVELY refusing to have anything to do with it? Why? Because in this country, I have found that like 80% or more able-bodied people go skiing at least once a year, it’s taught as part of the standard curriculum at schools (during Communism it was more or less unequivocally compulsory, now that parents have to pay for it some people fight it) and it’s happened that people have found it strange that I can’t ski. To sum up: when so many people have such a specific hobby in one place, it seriously smacks of social conformity. Of course, if someone wants to go skiing, more power to them. I have nothing against skiing as such. But it shouldn’t be seen as an essential skill that everyone should have. So I refuse to add to the statistic. No skiing for me, not that I’d care anyway.

    • girlinczechland

      Hi Ned,

      I’d offer to join you on ski boycott but I think that learning to ski for an English lady of my humble social background is an act of non-conformity – or possible suicide.

      GIC

  15. Marie Brno

    Hi GIC,
    I have found your blog yesterday and it’s such fun reading it! I am a Czech who knows how to ski but never enjoys it – in fact I haven’t put them on for like 10 now so I doubt even being able to go down a hill any more.
    I just hope you survived your first skiing experience and that you might be luckier than me to actually like it! You ought definitely to post a report here.
    Good luck
    Marie

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Marie,

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog: it is much neglected but I will try to post more often as long as there’s a readership out there for my attempts to entertain :) I do hope the ski report has been worth the wait in any case.

      GIC

  16. Solving The Mystery

    I will solve the mystery regarding the language of the narrator in the video. It’s Swedish. The logo on the video is for SVT /Swedish National Television.

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