Every time I come out of a metro station for the first time it seems there’s a shopping centre. The ones here are pretty typical: lots of glass, shiny, no daylight, nowhere to sit down unless you fork out for a coffee and lots of bright clean shops for you to buy new shiny things here. There are all the brands here I’m used to seeing: Next, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers where I can stock up on extra strong tea and fine porridge oats. There are a couple of names I recognise from my time in France: Jennyfer, Naf Naf and Promod.
They still have C&A here. It’s one of the few places I could afford to shop if I wanted to. Inside, everything’s pretty ordinary. It’s the window display that grabs my attention:
Yes ladies, just in case you’ve been wondering where’s he’s been hiding all these years, here he is: the Man from C&A. He’s not alone though: here’s his wife and daughter. Or sister and niece. Or first and second cousin. I’ll let you decide:
Doesn’t she look fierce in those shades?
The mannequin is a popular method of displaying merchandise here in Czechland. Even in the centre of Prague, you’ll find plenty of them in shop windows. Every time I get the tram on my way to work, I walk past this lady:
I don’t think this photo manages to convey just how terrifying passing her can be. Her arms are always stretched out in front of her, as though she were a zombie who just happens to be modelling clothes but whose true mission is to reach out and sink her teeth into your neck.
Once I get off the tram at I.P Pavlova and head down into the metro, there are these hotties:
It seems that when you’re a hard-working mannequin here in Czechland, every day is a bad hair day. Perhaps that’s why these girls have decided to opt for the gypsy-boho-headscarf look:
While I was hunting for a new duvet cover that struck the right balance between ‘contemporary’ and ‘kitch’ I bumped into this lady:
She reminds me of a young Joan Collins; I can’t think of any other woman who would be walking around in her bathrobe in the middle of the day wearing false eyelashes and that much blusher.
I haven’t done a lot of shopping in Prague yet. By ‘shopping’, I mean the recreational activity indulged in many westerners who have nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than wander around Topshop, Next and Gap looking for something new to pick up as a little pick-me-up: in other words, the kind of shopping which is about want rather than need. There is a good reason for this: the cost. Although all the familiar brands may be here, to my surprise and dismay everything is the same price or even slightly more than it would in the UK, despite the fact that people’s incomes are much lower. To give you an idea, 20,000 Czech crowns (around £700) a month is a pretty decent salary here in Prague which starts to make the idea of splashing out £30 on a new top/dress/pair of jeans just because you had a row with your boyfriend look less appealing.
Anyway, next time there will be less pictures and more text, I promise. I’m also going to include a few Czech landmarks but from a quirky angle. Watch this space.