Two Women from India
The children are playing with a ball with their father in Latrán. Two tourists are sitting down on a sofa in the street, with a visible relief. My chance arrived, I say to myself, and I sit down next to them. We exchange radiant smiles, look at the children, nod our heads.
I open our game of chess of a “directed” interview with a question where they are from. The answer is – from India, but they have been living and working in the Czech Republic. Sweta is living in Prague and is a specialist in IT. Her friend lives in Olomouc. They used the bank holidays to explore the Czech Republic. Today, they are in Český Krumlov (for a one-day trip, from Prague), they will go to Karlovy Vary tomorrow (for a one-day trip too, from Prague). I say we are living here a “normal life” as a part of a project by Kateřina Šedá and I try to explain the idea of the whole project. Sweta is saying: “Oh, I see – I was actually wondering where the children’s parents are, when they are allowed to do this…” Well, yes, normally we would probably not allow them to play with a ball here. I ask them what a “normal life” means for them. They are caught out by this question, as all the people I asked so far. Sweta’s friend thinks for a while and then she says hesitantly: “A normal life probably is when you are doing something you enjoy doing, and without any restrictions. Even if only small things.” It seems to me it is a very good definition and I add: “So you see, without any restrictions. Small things. We are trying to find out, where the boundaries and limits are and if they are not more of an internal nature than an external one. It seems, there are more limits in today’s world, because of safety mainly.” We exchange contacts and smiles again, I promise to send a link of Kateřina Šedá’s project (and I think they will check it), we look at the children, nod our heads.
A Yellow Dress
We are going to the main square. The children are playing with a ball with their father again. I start looking around at once. A photographer is taking pictures of us. I approach a lady in a yellow dress, with a daughter who is wearing braces (what I would have given for them long ago…). The lady is from Germany, we switch from English to German. They are here for a one-day trip, from Passau, they are on their holidays there.
The yellow dress repeat: What is a normal life for me? Well, for me, it means simple things, meeting other people and talking to them in the first place, I like talking to people, like to you just now. Then good music, it certainly belongs to my normal life, and something good to eat too. “A normal life” is enough for me, I do not want anything complicated or too expensive.
A Couple from Olomouc
An elderly couple is sitting down on a bench next to me, the lady is eating an ice-cream. Encouraged by previous successes, I enter a conversation. I guess they are Czech and start talking in Czech. I am learning they are from Olomouc (as the morning Indian girl), they visited Český Krumlov last year, they did not manage to see everything properly, so they came again to finish sightseeing, they plan to stay two or three days. They do not look very excited by our conversation, the mentioned project by Kateřina Šedá does not arrouse any interest or emotion. I look shortly in the direction of the children, meanwhile the couple manages to escape, the lady did not even finish her ice-cream.
A local lady who is running a shop and living in the centre of Český Krumlov.
“What, a normal life? What are you talking about? Nothing has been done for people here…”
“But a mayor said so many things had been done for people… And so many things are happening here now, thanks to a project by Kateřina Šedá.”
“Well, our mayor… And I think what is happening here now /Kateřina Šedá’s project/, it did not look like this in the history.”
“But it is not a question how it looked like or how people lived, the question is a normal life today.”
“Oh, you will not find it here.”
/Eva Bartoňová Veselá, Thursday, the 5th of July 2018/