This town isn’t for everyone

We are going full steam ahead in our new profession as “ordinary people.” From morning to evening, my kids and I wander the streets of Krumlov engaging in “normal life.” We play ball, football, badminton, hopscotch. We’ve set up a table and chairs on the street, where the kids paint, the adults drink coffee, beer, or wine, and – if they’re not busy watching the children – read a book or relax. A seemingly idyllic life amidst the majestic scenery of this world-class tourist jewel.

In reality, however, our activities have little in common with “normal life.” For most of the day, the sun beats down mercilessly onto the cobblestones, turning our part of the street into anything but a pleasant place to be. Any reasonable person would not voluntarily set up a table and chairs (and in fact nobody does except for us lunatics who are paid to do so). Our little blonde girls with their colorful ribbons in their hair are a magnet for the huge telephoto lenses of Japanese tourists, and the clicking of their shutters forms an almost incessant soundtrack to our activities. The flow of tourists is never-ending. Playing in the middle of the street is out of the question; the tourists would trample us to death. And the streets are lined with glass display cases – not exactly the best place for little kids with footballs. When we move from one place to another within the city center, the cobblestones shake the baby carriages so strongly that even the best suspension won’t protect your baby from a migraine.

Another several hours of “normal life” are behind us, and we’re just about ready to give it up. Our son just managed to throw a tennis ball which such skill that he hit a giant bodybuilder in the head from about two meters away. He turned around with an expression befitting the Terminator, and when he found the culprit (naturally me, not my son), he gave a threatening frown but fortunately he was in a hurry or he decided that there was no point bothering with such a pathetic wimp as myself, so he kept walking. That was a close call. Another close call (besides my face) was the glass display cases of the nearby shops. This really is not a place for kids, or for parents to relax.

Is there really anyone on this planet who would choose to read a book or play with kids in a place like this? Wouldn’t it be better to do both a few dozen meters away, by the river or at the children’s playground? I’d say that the answer is clear, and I don’t have to spend a week in town to know it: a tourist-filled heritage zone is not a suitable place for living with children. Sure, you can live here – and lots of people still do – but it’s got its specifics and it isn’t for everyone.