Today, before going on my walk to visit the project families, I stopped by the police booth on the main square to deal with a situation that happened last night: Around midnight, a group of drunken football fans from Ostrava was chanting outside our window, and when my son confronted them from the window of his bedroom, they told him to come down and take them on. In the end, one of them threw a beer bottle at him and hit him in the head. When I told the hooligans that I was calling the police, they disappeared. In the morning, we discovered that a bit of the windowsill had broken off during the assault. We deal with noise on an almost daily basis, but nobody has ever attacked us like that.
Every morning around 10am I go for a walk to check out the UNES-CO houses and I notice that the area usually visited by tourists has begun to creep towards us on Linecká Street. Asian tourists in particular are photographing themselves in front of the church and the Hotel Růže, and Eduard Beneš Bridge is full of their colorful little umbrellas. Perhaps it’s because the Asian tour groups go for lunch at the Peking Restaurant, but maybe it’s also because the bridge is wrapped in wooden railings that prevent people from walking on the sidewalks, so the roads are full of pedestrians and cars have to drive cautiously and slowly. A week ago, on Wednesday, we had a strange encounter with a Chinese tourist: My son and daughter were bringing my older son home from the hospital, where’d had an operation on his knee, and when they were trying to help him out of the car and hand him his crutches, an Asian tourist ran up to them and tried to pull one of the crutches away from my younger son just as we wanted to give it to his brother. He seemed to be joking around and said something in his native language as he was pulling the crutches from my son’s hands. In the end, when my son yelled at him and pointed right in in face, he ran off laughing. None of us understand what his point was.
Our quality of life has gotten worse on Linecká Street recently, in part because of the law banning smoking in pubs and restaurants, which means that even late at night groups of smokers hang out beneath our bedroom windows, and we can’t open the windows because of the noise and the smoke. Krumlov is my home, but I’m curious about what more we have to endure in order to keep on calling it that.