Voices From Russia, Too

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

21 September 2011. In Praise of the Little Things… A Visit to a Czech Klobáseria

Here’s a klobáseria… that’s what the Czechs call a klobása (kolbasa/kiełbasa/Wurst) stand on the street where you can get great stuff to eat as you walk about town (to get the taste, use a Polish kiełbasa or a German bratwurst, they’re the closest to a Czech klobása, especially the former) …

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What do they serve? The best of the wurst! I know, I should be shot for such a BAD pun. That’s smoked pork on the spit above the grill…

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You wash it down with… PIVO! Plenty of it… as Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said, “Milk is for babies, when you grow up, you can drink beer!”

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How ’bout some šunka (vetchina/szynka/Schinken) on the grill? Oh, that’s “ham” in English!

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This is a bit fancy, but you can get smoked pork knuckle (rulka/golonka/Eisbein) at most better klobáserias. The normal “side” is kysané (kapusta/Sauerkraut); make sure that you drink plenty of pivo to be certain that it “goes down right”…

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You can get some guláš (gulyash/gulasz/Gulasch) (click on the names for recipes)…

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or some houbová polévka (gribnoi sup/zupa pieczarkowa/Pilzsuppe) (click on the names for recipes)…

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Max and Moritz: “Fishing” whilst the Widow Bolte’s at the Sauerkraut Barrel

Wilhelm Busch

1865

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To end it all on an appropriately light and happy note, here’s those two merry rascals from the 19th century, Max and Moritz… look at what they’re “fishing” for whilst Widow Bolte is in the basement attending to the sauerkraut barrel… not a good idea, guys…

By the way, the Neoliberal Free Marketers tried to close down the klobáserias as they weren’t plastic enough or sanitised enough for their oh-so-refined tastes (and the sight of ordinary folk hunching over and ENJOYING their food was too much for them)… besides, it was taking business away from their American-style fast-food franchises (they’re NOT against government intervention if it’s in their favour). To say the least, the common folks in Praha let their wishes be known! “We want to chow down on klobása on the main square, and you’re NOT closing down our klobáserias!” The commies and socialists led the fight FOR the mom n’ pop stands; they fought back against the megabucks multinational corporate fat-cat attempt at a fast-food putsch. Ronald McDonald and the American Way LOST. Václavák (Wenceslaus Square) is safe for klobása… and for párky (a frankfurter-like sausage always sold in pairs… good eats!) too… thanks to the Reds!

Take joy in the “little things”… they’re as much God-given as the “serious” ones… perhaps, even more so… and don’t trust the “respectable”… EVER…

BMD

21 September 2011. Let Everything that Breathes, Praise the Lord! The Beasties of Optina Pustyn…

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 A cat watching the telly…

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A cat watching a cartoon…

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Some of the Optina fathers and their parishioners took these snaps. No… monks and nuns don’t “continually pray”… nor do they “always work”. They smile and laugh like all other human beings do. They’re not always “holy”… I think that’s what Fr Tikhon Shevkunov meant by entitling his new book Unholy Holiness. If it looks “holy”, it probably isn’t, and you must take a care to ensure that it wasn’t demonic and prelest-ridden. Remember… Hilary Madison, Dmitri Royster, Panteleimon Metropoulos, Sam Greene, Pierre l’Huillier, Feodosy Lazor, Gleb Podmoshensky, Nikolai Soraich, Seraphim Storheim, Ray Velencia, and Benjamin Peterson all looked like “holy men”… and we all know what they did. BEWARE. Holiness looks deceptively ORDINARY. Evil often comes wrapped in a pretty and alluring package. NEVER forget that.

God loves the animals… so do I… as do the good Optina fathers. Why don’t you take our hands and join us?

BMD

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