Wednesday, December 28, 2011

794. Travel Stories - Vet stories

Dec 29, 2011 Hotel Duo wireless area near reception, 7.40 am
Free wireless only at the reception area, not in rooms or even dining areas on 2nd level. The past days, my 5th floor room and another one had the smell of sewerage, as if there was a leak somewhere in the toilet. The smell disappeared later. From my experience in seeing the Sewerage truck coming to Toa Payoh outside my surgery to suck out the sewerage material, the smell was almost identical. This hotel is popular with Japanese and other Asians and boast gym, bowling ally, pool and casino and so is of a higher standard. I can't understand why there is this sewerage smell inside the bedroom on a 5th floor! Luckily, today Dec 29 morning, I would be leaving for Dresden, Germany. That smell is bad.

Yesterday, the others went to another shopping mall and then another one called Venezula Square with its boutiques from 10am to 6 pm. A free and easy day and so Marcus recommended this shopping as the group was not keen on another heritage castle some 3-hour drive away. Sick of castles, church and shopping.

Fortunately for me, I went with Daniel to the Jest ski resort. He was skiing. Patches of snow below the hill, due to global warming. On driving to the top, there was a sudden blast of air or wind. Visibility was 1 metre in front. Temperature was below zero. Was this man-made machine whipping up artificial snow or was it nature? I went into the tower to hide.

The resort was not open fully. Only a small lane was open for skiers. Some bumpy areas. A snowboarder hit Daniel and broke his ski. It was not fun skiing in such an area. So, at 1.30 pm, after the ghoulash steak lunch, the guide Katrina drove us back to Prague. I asked to meet her boyfriend Dr Tomas Stastny who does voluntary cat welfare work 3 evenings a week. "His practice is a small one. Not those with lots of equipment," she said.

"It is not the practice that is full of modern equipment that I will want to see," I said. "It is to know more about how the vet works in Prague."

"There are only 5 vet surgeries in Prague," Katrina said. "It is very expensive to buy equipment to set up a practice. There are 180 vets. For 2 million people." Katrina worked with international tourist and so her conversational English is good. Daniel said: "She means that there are only 5 vet hospitals in Prague."

Her boyfriend's practice is in a farm area. The town centre with the church (see image), the big land of farms and the row of shop houses remind me of James Herriot's practice some 50 years ago. I studied in Glasgow Univ in 1969 and had visited Thirsk, a village mentioned in James Herriot's novels. Katrina and Tomas are fans of James Herriot too and his Yorkshire vet stories must have been translated to Czech. Tomas' practice is located in similar farmland countryside small village as you can see from some pictures. His 12-year-old son wants to be a journalist and he could write stories of the stray cats and patients of Tomas if this young man can be motivated to do so.

Some pictures are shown:

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