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Those Prams Again!




On an unsuccessful ski-trip this weekend (there wasn't enough snow as you might imagine), I met up with Karla in the Czech-Moravian highlands between Prague and Brno. We spent a lot of time sipping coffee in cafes and watching women push prams by outside in the cold. I am still perplexed by the multitude of babies in prams you see here. This was in a small town, too. I bet in the course of one hour we saw at least twenty go by. Usually they are pushed by single women, but not always. It does seem that the entire family (Mom and Dad and Baby) often go out for walks together.

Today on expats.cz an article about traveling with your pram has appeared. It's filled with advice to mothers about how to get on and off trams, with prams. While the article's writer should spend a little more energy on suggesting transportation alternatives, she mostly presents a primer on how to get around with your pram. I have to say this all seems kind of crazy, but nonetheless it's interesting to find out how deep pram culture really goes. You can, for example, get a free sticker for your windshield from a group called "Prague Mothers" that entreats drivers, "Don't park on the sidewalk" (presumably because the prams can't get by). The article only notes in passing stress that "many mothers with very young babies have also had good experiences using a baby carrier or sling on the MHD [city transport], which also allows you to board easily." Indeed, it would make things easier for everyone. Prams are bulky, get stuck at curbs, need to be lifted into trams by at least two people, and are probably quite expensive (you really have to see the 'deluxe' ones that go by sometimes...color coordinated, matching canvas covers and shock absorbers, all-terrain tires, mud flaps over the wheels).

If you really need to get out actively, then you should look into the 'jogging stroller'. The article notes, "Jogging strollers have finally arrived in Prague, although you may be the first in your neighborhood to have one. The store Dve plus dve [sic] in Prague 4 (www.dveplusdve.cz) sells two models of chariot-style strollers that convert to bike trailers and can be used from 6 months of age."

Then, if you really really really really need to get out, find a skiing pram (or, as the lingo has it, 'chariot'). Now, does this not seem a bit much? I may find the prams a bit over-amusing, but really, where does this end? What is the purpose? Would it really be possible for this guy to be skate-skiing while towing that thing?


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Comments:

Blogger Karla said . . .

I think we saw more than twenty per hour, at least considering that there seemed to be more than one every three minutes. (Or so it seemed by the rate at which you were able to point them out as they went by.)

I rather like the idea of the ski-chariot pram. Perhaps I could get one for George and take him down the bunny slopes with it. (I don't think Ms. Spots probably wants to take up skiing, although she would look very interesting in the snow.)    

5:53 PM, December 12, 2005


Blogger Karla said . . .

I see that someone got to my site by searching on Czech baby carriages. I'm a little surprised they don't seem to have proceeded on thisaway. Oh well.    

10:19 PM, December 21, 2005


Anonymous Art said . . .

Do the ski prams have the properly tested and installed child safety restaints and seat belts?

Jane, being the county's certified child passenger safety techician, would like to know if these prams may open up extended area employment oppertunities for her.

Having carried Jess around for miles as a baby in a exposed backpack, I can attest to the practicality of carriers vs strollers/prams/chariots. Though you may remember your face getting frost bite in the -30C northern Minnesota treks that your parents insisted on hauling you on so you could enjoy the fun!

Dad    

8:50 PM, December 25, 2005


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