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20 Litres

Yesterday I had a chance to search some older recordings at the Brno radio station. Entrance is closely controlled by a reception desk, and to obtain entrace (even if you have an invitation), it's necessary to explain yourself when you're not a regular employee. The vrátnice—the word is related to vrata ("gate") and means something like "gatehouse"—is an essential element of most public buildings in Czech cities. At the radio station, it is also the principal point for public contact and occasionally real, live listeners come and ask for information.

When I arrived yesterday, a rather substantial older lady wearing a large brown coat was already standing at the window. She was quite entertained by her own conversation, although the gatekeeper behind the window was also quite entertained. The conversation went something like this:

"Good day. I was listening to this program this morning about trading and didn't have a pencil at hand and hoped you could give me the number. You don't know if you have it, do you? There wasn't anything at hand to write with." She seemed to be referring to a program through which people can advertise products available for sale or trade—it's kind of like the classified ads, but on the radio. They also advertise available jobs on some programs.

The man behind the glass seemed to know exactly what she was talking about. "Oh, you mean today's program? The meruňkovice?" He was right (I don't know how he knew), and immediately began shuffling some papers to find the number. I thought that he had all the necessary information, but there were more questions. "And what are you interested in exactly? The meruňkovice?" (Meruňkovice, what you might call one of the "Shot[s] of Moravia," is a strong brandy like slivovice but made from apricots.)

"Yes. Well, you know," she said and smiled back at me as if I might have some private information about this meruňkovice, "it's so hard to find stuff that tastes right." I actually had no idea that it had much taste other than the afterburn, but I'm no connoiseur.

"Aha!" The gatekeeper had found something. "Yes. Here it is. Do you want to write down the number? There's only 20 litres."

I hope that's enough.

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Blogger Karla said . . .

You should have made sure to get the information as well so that you could stock up too. I'm sure Alex will want some for Thanksgiving.    

7:27 PM, October 31, 2006

Blogger plasticattack said . . .

She must have been preparing for a LONG train ride to want that much apricot brandy.    

6:52 AM, November 02, 2006

Anonymous Gaber said . . .

20 litres...hmmmm yes. I hope it was cheap...and by cheap i mean CZECH CHEAP...which means to me damn near free. heheh    

5:49 AM, November 08, 2006

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