I've been a little slack on the blogging, I'd love to say it's because my days are full of adventures but really it's because I have been relatively lazy, plus I had an interview last night which was supposed to go for an hour but ended up going for 4.Let me start on my trip back from Germany.I interviewed Dirk and Sabine on the Wednesday before I left and asked them what it was like living in the former West when the wall was up. Sabine gave me a lot of information and some fascinating facts which again contradicted what I had been reading about in museums particularly about the Stasi. Dirk would often chime in with a comment here or there which I had a good giggle about. One of my favourites I have put as my title and left me laughing for about half an hour after the interview had concluded.When I interview someone I am slowly learning the ins and outs of gaining more information from them. Sometimes people will answer with a single sentence, then when I'm typing will elaborate further
on what they have already said. They're the easiest sort of people to interview, people who give short sentences with little to no further information are a lot harder. They're usually the type with closed body posture on a relatively sensitive topic. Then there are those who are pompous idiots to say the least, don't listen to your question and go on a rant about either themselves or their chosen topic. I remember I interviewed one guy about HIV and associated mental illnesses and he went on to talk about something completely unrelated (alien conspiracy theories I think...) This interview last night I knew was going to be tough, I was talking to an NGO who had had their funding completely slashed by the government because the government declared that "there was no such thing as sexual assault." I was a little apprehensive when I first started talking about interviewing them because naturally when you hear the blame being pinned back on the government who is conspiring against someone you think "what am I getting myself into?"However I went and I was deeply touched by these women's stories. The translator (referred to as Y) said she was a survivor of
child sexual assault and her body and mind went into such a state of shock that she had a repressed memory for many years and it was only when she went to start a sexual relationship with someone that her mind "snapped" out of it. She then went into a deep depression and started counselling. One of the other ladies (I will refer to as J) was also a survivor of sexual assault who when she was growing up, it was during a time when sexual assault in children was considered to be false. She explained that Czech families have this "perfect persona" where sexual assault, domestic violence, alcoholism etc "doesn't" occur in families and if it does, the blame is usually passed onto the victim. "Sorry your husband raped you? It was your fault, you provoked him." That was a quote my translator used. This exterior astonished me, Y also explained that the reason Czech's have a loathing of any foreigners is because to them we live a perfect life and life is "so" much better in Australia and America. They categorise people by their nationality rather than looking at individual circumstances. Mum and I are well of to
a point, we're not rich but we're not poor. We have a roof over of head and the comfort and security of each other and we live a good life with good jobs. However there are dozens of people I know who are living out of home for uni or for other reasons who live pay check to pay check. certainly far from this luxurious life people have dreamt up. It was a hard interview, emotionally draining for everyone involved but I was truly amazed by these women, they are incredibly strong and their drive to change the views of every Czech or European person thinking that in some way the victim is at fault is remarkable. On a lighter note.I went out for dinner this evening with my colleague Frank, we went for pizza at the pizzeria down the road (which is amazing....) and then Frank made the suggestion to go and have a drink. I ran back to the hotel and threw on a dress all whilst attempting to tame my wild and wooly hair and we went to Radost. Frank was saying the translation for it in English is something along the lines of "happy place." Or
words to that affect (effect? Whichever). We went out around 10.00 which is normally when Canberra is starting to wake up and usually in Civic whilst not as busy on a Thursday there are people around. We got in there (after Frank got manhandled by a security guard and I got asked if I had pepper spray or a gun in my bag) to find absolutely no-one in there. Literally no-one. The club had 3 separate sitting areas, 2 bars and a dance floor and the interior resembled Andy Warhols Studio 54 with it's white interior and quirky designs. The music was pumping and we sat there, we waited until the vodka (which is really weak over here in my opinion) hit (slightly) and had a dance for a while. There was one particular gawky guy who we kept making jokes about. I had 3 drinks tonight so normally I would feel slightly fuzzy but with the vodka over here I felt like I was drinking water even though I watched them pour the vodka into the drink... Absolutely nothing. Just tiredness which for me past 11 is fairly normal. I think I will keep to juice and water, a
lot cheaper and a lot more gentle on my liver. In the meantime I am off to bed... Or read... Also the photos I have uploaded were taken in Dresden and a little town just on the outskirts of Prague on my way back. I wish I could have captured just how stunning it truly was.E.
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