Imagine a stretch of road eight kilometers long

Author: Jiri Valecek
Location: Ostrava
One weekend my friend Kamil and I went to a dance in Holasovice. We had a good time as usual. We had a few beers, we chased babes and the time went quickly. So we missed our train and had to walk home: about twelve kilometers. And it was raining.
We were pretty drunk, so we didn’t so much mind the cold and the rain. But we minded the walk. We had to do it, though, if we didn’t want to sleep over in a ditch.
Imagine a stretch of road eight kilometers long: totally straight, no curves. And it was so dark you couldn’t see your own nose.
When our legs started give out, we decided to hitchhike. Although it was the middle of the night, quite a few cars were going by. But none of them stopped.
We had just quit trying to hitchhike when one of the passing cars stopped. It was an old Skoda 1000, and it looked as though it was full of people. "What luck!” I thought. We ran to the car and opened the door.
I was surprised to see who it was: there were four Roms in the car – asking us right off where we were going, and if we wanted a ride. I was shocked; nothing like this had ever happened to me. I was used to having bad experiences with Roms.
Anyway, we got in. And there were so many of us in the car that I had to sit on one of their laps.
So we set off. At first I was a bit nervous, but they offered us beer and cigarettes and we started to talk. After a while I stopped being nervous and we had a good time chatting. They were very funny, telling us about a party they had just left. And they were very nice and drove us right up to our house.
This experience changed the way I look at Roms. Now I look at them as individuals, not as members of a group.
This is also the reason that I am taking part in this project: I think that people’s views must be changed in a positive direction, and we can do that with the stories.

One Response to “Imagine a stretch of road eight kilometers long”

  1. As a kid growing up in Prague, I was often called a Cikan (Rom) because my skin after my Bulgarian Father is darker then the Czech People’s skin.

    I often felt very hurt and resentful towards the other kids, but then at the age of 15 I came to the States, and the greatest city in the World (New York City)

    In New York I have met so many people from different races and backgrounds and realized that the color of your skin or the ethnicity are not important.

    People in the Czech Republic need to realize that in order to become Members of the European Union they need treat everyone with respect regardless of Color,Ethnicity or Country of Birth.

    There is much to learn from people of other cultures and backgrounds. Life would be very boring if we were all the same. Everyone should make a friend with a person from another Culture,Race,Country


  2. Hi again, I want to inform you that the
    excellent spanish dancer, Joaquin Cortes
    have a web site that it could be very
    interesting for you, that is :
    I hope you will like it.

    [ed. note: this site is currently under

    He is a very admired and successful
    artist. Right now he is in Venezuela, my
    country, where he is giving a
    presentation, and later he will go to
    the USA and Canada in working tour.

    I also want to add that most of the time
    when I have asked for Roms’ addresses to
    Roms, I always got very nice, good help.

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