Savvy Traveler: Let Czechoslovakia Die, Please

It has been 14 painful years for me since Czechoslovakia broke up in what they called a “Velvet Divorce“. Not so velvet for me.

Since January 1, 1993, I have been trying to patiently teach everyone outside the country to learn to love the sound of “Czech Republic” and “Slovak Republic”. I know, I know. It doesn’t quite come out as easily but please, don’t make me suffer any longer.

See what I have to go through on a daily basis:

“I can detect an accent. Where are you from?”

“Czech Republic.”

“Ah, Czechoslovakia.”

“Well, it’s actually the Czech and Slovakia now. The country split up in 1993.”

“Oh, I see. So, in Czechoslovakia, do you have indoor plumbing?”

Well, OK. It’s not quite that bad but it often comes close. Sometimes, when I travel I just tell people I am from Iceland so I don’t have to put up with the whole routine of “Czechoslovakia” any more. Please, let the nonexistent country die a velvet death.