Prague’s ‘Franz Kafka International Airport’ a true nightmare

The Onion is poking some good fun at Prague’s international airport, which they claim is named after Franz Kafka, saying it is the world’s most alienating hub: a place of suspicion and confusion, where time simply disappears.

This is not much of a leap. Having lived in Prague for two years, I can confirm that there are elements of life in the city — like making your way through Czech bureaucracy — that can feel truly Kafkaesque. Yet Prague does hold on to good old Franz pretty tightly as a tourist draw, plastering his name on cafes, hostels and scenic alleyways. His birthplace, off of Old Town Square, is more subtly marked, and his resting place, out of the way in a Jewish cemetery in Zizkov, takes a little effort to get to.

For the record, Kafka’s name does find itself on something related to travel in the Golden City: Prague authorities renamed Holesovice train station after him — but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who refers to the station’s new name.

Happily, Prague’s Ruzyn?? Airport, its real name, doesn’t really recall scenes from The Trial. Go to the foreigner’s police for that.