My best friend Milan recently informed me that he is to be a father. After several years of hesitation, he and his wife finally decided to replace their Weimaraner with something born with the natural ability to learn to speak. “We’re in the fourth month,” he said with that euphoric tone only a father-to-be can deliver, forgetting to add that we must have a proper drink at the weekend to celebrate.
It’s typically Czech to drink to a lot of other things too. One drinks to mark a birth or death, wedding or divorce, a promotion and subsequently every working day survived. In a few months time, Milan will drink to his offspring, and in a few years his offspring will drink to forget his first unrequited love.
When my friend told me the news, I didn’t know much more about the typical Czech: I only had a vague idea about how much the average Czech earns, what he or she eats, and how they best like to spend their free time. I then decided to find out what the typical Czech looks like and how he/she lives and how the new Czech of my friends’ creation might look like and how he/she may live.
From a study by the food producer Knorr, by way of analysis conducted by the agency Kaspen/Jung von Matt, and studying reports and essays by Czech sexologists, through to data from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ), I have attempted to model the silhouette of the person that none of us wants to be — average — but who is partly in all of us.
Bread after teeth-grinding erection
Average Czech’s alarm clock sounds after seven and a half hours of sleep having gone to bed sometime after 10 pm — that is as long as there was no football or especially hockey match (considered the “national sport”) , or another important sporting event, on television for which he is prepared to sacrifice sleep. We’re not particularly fond of morning hygiene; we hate shaving and depilation, and for the most part our sessions in the bathroom are carried out for the sake of others.That said, 40 percent have problems sleeping; the Average Czech wakes up and suffer from pathological grinding of teeth. In the best cases, we fall asleep after 15 minutes and dream about work or sex. Czechs regularly have erotic dreams: women five times a month, men every other night. Average Czech Male experiences a third of his erections — of which he has up to 15 a day — in sleep.
From bed, Average Czech makes his way to his average bathroom measuring eight square meters. Average Czechs clean their teeth in the morning and evening and over half of us wear clean underwear every day. Nevertheless, we’re not particularly fond of morning hygiene; we hate shaving and depilation, and for the most part our sessions in the bathroom are carried out for the sake of others. Those who spend at least 10 minutes in the bathroom a day make at least six percent more than their colleagues who pay less attention to their bodily hygiene.
Average Czech usually has breakfast at home, which most commonly consists of bread with margarine and cheese, and tea. About 15 percent eat brown or white bread for breakfast, while under 10 percent eat sweetened bread or pastries. Margarine is twice as popular as butter. Czechs don’t eat many eggs or much pâté, nor fruit or vegetables for breakfast. Only a third of Czechs drink coffee at breakfast, with most preferring tea. Surprisingly, Average Czech’s breakfasts on weekends differs little from weekdays.
Meet the Nováks
Average Czech isn’t very attractive; he/she has an average age of 40.6, is overweight, and has a little over 30 years of life left, which is spent with 1.64 other people living in an apartment measuring 49.5 square meters that is privately owned or within a privately owned housing collective.
Average Czech is most likely called Petr (followed by Martin, Jiří or Pavel), or Jana (followed by Martina, Renáta or Monika), which were the most popular names at the end of the 1960s, when our Mr. and Mrs. Average were born. For the most part their family name is Novák, Svoboda or Novotný. Average Czech experiences physical troubles every fifth day, with muscle and joint pain being the most common complaint.
Petr probably makes his living as a bricklayer, plumber or electrician and brings home around Kč 23,000 a month. Petr’s wife Jana is a nursery school teacher, a low-level administrative official, a cook or saleswoman. She’s a little more educated than her husband — but nevertheless earns 15 percent less than Petr.
If they wanted to improve their financial situation, they would do well to find Over half of Czechs haven’t done any sport in the last six months.employment in the airline industry, which has the highest average wage — approximately Kč 70,000 a month. Nevertheless, for now Petr at least just fantasizes about the sector – he would most like to “do it” with a busty airhostess, while Jana fantasizes about being in a school uniform and getting intimate with two (!) foreigners. They don’t much care who other people sleep with and see registered partnerships as okay but aren’t too keen on gay marriage.
Both Petr and Jana struggle with their weight. The turning point came at the age of 30, since which time they have continued to fatten. Individuals without a partner are more likely to do sports and stick to a diet. Some 33 percent of Czechs exercise at least once a week, with cycling being the most popular recreational sport. Nevertheless, over half of Czechs haven’t done any sports in the last six months.
Most free time is spent in front of the television — three to four hours a day on average. The Average Czech most likes watching the news, sports news, the weather, and the soap opera “Ordinace v růžové zahradě” (The Surgery in the Rose Garden). The popularity of gardening has been largely replaced by spending time on the Internet. Both Petr and Jana hate ironing and washing windows; he doesn’t mind doing the dishes so much (though he does it less) and she rathers likes to cook.
The Nováks aren’t religious but believe in some kind of higher force or spirit. They vote in elections for center-left parties, though politics interest Petr more than Jana, and trust in President Václav Klaus but not as much as they used to. They think corruption is a serious issue but aren’t too worried about nuclear power. Together they save to go on holiday to Croatia, which they drive to overnight in a Škoda Felicia (although they take public transport to work). Most of all they look forward to Christmas (when they kill and eat carp) and retirement. Nevertheless, the latter are more of a disappointment than pleasure. The Average Czech spends an average of Kč 11,260 on Christmas, and in retirement feels ill and morose, but at least thinks the health care system is decent albeit on the decline.
Love ourselves and large portions
Petr and Jana’s main aim in life is to have a long-term partner, children and success in work. Despite globalism and European integration, Czechs like Czechs best, followed by Slovaks, and are wary of immigrants. The French take third place in the popularity of nations stakes, while Afghans, Palestinians and Iraqis evoke the most antipathy. But this can change in a moment if an Afghan is a doctor — because from all the professions, the Nováks have most respect for doctors, followed by scientists, university lecturers and high school teachers. Politicians and cleaners get the least respect from the Nováks. Petr is a European leader in terms of penis length. But Jana is hardly bothered about length – girth is what matters to her most in bed.
Czechs most like to consume things that other Europeans avoid: soft drinks almost without fizz, fatty yogurts and condensed cottage cheese ice lollies. Soft drink producers even have to rid their products of high bubble content to cater for the specific demands of the average Czech consumer.
Nevertheless, quality of food isn’t a major concern — as long as portions are large, nutritional value doesn’t play a role. What we like most is pork. Petr eats over 40 kilos of pig meat a year along with 65 kilos of potatoes a year, over 43 kilos of bread, washed down with 110 liters of soft drinks. Then again only half of Czechs have a regularly lunch when at work.
The Nováks don’t like to experiment in the kitchen and have a culinary repertoire of a maximum of 10 dishes. They prioritize quick preparation and readily available and cheap ingredients. Nevertheless, cooking is the most popular domestic chore among Czechs, followed by watering flowers and far less popular, washing cloths and dishes.
What the Nováks save on food they spend on alcohol, tobacco and drugs, which account for 7.6 percent of their income, compared to the EU average of around 3.5 percent. Petr drinks 179 liters of alcohol a year of which beer comprises 150 liters, and smokes 2,350 cigarettes. Both tried marijuana in their youth.
The Czech living room
It’s not surprising that Average Czech has erectile problems — more than half of Czechs over 40 are inflicted. Nevertheless, Petr and Jana get it together twice a week, which takes them roughly 14 minutes (each time). Petr is a European leader in terms of penis length; only the French with an average 16.1 centimeters outstrip his 15.89 centimeters. But Jana is hardly bothered about length — girth is what matters to her most in bed.
The Nováks spend most of their free time in their 20 meter-squared living room with an LCD television, computer and a vacuum cleaner lying somewhere in the corner for want of a better place to store it. Otherwise the living room is wholly unremarkable: PVC floor covering, a sofa, one armchair, and white net curtains with wooden pelmets. There are increasingly few books on their shelves, as Petr and Jana spend a mere Kč 400 on them a year. This is a shame because they could read something about healthy lifestyles, which might help prevent them from dying from heart and artery disease several years before their neighbors to the West.
Well, I’ll probably call off this weekend’s drinking session after all. In any case, among other things, it apparently causes unhappiness — and I really wouldn’t like to get my new life off to a bad start with this ordinary pursuit. For that matter, in his book “The Future of an Illusion,” Dr Sigmund Freud points out the depressing contrast between the bright intelligence of a healthy child and the deficit of conceptual thinking of the average adult. Jan, Jakub, Tomáš, Filip, and Tereza, Anna, Eliška, Karolína — as Czech children today are most likely to be called — will fortunately formulate their own averages, and we would do best to interfere as little as possible.
Keeping up with the Müllers
By comparison, the Average German is called Thomas Müller and his wife’s name is Sabine and they’re 41. Together they make €3,015 and dream Most Germans dream of a holiday full of adventure and experiences, but they spend most of it on a beach.of a doctor’s salary, which averages around €10,000 before tax and deductions. The average German sleeps 25 minutes less than Petr Novák and prefers coffee over tea as his breakfast beverage.
Most Germans dream of a holiday full of adventure and experiences, but they spend most of it on a beach. The Müllers would most like to visit the USA, but most Germans travel within Germany and to Spain. The average German eats almost 100 kilos of vegetables, 77 kilos of fruit, 55 kilos of pork and washes it down with 125 liters of beer a year and smokes 1292 cigarettes.
The Müllers live in an 89 square-meter apartment which they rent and their living room is 23 square meters in size. Like Czechs, Germans spend an average of almost four hours a day in front of the television and highly regard doctors — but deplore television presenters and trade union leaders.
Their very favorite dish is a schnitzel with mushroom sauce and chips. If schnitzel isn’t available, spaghetti bolognaise is second choice. Sabina would most like to have a fling with a fireman, who is most likely to be endowed with a member measuring 14.5 centimeters, while Thomas would go for a nurse.