Your Wardrobe Will Never Look The Same Again: Primark Comes To Prague

Men's Style, Prague Life

Primark are opening a flagship store in the redeveloped area of Centrum Chodov. Get ready for bargains, brown paper bags and bruises.

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A few years ago, whilst bored at work, I wrote an email to the head office of budget Irish fashion retailer, Primark, and explained that Prague is desperate need of a Primark. I actually received a response, sometime later, thanking me for the suggestion and informing me that they were concentrating on other areas of Europe.

A few years later, I find out that Primark is opening a new flagship store in newly constructed area of Chodov Centrum. Coincidence? I think not. You can all thank The Prague Geezer for this development.

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What is Primark?

Those of you unfamiliar with Primark will soon be in awe of the prices. You can get high-street fashion for extremely low prices and it’s not uncommon, at least in the UK Primark branches, to find people fighting over the bargains on offer, especially over the sales period. I expect this Primark to start slowly, and once the word spreads; pandemonium will ensue. Czech people, I find, are naturally a frugal bunch anyway, and Primark will be right up their street.

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I actually really like Primark. The clothes are not awful, and most will last a year or more, and they keep up with the latest fashions. Not everything in the store is good, but that has to be expected with a clothes store. The best thing about Primark is the price. You can find some of the best bargains on the market at Primark and I expect that the Chodov Primark will be cheap to generate interest.

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When will it open?

The newly constructed addition to the Chodov shopping Centre is set to open in mid-2017 and anyone who goes past regularly can see the progress of the construction. In just a few months, the project has gone from an open lot to a football stadium sized building. It is set to make Chodov Centrum one of the biggest retail areas in the Czech Republic, and will include cinemas and new restaurants. Workers in the nearby business park will be especially pleased as they will be able to pick up cheap clothes, get a decent meal and watch a movie on their lunch breaks.

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“Extending the Center Chodov has long been perceived as one of our major investment plans in the Central European region. The aim of the project is to provide customers a full alternative to shopping and entertainment in the city center.“ Arnaud Burlin – CEO of Unibail-Rodamco for Central Europe

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Melania Trump lookalike: Meet Czech TV presenter Petra Svoboda

Prague Life

Czech Television Presenter, Petra Svoboda is the spitting image of American First Lady, Melania Trump.

First Lady Melania Trump has a Czech news anchor lookalike

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, and most people certainly do have an opinion, he is now the President of The United States of America and it isn’t usually a temporary job. His wife, Slovenia-born Melania, has taken her position as First Lady and she is certainly a glamorous one. Possibly drawing inspiration from Jackie Kennedy, one of the most chic women to assume the position, let just hope that she doesn’t spend like Jackie who apparently spent 1.5x her husband’s salary on clothes alone in their first year in the Whitehouse.

Nova presenter, Petra Svoboda, has always been admired for her looks which probably helped, somewhat, in getting to the position she is in. Although 10 years younger than Melania, a recent picture posted on social media by her stylist makes Petra look the spitting image of Melania Trump.

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Petra Svobodova – Credit Nova TV

When asked about the resemblance, the stylist, Eva Ceralova, admitted there was something there:

“Who can say they worked on Melania Trump? I can, today! TV anchor Petra Svoboda is so similar, I think it counts!”

Petra commented that the similarities end with the resemblance as if the Donald were her man, she’d give him a kick in the ass.

“I would especially explain to Donald how a gentleman should behave.”

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Melania Trump

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Petra Svoboda – Credit Blesk.cz

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Melania Trump – Credit Harpers Bazaar

Petra is possibly in line for an interview with Melania Trump as the president looks set for a state visit to Prague at some point in the near future. Czech President Milos Zeman is known as a big fan of Trump and has supported him throughout the election battle.

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Beer Yoga – It’s A Real Thing, And It Could Be Coming To Prague

Prague Life

Like Yoga? Like Beer? Then I guess you will like BeerYoga

Yoga is described as a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breathing control, simple meditation and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation. Beer is similarly spiritual for many, with some added health benefits, probably, and certainly proven social benefits. So why has nobody thought of mixing the disciplines together?

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Well now they have. Emily and Jhula are BierYoga, or Beer Yoga, instructors based in Berlin who were inspired to start the classes after seeing it going on at Burning Man Festival in the States. They saw the fun-loving Americans getting spiritual whilst drinking beer by fires and found that the results were amazing.

“BeerYoga is the marriage of two great loves – beer and yoga. Both are centuries-old therapies for body, mind and soul. The joy of drinking beer and the mindfulness of yoga complement each other, and make for an energizing experience.”

Currently they practise in Berlin and you can expect to pay around 300czk, or £10 for a session, but this gets you an hour of yoga instruction and two premium beers. You can find more about their ideas and values at the website. This might sound like a tourist trap to get foreigners and stag parties to dish out their money, but the instructors insist this is no joke. They are deadly serious about their trade and insist that it isn’t just a boozing session with your mates.

“BeerYoga is fun but it’s no joke – we take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness.”

The phenomenon of BeerYoga seems to be taking off around the world, with local news sources in several cities across the world reporting classes. Sydney in Australia has weekly BeerYoga classes available outside in the sun, as does LA and Rome.

How long will it be before BeerYoga takes off in Prague? Are there any beer-loving yoga experts willing to create and run a class when the summer comes? Let me know, because I would definitely be in!

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Keira Knightley Wraps Up Filming In Prague

Prague Life

Keira Knightley wrapped up her short stint filming in Prague this weekend and headed back to England. She braved the cold, snowy Prague streets for her new WWII drama, The Aftermath.

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The Prague Geezer did submit an interview request but her agent told us that she would be too busy and on a hectic schedule throughout the week. She wouldn’t have interviews with any media source, even one as reputable as The Prague Geezer.

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The pictures were available in both The Sun and The Daily Mail which showed pictures of Keira mid-filming and wearing vintage outfits. She donned a chic beret and khaki green coat for much of the shooting and onlookers remarked at how radiant she looked.

Keira was wrapped up warm in Prague

The movie marks Keira’s return to the acting world after giving birth. She released only one movie in 2016, Collateral Beauty, after a period of readjusting to life as a mother.

Keira was a professional throughout the filming, they say, despite the temperatures regularly dropping below freezing. She did carry a hot water bottle around with her as actors often stand around for long periods whilst waiting for the set to be ready.

Keira is filming a new WWII film in the Czech city

The movie, WWII drama, The Aftermath, is set in Hamburg, 1946, where Colonel Lewis, played by Jason Clarke, is charged with rebuilding the city after the war. Keira portrays the colonel’s wife in the new movie, with Alexander Skarsgard also having a role in the movie. The movie is based on a book of the same name, written by Rhidian Brook, and it is produced by Gladiator director, Ridley Scott.

Keira gave birth in 2015 and spoke to Elle magazine about motherhood:

“It’s a very primal, primal love, that’s quite extraordinary. And the ability to have no sleep and continue going. It’s not pleasant—I never thought that I could actually do it for the amount of time that I’ve done it.”

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Photo Credit: The Sun

Find Your Dream Job In Prague

Prague Life

If you’ve recently moved to Prague, or are thinking of doing so, you might want to have a look at the job market. Fortunately for you, unemployment is very low and Czech language isn’t always needed.

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Prague is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant and lively cities in Europe. It is a city with more theatre seats than people, more beer than water and more fun than almost anywhere else. Whether you are travelling across Europe or settling to stay, you will absolutely love life in Prague.

After the initial fun has simmered down though, you are going to need funds to continue your Prague enjoyment and fortunately for you, Prague is a growing city with lots of jobs in different sectors. The unemployment rate in Prague is extremely low compared to other European countries so recruiters will often move quickly to secure your signature.

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First you should decide what you want to do:

When I moved to Prague I had limited professional experience. I’d worked in the British Army for 7 years, venue management at the London Olympics then an investment bank in London for 6 months before I took the plunge and moved to Prague.

I wasn’t fully aware of the possibilities so I took the first job I could find that would accept me and this happened to be a well-known call center called ICON. The work I was contracted to do was telesales and it wasn’t really my ideal job; mainly because I’m not very good at selling things. I did, however, earn enough to get by and within the 3 month probation period I found a position working with customer support in another company.

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After a year in this position I decided to move into something else and joined a bigger company to work in IT support; my career had gone upwards since then. The point is that you don’t often know where you want to go, but you should have an idea of what you like to do. I didn’t like selling, but I didn’t mind speaking to people over the phone. Customer support was well suited to me and there are many jobs in Prague that pay a ‘livable’ wage on customer support.

Customer support jobs aren’t the only roles in Prague as you will see from the main websites but many jobs here will require certain skills such as languages. French, Dutch and German language speakers are sought after and can expect to earn a little more than English-only speakers.

You could always go into English teaching, as many expats do, but the work isn’t always guaranteed and the money isn’t always brilliant. It is, however, a trade that you can apply anywhere as people are always looking to improve their English skills and you can move quickly and earn extra cash if needed.

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Whichever field you would like to choose or develop yourself in, Prague has something for everyone. IT jobs are extremely common and they do take people with limited or no experience. Customer service is big here, as is sales, HR and accounting.

Where to find them:

Prague has a host of job opportunities for people without Czech language skills or relevant experiences, and you can find job listings on several sites. The big companies in Prague recruit from both their own websites and also the job portals that advertise roles.

Prague TV

Prague TV is a really decent site that has many of the latest listings online. They recruit for a whole range of companies including many multinational corporations where the big opportunities can appear. When looking for a job, either for your first job or even a change in profession, it is well worth having a look on here.

Expats.cz

I actually found my first 2 jobs on the popular expat website, expats.cz, and I often have a quick peruse to see if any further opportunities are present. The site has up-to-date listings and specializes in various fields. The site is easily navigated and well maintained.

Jobs.cz

This site is very good but it doesn’t have an English version and your Google translator in Chrome can provide some funny results. The site does include many decent positions, especially if you speak Czech.

Zeebra

These guys specialize in IT jobs, so you might find something great if you are a software developer, but you won’t find a great deal of junior positions on the site.

Hays

Hays are a specialized recruitment company and have plenty of offerings on their website. If you submit your CV, they should call you in for an interview with them and they will discuss the possibilities.

Have a good CV

I didn’t really have great grades or qualifications to speak of, so I created a CV that was based around work ethic, teamwork, reliability and discipline. These are traits that are automatically associated with the Army and emphasizing these on your CV will stand you in better stead when an employer reviews CVs.

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Try using the following power phrases:

  • Proven track record of navigating difficult scenarios and situations.
  • Ability to assimilate large amounts of information and make informed decisions.
  • Disciplined, ambitious and target driven.

Here are some tips I created on how to nail a job interview

Don’t give up

Even though you shouldn’t struggle to secure a job in Prague, it might not always be the job you want. That shouldn’t deter you from reaching for the stars, but don’t turn your nose up at opportunities when they come. If you get a lower position in a corporation, it might be the chance you need to work hard, impress your superiors and move through the ranks. These things often take time.

Similarly, you might be looking for a while and not have a great deal of luck. Don’t be disappointed as it happens to everyone at some point. Keep your chin up, stay positive and focused.

I wish you the best of luck in finding your dream job.

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