How November 17th has influenced my life

Most of you, outside Czech Republic, probably have no idea, what November 17th means for us. It is a day, when we gained back our freedom in 1989 after long years of communism.

With more freedom it means more responsibility for your life as well, which is hard for some people to handle. I love it. These feelings I had the day we celebrated 25th anniversary of our velvet revolution, while I was enjoying my 6 months in SE Asia. This would definitely NOT be possible 25 years ago. It is up to each of us how we grab our chances, how we grab our lives.

When you have a great surf in the morning at such a beautiful place among little islands and moutnains, then you refresh yourself with a coconut juice straight from a coconut, and even if you usually do not smoke, you simply can`t resist when a local man gives you a cigarette made of fresh tobacco from a field nerby wrapped in a dry corn leaf ….

Then you go to teach English to school in the middle of a palm tree wood. You pick up few kids who live the most far away and give them a lift to school on your scooter. There are few adults in the classroom too, no school desks ….. all students are scattered all over the floor. There are two young mums in the first row, who do not want to miss your single word while breast feeding their babies.

In the evening you go to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets above the ocean and you end up the day with bunch of friends drinking something which with a bit of fantasy tastes like a beer, but you still like it ……

Then an idea flashes to your mind …… what would be my days like, if there was no 17th November 1989 ……..?

The beer would probably taste better and I would probably speak better Russian, but these are the only possitives, that arise in connection with the old regime.

I am a lucky kid, who had been old enough these days to realize what was going on and was able to make comparison in the future and young enough to get my life ruined by the regime unabled experiencing what I live through now.

Our lives are in our hands eventually and it is up to us only, how we live them.


About Bo on the road, the author

  • kids reading at school in Lombok village, Indonesia
  • Bo` on the road and local farmer enjoying fresh tobacco wrapped in corn leaf - Lombok, Indonesia
  • on the way to Petiwung school, palm tree wood, Lombok, Indonesia
  • students from my English class, Petiwung school, Lombok, Indonesia
  • mum attending my English classes in front of school, Lombok, Indonesia
  • sunrise at my favourite beach, Lombok, Indonesia