6. 3. 2009

What expats in Brno say: I don't eat frogs or snails every day

Cyril Delalande, born in France, came to the Czech Republic in 2004 to join his Czech wife, and has not left the country since. After leaving LeMonde.fr, where he worked as a project manager, he has been working at Alliance Française of Brno as its director since 2005.

What was your first impression of Brno?

“Everything is possible and a lot is still going to change”. I first came to the Czech Republic in 1993 as a musician in a folkloric group for only a week, and when I came back in 2004 to settle down, I found so many changes. I have now been living in Brno for almost four years and I think we can't stop the evolution of Brno (in a good or a bad way), but we (as the new inhabitants of Brno) can - and have to - do something to be evolved in it.

What do you like about Brno?

The “human size” of the town. After five years living in Paris, I could not bear the big metropolis. After one year in Ceske Budejovice, I felt a little too closed in. Brno has the perfect size to offer a large choice of cultural and educational activities, without the drawbacks of large cities.

What you don't like about Brno?

The tall red and white chimneys that reject large amount of smoke. I don’t known what there are for (incinerator, heat fabric ?), but it gives me a very bad mood when I see it. I think there's a lot to do for the environment and to better the image of the city.
The time it takes to get to Prague. The journey lasts longer than to Bratislava or Vienna. And because I hate planes, too, I'd welcome a TGV train which could do the trip in less than 1 hour.

Do you know some “best practices” or experience from living in other cities which could be of use in Brno, too?

Don't try to live like at home and adopt the local way of life : leave your car behind, you don't need it here because of the good public transportation, try to learn the czech language at the soonest, opportunity drink beer AND Moravian wine.
Jokes aside, you are here as an alien and you have to destroy all the clichés about your country and inform people about what you really are : yes, I'm French but I'm not an arrogant person (I hope so), I don't speak only French, I like Moravian wine and I don't eat frogs or snails every day!

What are your favourite places in Brno, that you would recommend for a visit?

Pod radničním kolem , for the authenticity of this Moravian restaurant, the kindness of the staff and the live folkloric concerts. Lužánky park, on sunny days, because it's the green lungs of the city and, naturally, because it's the pétanque area where you could meet many players, really nice people. Clubs Alterna and Fléda, for the atmosphere and very good concerts.

What comes to mind when someone says “Brno”?

“Stay and grow”. History is a great part of the culture here : Prehistory with the Venus, the celtic heritage which bind me with my ancestors from Bretagne, G.Mendel who is my favourite historic brnak, I can still hear Janacek playing in my ears. And what will future give us ?
I've learnt a great deal here, but there is so much more still hidden that I want to discover. And I would love to see my family growing here like the Mendel's peas in a beautiful garden called “Brno”.

1 komentář:

Anonymní řekl(a)...

I know its out of date, but this article makes me so proud of this city and my nationality. Thank you!