We already knew from the very first time when we planned our trip to Prague that we wanted to visit one particular place. The Communism museum.
The Irishman found it on the net and the idea immediately stirred my curiosity.
My interest in this "not so distant past" can at times be viewed as strange and even morbid, by others that stayed behind, so to say, and lived it. To them this is a dark part of their lives that they are not too keen on re-visiting. Or feel it is too early to do so.
However, I was a child during the communism era and even though I in no way support the system, it holds bittersweet recollection that defines my childhood to a certain extend. Considering the fact that the so called "Velvet Revolution" in Czech republic will celebrate its 20 years anniversary in November, it is obvious that a new generation has been born that knows nothing of the life that their parents and grandparents lived.
I applaud the couple that founded the museum. It took them years to collect all the items, pictures, memorabilia and information and they created a truly interesting place. It is unique, as this chapter of the history is closed, but should never be forgotten. Some of the items on display will become rare collectors item.
I became particularly intrigued by the pioneer pin, as it brought back a wave of sentimental memories from a time in my youth that I described previously. Although I used to be a pioneer, I no longer own the uniform, the red scarf nor the pioneer pin that was worn on the blue shirt, as seen in the picture taken at the museum.
Gazing at the neatly folded uniform behind the glass, I experienced a strong longing to posses the pin, which connects me to that time in my past. Little did I know that I was soon to become an owner of one.
The museum sold multitude of pins and badges, but not this one.
The very next day, we headed out into the outskirts of Prague to visit a large, local flea market. But this was a type of market I have never seen previously nor will I be likely to ever see again. Although visited by a few tourists, it was mostly attended by the locals and anything and everything was for sale. Including brand new doors, refrigerators and car tires. Do not ask me how they were obtained. Located in the suburbs, in a wide factory area, walking through it was an experience of a lifetime. I got to fully practice my haggling skills as well and after a few hours, both me and the Irishman were proud owners of a multitude of pins, including a pioneer one.
I have placed it together with all my other souvenirs, on a shelf in my study. It will forever be a reminder of the fact that once my future was cloudy and unsure and political freedom was an unknown word in my vocabulary.