Thursday, December 22, 2005

Why do Czechs always talk about the air pressure (tlak)?

It is a widespread belief that changes in the air pressure have predictable health consequences – causing headaches, tiredness, and other pains. Thus, it is common to attribute one’s feeling under the weather to the strange air pressure. The interest in pressure may have something to do with the communist way of reporting the weather. A typical report on the radio would go something like this:

Occluded front: 356-42 359-44 360-30
Warm front: 350-38 345-34 341-33

Height, pressure, temperature, dew point:
570 – 954 – 76 – 3.6
2,760 – 725 – 9.9 - 14

It’s worth adding that even Czechs were mystified by these numbers. Even today, though, the tlaková tendence (pressure tendency) features in weather reports.

As for cures for health ailments, Czechs are firm believers in the health benefits of many specialized teas. All pharmacies stock various teas that are prescribed for respiratory, urinary, and a host of other problems.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger Mentor said...

Heh heh. That's exactly the same as Poland. I read the whole page and several of my outstanding questions on Czech oddities have been answered very elegantly. Well done. I'll be looking out for your book.


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