Well, even though I entertained thoughts of not coming back and becoming “Culinaria Praha,” a dour expatriate food critic who writes about gravy from the heart of the Czech Republic, I was graciously escorted out of town. Traveling home was not fun, and I’m pretty thrashed with jet lag and a head cold. Somehow, I managed to bring back several bottles of hooch and other supplies in my small suitcase. Like my body, it was a miracle the stuff made it:
So here’s what I brought back, mostly. I also brought souvenirs that I don’t want to reveal, since some of my readers are also souvenir recipients. But this is the stash I bought for myself:
Yes, that’s four kinds of paprika. A girl has got to get her paprika where she can. Also on view: apricot brandy, an herbal honey liqueur, Czech bitter Becherovka, a sample of low sugar apricot jam, a jar of plum paste (lekvar), oplatky wafers from Marienska Lasne, the aforementioned paprika, and Turkisk Peber, a salty licorice candy that is not even vaguely Czech but they had it in Duty Free and it’s one of my favorite things in the world. I also bought two small bottles of eau-de-vie: quince and apple. Proof:
I’m still grumpy about the snafu at Duty Free — I had erroneously thought one could buy alcohol to take on the plane, just as people have done since time immemorial. I had planned to carry my slivovitz in hand, and possibly another bottle of Becherovka liqueur, and possibly some Pilsner Urquell or Budvar for Retrogrouch. But the clerk assured me that they would take it away at U.S. Customs because of the ridiculous 3-oz.-liquid-in-carry-ons regulation.
This, folks, is not entirely true. They did clamp down on international Duty Free after all this terrorism crap because some countries don’t monitor their Duty Free shops and enable people to tamper with the liquids before boarding the plane. And yes, they can/will take away your Duty Free hootch in U.S. customs if it’s over 3 oz., but if you are transferring and you can pack it in your suitcase after you retrieve your checked luggage at your first point of entry, then recheck your luggage, it’s ok. That is, unless you arrive in a dry state as your first point of entry in the U.S. (e.g., Salt Lake City, UT). Then they can take away all your liquor, since you are suddenly subject to state law, just as you are to federal law. A travesty, no?
No one will take away your Turkisk Peber, though. Yes, my pretty, yes…
I’ve got one more blog post to make, this one about the spa town Karlovy Vary, taking the famous Karlsbad waters, and its discontents. More trips are coming, so I’ll be posting with haste, posthaste! I hope you’re enjoying these travel posts. My blog is going to be a travel food blog for a while. Nice for a change!