Some Taiwan visits ago I took my then new video camera to a short speech on democracy by a visiting and very famous Czech politician.
A very tall and slim gentleman had been a diplomat stationed in Australia – we spoke on Australian politicians (he’d met Bob Carr – the current Foreign Minister in Julia Gillard’s government) and for something different, how tall men make excellent free divers due to their increased lung capacity. Surprise, his Czech best friend was a/the world champion free diver!
Another gentleman who looked the part of a very effective bodyguard was in fact a famous actor in the Czech Republic.
I’ll post his picture and others when these next show-up on the computer or hard drive where they live.
It was a memorable and interesting afternoon. An opportunity like this would not exist for me in Australia.
Australian visitors in Taiwan (and other ‘westerners’) are well-looked after. It’s a humbling experience we appreciate and enjoy.
from http://en.wikipedia.org (Extract below)
He served as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (then part of Czechoslovakia) from February 6, 1990 to July 2, 1992. He has sat in Senate of the Czech Republic since its inception in autumn 1996, serving as its chairman from December 18, 1996 to December 16, 1998 and from December 19, 2000 to December 15, 2004.
Pithart was member of Communist Party of Czechoslovakia since 1960, was active in the Prague Spring and left the party after the Soviet invasion; later he was one of the most prominent dissidents against the communist regime. He was imprisoned for this activity including being one of the first signatories of Charter 77. In 1989 he was one of the prominent leaders of the Civic Forum founded at the start of the overthrow of the regime. Having participated in the negotiations which led to the change of the federal, Czech and Slovak governments, he was appointed Prime Minister of the then Czech Socialist Republic.