Monday, January 26, 2004

On Radio Prague:

Statistics released by the Czech Foreign Police earlier this week, suggest that the number of people attempting to cross the borders into Germany and Austria illegally has decreased, while the number of foreigners staying in the country without residence permits is on the rise.
Tulip was raided by the Foreigners' Police the other day. OK, "raided" is a bit strong, but this came as a surprise. Two officers just popped in unannounced, pointed at our Russian kitchen assistant who was smoking a cigarette just behind the counter, and demanded to see her papers. Thankfully, everything was in order.

This sort of falls into the category of, "It's OK, Anne, you can come out now -- the soldiers are gone." (A line from Igby Goes Down.)

Restaurants in Prague are commonly staffed in the kitchen by Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, many of them living and working here illegally. So after thinking about it, we decided that they must have been doing a spot check of restaurants in the area, hoping to nab somebody clearly in flagrant violation, rather than acting on a tip that only could have come from one certain disgruntled former employee (the disagreeable chef I mentioned once before who stormed out at 6pm on a Friday, never to return -- and later took a job at the restaurant next door).

After looking at Olga's papers, they left. Didn't even bother looking around the kitchen to see if any other easterners (or westerners, for that matter, like me -- my visa's waiting for me in Berlin) were lurking there.

Another reason they probably weren't acting on a tip: When they saw our Energizer bunny of a cleaning woman, one cop said to the waitress, "Tell that girl with the broom to hide because she probably doesn't have papers."

Actually, the Energizer bunny does have papers. Needless to say, everything upon everything at Tulip Cafe is super squeaky clean.


Anonymous Prague Hotels said...

It's difficult to check all restraunts and all people. It's much easier to check in borders. And when they are inside of the country, it's difficult to find them.

10:14 AM  

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