Around the Anděl Metro station is a shopping Mecca to rival any. The square there is always filled with people, but last week it was nuts. There was a long row of little portable shops doing a rousing business selling Easter crap. Prominent among the crap shops were people selling switches woven from tree branches and decorated with ribbons. The tradition, it seems, is that on the Monday holiday overtime the boys are supposed to whack the girls with sticks, and in return the girls give the boys eggs.

Yes, it strikes me as a little one-sided as well. Iveta explained that if the boys didn’t whack the girls, the girls would get “bugs”, which I translate as cooties.

The following day, today, girls are able to get revenge by dousing the boys with water.

Apparently in the not-too-far-distant past, there was a greater deterrent to the whacking of a girl with a stick. Back in the day, a stick whack would be followed by having dinner with the girl’s parents. Do not strike whimsically, for you will have a father asking you your intentions. Now there’s something to stay your hand.