'Lazy!' he snorts. 'Most of them are just plain lazy. A job in marketing pays about US-five an hour. So most of them would rather sleep 'til noon and go to a place where they can smoke and drink on the job. They're agnostic, so they don't have any guilt to hold them back—well, they have social guilt, but they make sure their families never find out. But the girls love what they do. I've never known one of them to leave the work permanently. You could offer them a job in an office paying just as much or even better, but they'd still want to work in the clubs.'
A prostitute touts for trade on a Czech highway
(photo by Heather Faulkner)
Being Irish-American, John's an atavistic Catholic, born into a religion but unable to remember what he's lost.
That said, he's a demon on divorce rates, telling me apropos of nothing that 60% of marriages in the Czech Republic end in divorce: twice as many as in Slovakia and three times the number in predominantly Catholic Poland—'and the archbishop in Poland recently said, "We're failing!"' he laughs.
If hell froze over, John says he'd probably settle down with a nice Polish girl.
'I would never marry a Czech: they drink and they're agnostic, so they're liable to get high and cheat on you—and probably forget about it.'
I remember the Russian biznesman in Venice making a similar remark.
'Do you really think the main difference between Czechs and Poles is religion?'
'It's the only difference I can see. After all, the two countries are right next door to each other and have similar cultures.'