Most people bring back a mug, a bottle opener or a fridge magnet from their travels… the Mongolians, well they had a penchant for ears.
Yes, you read that right. And, no, they were not ornamental ears, if such a thing even exists, but actual ears.
And they were pretty precise about which ears too… they liked Christian ones.
Which went down like earache to the God-fearing Moravians in what is today the eastern Czech Republic.
And so, a tip to what to do when confronted with a Mongolian tourist.
Dig a pond and flood him out… well it worked for the Moravians at Kotouc Hill in 1241.
And when the waters abated the Moravians found that beside the Mongols were bags of Christian ears which they had been stashing like scalps.
To mark that victory the Moravians have been baking Stramberk honey-flavoured ears ever since.
Stramberk, or Little Bethlehem, has continued to keep God on side since with the Feast of the Ascension the highpoint of the biccy-making…
I nibbled on an ear or two when my Czech friends came a-calling to the Royal Hibernian Club on St Stephen’s Green this week… http://www.czechtourism.com.
They’re tasty… and even tastier with Czech beer, Moravian wine or Becherovka, the Czech tipple which was first dispensed by the chemist.
The Czechs have many myths, mores and customs which I discovered ahead of my trip to Prague and the Spa Triangle a couple of years back… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/24/czech-it-out-2/
The Triangle consists of the wonderful, wacky and life-affirming towns of Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne, below, Frantiskovy Lazne and Jachymov.
Where visitors and locals fill their sippy cup beakers with lukewarm and salty spring water which i turn cures a whole range of ailments.
The story goes that King Charles IV, the then Holy Roman Emperor had a hunting accident in Karlovy Vary.
But found a spring which magically cured his wounds.
I’d have diagnosed Czech beer myself which I swear could cure anything.
I find out something new every time I catch up with my Czech pals.
And it helps me set a new challenge for the next time I visit.
Such as bathing in beer while drinking more beer through a hose.
Now how many cans will I need. I’m off to draw a bath.