So, 2019 is done and gone. I can't readily recall all the things that happened last year, because it's been too much for the human brain to absorb and remember in its entirety, but what I took away from it is that this year was indeed very rich in deaths.
The year of mourning started in January with the death of Marie Kyselková, our Princess with the golden star. Did you watch the fairy tale on TV during Christmas? I did. I loved her. Luděk Munzar, a truly great man, was the next. The National Theater has never seen such an event before, they even gave homage to him in the form of a honorary flyover over the building of the Golden Chapel. Oh, that poor reporter who said that his coffin flew over the Vltava in a live broadcast...
And I can go on like this - in February it was Petr Oliva, signatory of Charta 77 Stanislav Milota and later Jiří Pomeje. In March, the legendary Aťka Janoušková aka bee Mája passed away, followed by Stanislav Zindulka and, last but not least, Daniel Nekonečný, who, even after his sudden death, showed everyone that a funeral can actually be a fun celebration of life. His last farewell was nothing short of a Caribbean Carnival.
Karel Gott, virtually our national hero, concluded the year already at the beginning of October. The last person to have such a farewell was Václav Havel. The whole nation was veiled in black. My eyes still tear up whenever I think back to both of his funerals.
But I wouldn't like to send the year off on a completely negative note. The biggest event of 2019 was probably the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Thirty years of freedom. What a treat for the Czech Television! A gazzilion of TV shows, reminiscences, reunions... It made me feel like I should wrap myself in velvet, hurry up and buy a plane ticket, just because I could travel anyplace I wished to, and eat ten bananas at once to celebrate the fact that I didn't have to queue for them. Everything is readily available. Freedom is a great thing.
Unfortunately, our politicians kept ruining the gifts of freedom for me throughout the year. This is madness! I can't even count how many demonstrations have been held, courtesy of the association Milion chvilek pro demokracii ("A Million Moments for Democracy"). It looks like politicians are doing their best to rob us of our precious freedom all over again. Due to this, the great anniversary has a bitter aftertaste.
We also remembered Palach, who "celebrated" the 50th anniversary of being burned alive. As a result, a couple of madmen got the idea to follow in his footsteps and set themselves on fire. I hope it won't happen again next year.
But let's move to a positive piece of information that I personally find touching - Čtyřlístek also celebrated its 50th birthday! Pinďa, Fifinka, Mišpulín and Bobík. I loved them, they guided me through my entire childhood, and so I rushed to buy a new issue, even though I'm an adult now.
In conclusion, I'd like to point out a real miracle that happened in 2019: the modernization of eight kilometers of the D1 motorway. We are one step closer to a smooth drive in the direction of Brno. The disgrace to this republic can boast a whole new eight kilometers - the result of a whole year of work. But the Minister for Transport Vladimír Kremlík promises that this highway to Hell will be finished in 2021. Then we'll no longer need to prepare snacks for the journey, pack sleeping bags and spare clothes in case of collapse.
I would like to wish all of us firm nerves in 2020, and lots and lots of things going right instead of wrong. Less people dying and more of them being born - someone has to work for our pensions, after all. I wish we had more reasons to laugh, for Greta solve to find a solution for the climate crisis and for us all to have a good life.