24.10.2017 09:14

Nick: Czech people seemed envious to me, now I know they are nice

Autor: Martina Moresová | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

Nicholas Stewart Bain is an optimistic middle–aged man. The British Army and love led him to the Czech republic where he has stayed until now. “I want to be where my daughter lives,” says an ex–member of The Scots Guards.

We are sitting in a wine bar in Vyškov. We have known each other for a half year, so the interview is relaxed. Nick starts to tell me his story with beer in his hand. He comes from Carlisle, a city located 16 kilometers of the Scottish border. After a secondary school he joined the British Army. “My uncle was a member of the British Army, so I followed him,” explains a man with brown eyes and short hair. He spent 26 years there. Nine years he was in the Scots Guards. It means Nick was on guard in front of the Buckingham palace besides other things. He wore the typical uniform including the famous bearskin helmet. “This job involves a lot of training and – of course marching,” laughs Nick. However, standing six hours at one place is not easy. “Guard is not supposed to move. But it is not possible. I had to move inside the uniform, but just a little.”


The remaining seventeen years he was traveling with the army and taking part in operations. He visited a lot of countries, for example Northern Ireland, USA, Alaska, Canada, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic. Nick had an interesting job there. He planned missions for pilots and then he worked in a field of financial administration. During these years he met his Czech wife Ilona. She was a member of the Army too. They started to date and later got married. Unfortunately, Nick had some problems with an employment contract. So he decided to leave the Army. He did an English teaching course in Germany and followed Ilona to the Czech Republic. A few years later their daughter Nikol was born. “I love her. Nikolka is the most beautiful girl in the world,” says a friendly man.


Nick had a big advantage, he was a native English speaker. So he became an English teacher in a military base Kozina in Vyškov. “I was shocked. The level of the Czech Army was horrible. Untidy smoking soldiers, hands in pocket… Thank God, it has changed. Today the Czech Army is one of the most professional armies,” adds Nick. Nevertheless another problem appeared. Situation in the military base changed and Nick could not teach English anymore. “They wanted me to have an academic degree and I had just a professional degree,” explains Nick. I see disappointment in his eyes. He may have liked this job. It was a great combination of teaching and working in the Army.


After a long time of looking for a job Nick decided to work for himself. He became a self – employed person. Nick started to teach English and his business is successful. He has ten permanent students and every Wednesday he commutes to language school and high school in Blansko, where he helps teachers with English lessons. The fact he is a teacher helps me a lot. Nick speaks slowly and fluently. But he is a good listener too when you are talking to Nick, you can see he is interested and concentrated. I think this is the reason why his students and other people from Vyškov like him.


Nick became accustomed to life in the Czech Republic very well. “I love my job and I made some good friends here. At first Czech people did not make a good impression on me, but my feeling has changed when I got to know them, ” says. Despite his good adaption, there are some things which astonish him. For example picking mushrooms, one of the most popular Czech hobbies. “It is weird for me. The warms and dirt inside the mushroom…. I can not eat it. In Britain we say that the only safe mushroom is from supermarket,” laughs Nick. Fruit trees are other thing which is surprising for him. “Almost every family house has fruit trees. It is not normal in the Great Britain. We buy fruit and vegetable in supermarkets,” he says.


Now Nick is divorced and lives in a flat with his two ferrets – Tom and Sofinka. He looks completely satisfied. He has not any problem with language barrier, because he understands Czech very well. “My ex girlfriend did not speak English, so I had to learn Czech,” explains. So when Nick heads off to some pub or club he orders and speaks Czech.


After two hours of our interview Nick is a little bit tired and has to go home to prepare for the next day. He is putting on his blue anorak and I am asking a last question. Does he want to come back to the Great Britain? I am contend with my life and job. I want to spend most of my time with my daughter and I am not thinking about coming back to England,” answers Nick.


Klíčová slova: interview


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