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17. Food and drinks
Food is one of the chief joys of life. Eating - and for many, cooking too - is a pleasure. There are some people who eat just once a day - they have one continuous meal. Others, however, are figure-conscious and try to fast or at least cut down on sugar and fat intake. Some young ladies like to go on a slimming diet.
The Czechs love food. The day begins with breakfast. During the morning they have a snack. Then comes lunch, which is usually a three-course meal - soup, the main dish of meat and vegetables, and a sweet. An afternoon snack is not uncommon and in the evening there is supper, which again is a more substantial meal.
The English don't seem to care much about food. In Great Britain the day begins with a nice cup of tea in bed early in the morning. Then they have a leisurely breakfast. It usually starts with a cereal to which you just add milk or cream and sugar. This is followed by fried bacon and eggs, or sausages and fried tomatoes, or kippers. Then round off with many cups of tea or coffee and toast and marmalade.
In the middle of morning they have what is known as elevenses, usually not more than a cup of coffee and biscuits. At midday it is time for lunch. It is a light meal consisting of a warm dish and a dessert, or just ham and cheese sandwiches. At about four o'clock it is teatime. It is an institution, a social occasion. The meal consists of thin slices of white or brown bread with cheese, or some fish or meat paste, lettuce or cucumber, tomatoes, and this is followed by jam tarts of cakes. And of course there are several cups of strong tea with milk.
In the evening some families have dinner - a hot three-course meal. However, by Czech standard it is a meager meal of meat and boiled vegetables and only a few tiny potatoes of chips. Where it is customary to have high tea at five or six, then the only thing you can expect is bread and butter or cheese and biscuits and a coffee or some milk as a nightcap.
In the last two generations, however, the British have become far less conservative and now they often eat foreign food. Chinese, Indian, Greek, and Italian restaurants are popular in all big cities.
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