02 August 2010

See the USA in a Chevrolet ... wait a minute, this is Prague!

Even though I live on the third floor of an apartment building located on one of Prague’s main streets, traffic noise is usually like white noise to me, excepting the occasional ambulance. But when I heard the successive revving engines, I immediately recognized it as something unusual. I looked out my window to see—a long line of Corvettes.

Corvettes? One after the other they came up the street and, when it continued for several minutes, I realized this was not just a quirky occurrence. Down to the street I went to see—as far as I could see in both directions—Chevrolet Corvettes!

Police had stopped the traffic so the spectacle could continue, unimpeded, to its destination, wherever that might be. People lined the sidewalks, pointing at various vehicles that impressed them and taking photos. For a full 20 minutes after I arrived at street level, they passed. There were vintage models and new ones, hardtops and convertibles, of every imaginable color, driven by men and women, some with a passenger and others alone. All the drivers and passengers looked rather serious and largely ignored the curious crowds on the sidewalks. Except for the drivers who were compelled to rev up their engines and jerk their vehicles forward by a foot or two, it was more like a funeral procession than a parade.

The scene was quite surreal. First of all, I am absolutely sure I have not seen any Corvettes traveling around Prague since I’ve been here. Secondly, the mighty Corvette, symbol of American automotive ingenuity and the most “macho” of sports cars, really stood out when contrasted to Prague’s cobble-stoned streets and ancient buildings. And, of course, despite the fact that this vehicle is distinctly American, here, in the heart of Europe, were a couple hundred of them passing.

I have since learned that the 10th International Corvette Meeting is this weekend, when proud Corvette owners from all over Europe come together to flex their engines and share their pride of ownership. I am still smiling from this unexpected treat.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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