Grey, faceless block of flats. On the edge of town, as far as the eye can see. Not the most attractive and they certainly have negative connotations for a lot of British people.

In Britain, these types of buildings are normally in poorer, run down areas and as such can also feel unsafe. But in the Czech Republic, this is normally not the case. These blocks, constructed from panels in the ’80s, were erected so that normal, everyday people would have somewhere affordable to live, close to the city.

These are family areas, almost every block has a well-maintained playground, or three, just around the corner. And living here is quiet, neighbours behave with respect towards each other. Of course, the smaller the block the better, any block with forty flats is going to get some noise passing between the walls.

You would also think that with all these people the streets would be noisy, but sometimes I wonder where everyone is. It’s more peaceful than many Czech villages, which are sometimes used as major traffic routes.

So, all in all, I am happy living in my Concrete Jungle. It’s close to town, with excellent shopping, sports and natural opportunities within an easy walk. My kids can play, in safety. And crime? It doesn’t seem to exist, or maybe I’m just lucky?

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

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