December 9, 2021
Ivak is a Turkish photographer and filmmaker in Prague who also works for a living in a "real job" as his mom told him he would have to do when he got interested in arts back home in Bursa in Turkey.
In this Part 1 out of 2 episodes, he told me about the Ottoman empire that stretched so far into Europe, The Middle East and Northern Africa that they called the Mediterranean sea their "lake". What does such a glorious past do to a nation?
We discussed how Ataturk changed and modernised Turkey and how that created a rift in the social fabric that still exists today.
And a lot more....
In Part 2 that is out in 4 days we discuss Turkey today, Erdogan, Gay and Trans people in Turkey and the classic kebab question that every Turk gets...
Ivak's photos are here
November 25, 2021
Who Shot JR?
JR Smith is a venture capitalist, he owns multiple startups, sits on boards of tech companies and has published books on cybersecurity and privacy. JR is also behind Adams Traktor, a music project formed to explore, expand, and in many ways bend the music genres that have influenced progressive modern music.
JR told me about his family background, how he slacked at school and got into DJing and promoting that he spent 12 years doing. During that time the Grunge was getting started in Seattle and he saw all the big names before they were big, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains etc.
When the mobile phones were catching on JR got into that industry in the US with zero knowledge but the right attitude and that eventually led him to come to Prague in 1997 to help build up mobile networks in over 10 countries.
Then AVG the antivirus company knocked on the door with an opportunity that became a great success story as JR led that company to amazing astronomical growth and eventually a stock exchange listing on NASDAQ 8 years later. Some of the shareholders of AVG got 800 times their investment over the period that JR led the business....a lot of people became very rich. JR explained to me how one makes such success happen, how it is to fire people who do not dance along and what is key to success in his eyes.
After leaving AVG JR needed a new mountain to climb so he went back to his passion, music and started the Adams Traktor project where he had to start almost from scratch, learning guitar, learning to sing, learning to write songs and how to work in a studio.
You hear Adams Traktor's songs on the episode
November 19, 2021
Magdalena Vokáčová is the owner of Magdalena Vokacova (vokacova.com), Psychological Coach, Trainer, Consultant, Art Therapist and a writer.
Her ability is to look beneath the surface of things. And she can recognize and connect unexpected contexts, some people have even asked her if she is some sort of a fortune teller!
She visited my Bla Bla Bunker and we discussed her life, the loss of her father when she was 8, how that shaped her and got her into philosophy at a very young age. She set out to be an actress as a rebellious act to swim against the family tradition of helping others but found out she was better in the audience than on the stage...
A flight to Thailand led her to dedicate her career to coaching and she works with companies, individuals and couples on whatever issues they have. She also trains other coaches and has worked internationally with brands such as Exxon, O2, KPMG and Nestlé.
We talked about what coaching is, for whom it is, who should consider it, what companies need from coaches, what couples need from coaches and a million other things! We even did a breathing exercise...
November 12, 2021
Oliver McGillick's career is centered around the live music industry - producing shows with international & local artists of all sorts such as: Iggy pop, Sting, Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, and Tom Odell.
He was born in Australia where his mother had emigrated to from Communist Czech Republic. Oliver got to experience both worlds, Australia and a fast evolving Czech Republic in its infancy after the Velvet Revolution that marked the end of communism in the country.
Oliver is one of the main people behind the freedom festival that is held every year in Prague to remind people that freedom is invaluable, and what the communist regime did here until 89 was something that will mark the nation for years to come.
Oliver is gay and told me how it was for him to come out, how he see's the gay community, what rights are missing and what is maybe going overboard. We also discussed hyper correctness and political correctness and what impact that has on us as humans with instincts and needs.
And we also planned my parade of white hetero sexual middle aged men.......
October 29, 2021
Stories of family abuse are always tragic, nobody comes out of that unharmed.
Kathlyn Chua is one of those victims.
Born and raised in Singapore, Katlyn was subject to mental and physical abuse from her father, she was bullied at school and the system failed her. She ended up getting a restraining order on her father at the age of 21 and eventually moved from Singapore to Prague where she started her ongoing healing process.
As a part of that she got into Tarot cards, Rune and Oracle deck readings and now helps other people identifying trauma, discovering their talents, making hard choices and career decisions etc. Katlyn also connects with the dead, she can see past lives and feels things that most of us do not feel.
She told me her personal story, about Asian family culture, her past live as an inhabitant of the Northern world, feminism, dating and how her dead grandfather c0ckblocked her !
October 21, 2021
Alexander Bongartz has dedicated his life to the military, he is a Royal Commando, a Green Beret.
He was one of the first ones in when the war started in Afghanistan and he has spent the past 20 years fighting wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
He explained to me the training, is it like in the movies with the floors scrubbed with a toothbrush? The fears, what goes through your mind when the enemy is outside your camp throwing in grenades to try and kill you? How do you get back to some sort of normal after this?
And why on earth do you do this? In his case it was a simple matter of 3 meals and a roof over his head, something he could not always have as a kid in Scotland and Wales.
And so much more...
October 14, 2021
Uliana Elina was born in the Soviet Union, she is a true Jackie Of All Trades, she has been a customs officer in Russia, published a metal album, is a mom, former beauty queen, salesperson, translator, teacher, actress and a wedding singer.
Uliana visited my podcast, told me how life was under communism, how her parents kept the surface clean while beneath it all there was violent physical and mental abuse. She wanted to be in music but didn't get any support and being a musician wasn't a "real" job anyway...so the parents won and she graduated with a degree as a customs officer!
There was corruption during communism but it didn't stop there, she told me how the customs officers were openly corrupt, how the system in Russia is broken, why we in the West see Russia as an enemy and how she feels the Russian people do not know what they want so they believe in the leader blindly.
She wanted to leave so she eventually after a long struggle got a visa to move to Prague, during that time she made her first album with a metal band in Russia.
We talked about her band, Aurora Party Band, that she started with her boyfriend in Prague. How other musicians see bands like her as the bottom of the barrel, how her band went from local band to a European event band and how it is to have to know a million songs and sing them for drunk guests at weddings!
And much more
October 10, 2021
This is my second part of talking with Yoav Haruvizepa.
In this episode we talk about his time in the military, which is mandatory for all Israeli citizens and the traditions that they follow after finishing that duty. Yoav tried life in Texas but eventually went back home to Israel, found love but they both wanted to leave as they felt that the country was not on the right path.
We discussed the conflict that Israel has with the Palestinians and Hamas, the roles of the Kibbutz in the settlements of new territories. How it is to live in fear, what he thinks about this conflict and if religion is preventing any more peaceful way forward.
How will this end? How will history judge this? Has there ever been a peaceful creation of nations without victims? What would Yoav do and feel if he was in the shoes of the Palestinians....
Check also part 1 (EP38) where we discuss the Holocaust, Yoav's childhood in the Kibbutz and the creation of Israel.
October 7, 2021
Yoav Haruvizepa is from Israel, he lives and works in Prague. He visited my podcast and explained the different roots of jewish people. The Ashkenazi as he is and the Sephardi jew that have their origins in northern Africa.
He explained me the impact of the holocaust on lives of jewish people, how the nation has processed it to a point that they tell jokes about it. How the holocaust and previous persecutions of jewish people keeps a certain narrative alive that is used to justify the needs to have their own country .
These persecutions led to the establishment of Israel but that was not the only possible choice, there were ideas to create a land of the Jews in Uganda!
We discussed the Kibbutz which is a type of settlement which is unique to Israel. A collective community, traditionally agrarian. Yoav lived in one of those and even though the idea behind the Kibbutz is kind of "hippie-ish" he was a victim of bullying.
This is part 1 of my talk with Yoav.
In part 2, that comes out in two days we discuss his military service and what he did after that finished, why he wanted to leave Israel and how he sees Israel now. And of course we discussed Israel's relations to its neighbours and the ongoing conflict with Palestine.
Will that situation ever be resolved? What causes it?
September 23, 2021
Vanishing twin syndrome refers to a condition that can take place during early or later pregnancy. When more than one embryo appears to be developing in the uterus, it might be that the person is carrying twins. Later though, one of the embryos or fetuses may no longer be detected. The baby that doesn’t develop fully is called the vanishing twin and that can have a big impact on the surviving twinless twin....
Eva Sochorová is one of these twinless twins and it has had a big impact on her whole life.
Eva is a lawyer who studied in Czech Republic and England and worked in European law and legislation for seven years. However she didn't get the satisfaction she thought she would get and embarked on a journey to discover what truly was bothering her and found what was causing her trauma. Her path has never been easy as she was also a victim of sexual abuse which had a big impact on her life.
She told me her story, everything about the Vanishing Twin Syndrome, how she discovered she was a twinless twin, trauma and how the body deals with trauma. And of course how people get on a healing path.
Eva now helps other people with their trauma through her therapy programs.