Smiles, Showers and the Shadow of Communism

        When I walk into a store, what do I say? Is it rude to say hello in the English Language? What about saying goodbye in English? What about ordering food?  “I’d like to have so and so.” Or I could try in Czech: “Dam si Smažený vepřový řízek s bramborovým salátem.” Whenever I try saying the actual words, the waiters don’t understand me. O.K., I say to myself, then I proceed to point at the thingy …