Have you ever tried eating in complete darkness? Or brushing your teeth or putting on your clothes in total darkness? My colleagues at the Monitor and I have at least some practice in the last of the activities as we get up for work at 5am on weekday mornings throughout the year. But we like to enjoy our early morning coffee, another activity that has become part of our daily routine, in full light, though mostly artificial at this time of day. Have you ever wondered, though, what it would be like to drink your coffee in complete darkness and be served by someone who can’t see you either? If you want to see how this works and/or want to help a good cause, head to Ovocný trh near Stavovské divadlo (Estates Theatre) in downtown Prague where Potmě café (In the dark) opens today.
The staff of the unusual coffee house that will be opening already for the fifth time this year consists of 12 blind waiters. Seven of them have already participated in the project; for five of them this will be the first experience of this kind. Their role in the project is the opposite to what they are used to in their everyday lives – the blind will reverse the roles with the rest of us who are lucky enough to see well; unlike in normal life, visitors to the café will have to rely solely on their assistance.
The café will be open to the public today by singers Hana Hegerová and Aneta Langerová, the first winner of the song contest Česko hledá SuperStar, who is the patron of the project. Like last year, Aneta Langerová will play and sing inside the café in complete darkness and during one day called “A day with Aneta in the dark” she will also be serving the customers.
For the first time this year, the organisers have prepared a series of concerts that will take place on the café’s roof – Chinaski’s frontman Michal Malátný and singers Tomáš Klus and Michal Hrůza will perform for passers-by.
The entrance fee is CZK 100 and the money will go to the Světluška project. Visitors will also receive a cup with the Světluška logo.
The event is organised by the Czech Radio foundation’s project Světluška that helps the visually impaired. In the past four years, more than 9,000 visitors drank some 12,000 beverages served in the café and the project has earned CZK 1.22 million. Throughout its existence, the project was supported by former president Václav Havel, the film director Miloš Forman, and actress Bára Hrzánová, among others.
So why not invite someone for a special “blind date”, as you can do so only in the next week. The café will be open between 11 June and 17 June.