Sales harassment, ethnic profiling from the (of course!) US based Trip Advisor

Here is an email I just wrote on behalf of myself and of our small hotel in Moravia. I do not expect an answer though.  I do not expect a meaningful answer though.



Please forward this to the correct department/person in charge.

To Whom It May Concern:
Today, about half an hour ago (13:10 Central European Time) I received a phone call. The woman on the other end of the phone line began speaking to me in Russian from the go on. I have no idea why she called. She failed to introduce herself and merely said she is from the TripAdvisor. I expected no phone calls from the TripAdvisor and I do not appreciate receiving unsolicited phone calls at random times of the day under any circumstances anyway. The woman spoke Russian because she said because I have Russian last name (Soukharnikov)and was so profiled. While this is true, and I do have a Russian last name, my guesthouse is registered in the Czech Republic and not in the Russian Federation, I am not a Russian national, and profiling of your customer means that you people are making very broad assumptions. In fact what I see is that Tripadvisor is running an ethnic and racial profiling system with some linguistic filter built in and it employs its staff in this case of imported Soviet “workers” to harass innocent people because of their assumed ethnic background. That is not nice. I assume the woman wanted to sell me something on behalf of the TripAdvisor (she mentioned TripAdvisor sticker but obviously wanted to sell something else). May be a business listing? In any case I find the racial and linguistic profiling on the part of Tripadvisor extremely offensive and your policy of cold turkey phone selling (whilst employing the dubious ethnic profiling scheme) absolutely repulsive. I called your main number in the UK and spoke to a sensible female assistant, who sounded British, thank Lord, and who said that she has no idea what was going on. She found nothing wrong with my listing and like me had no idea why would anyone call me from the Tripadvisor. In any case, I think I am going to pull the listing off and I do not appreciate getting any offensive unsolicited sales phone calls, likewise I do not enjoy to be spied upon or profiled ethnically, racially or linguistically.

I had an incoming phone call, I told the woman to hold the line, and after I switched back, she was gone.
I hope you investigate the matter and I expect you to let me know what happened and why I was profiled and targeted.

I also advise you to refrain from such practices in the future because they make little business sense and have tendency to repulse clients. As I said I intend to remove my listing.

Sincerely yours,
Pension Nicolsburg
Mikulov, Czech Republic

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A call for assistance

sort of…

There are two issues at stake here.

First is my old plan to start a barter exchange. For example I can exchange accommodations in Mikulov, wine, black and white film processing or film for translation services.

What translation services? I have about five pages of text that I’ll be posting piece by piece. I want to have it translated into a foreign language – the priority are Polish, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Danish, Portuguese, Norwegian, and other languages (except for the languages of the former Soviet Union republics for which I currently have little use).


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Burgruine Falkenstein

Ruins of the Falkenstein (Falcon’s Stone) Castle in Weinviertel, Lower Austria



digital but identical film shot (with Kodak Elitechrome) is coming soon. I used two bodies with Minolta one. One to take a digital proof, and then the second one on 35mm transparency.

Analog pictures of different things are here. 

I have more pictures of Falkenstein castle in my photo stream at

The ruins of Falkenstein Castle, partially ruins I must say because a great deal is still intact, are located in Falkenstein, just 15 odd kilometers from Mikulov, Nicolsburg and from Mikulov accommodations and hotels such as the bed and breakfast Nikolsburg.

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Rabbits (or rather brown hares) near Mikulov

They are many rabbits or rather those wild brown hares in the vicinity of Mikulov / Nikolsburg, I posted a picture of local rabbits, well again those are brown hares, in the DailyRabbits blog but I’ll repost it here. I took the picture a few days ago about 1 km from our hotel, Pension Nikolsburg, that I believe offers the cheap but also best accommodation and overnight stay options  in Mikulov (really! Cheap and best, is it possible? Oh yes!) on the way to Pottenhofen (what a beautiful name for a village, I love it – you must speak German to understand the soft warmth of all those place names). So not just culture and architecture and wine, there is plenty of wildlife around but please only use camera to shoot it.

rabbits or rather hares near Mikulov

rabbits or rather hares near Mikulov

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old watercolor in Mikulov

Well, I began decorating the rooms at the Mikulov pension or bed and breakfast with something nice, slowly but certainly.


The first one in this micro hotel was the room 32. Which is not the thirty second room of the establishment but the second room.  The partner – Oleg who also runs the would be business though he is not here – decided on a room numeration system that is not unusual for international hotels but is slightly comical for a tiny accommodation house in Mikulov / Nikolsburg.  Everything in the first floor which is also the basement as the house stands on a hill right before ascent to the Heiliger Berg (Svatý Kopeček) is numbered as 1, as there is only one room there plus the bar and the kitchen, that room (a small suite with own kitchenette) is numbered 11 (or the first room on the first floor). The second floor which is really the ground floor from the street level (the first is the basement, I know it’s complicated) has currently no rooms for visitors, but those rooms would begin with 2. The third floor (which is really either the second floor in American nomenclature or the first one under British classification) has six small guest rooms which all begin with 3, so the room 32 is the room 2 on the second floor (which would really be only considered the first floor in the British usage). Here are some pictures of the room 32 (or just the second room) in this inexpensive Mikulov hotel. How inexpensive. Well it is cheap. 15 euros per person per night (contact us  through the web form) is almost unbeatable (10 euros if three people are staying) plus we’ll throw in a longer stay discount plus free wifi and delicious espresso coffee. Also for free. Here is what you’d be getting in the shape of the room 32. This is the ideal tourist class overnight accommodation in Mikulov or a good place for longer care-free stay.

Room 32 or just second room

Room 32 or just second room in the hotel Nicolsburg in Mikulov

Clean glasses in Mikulov

Clean drinking glasses

View from the window of the Room 2 (32)

View from the window of the Room 2 (32) of the Pension Nicolsburg in Mikulov



bed side stand

bed side stand, room 32 (2), Pension or Bed and Breakfast or micro hotel in Mikulov


entrance to the bathroom/shower

entrance to the bathroom/shower


flowers, roses

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Welcome to Nicolsburg or Mikulov

Well, this is more of a dairy for a tiny conventional start up, a small hotel or bed and breakfast in historic Mikulov or Nikolsburg (also Nicolsburg).  Please visit the website I put together for the project – the pension Nicolsburg, which I think will be or is the best pension or well, since pension means retirement, then bed and breakfast or a mini hotel in today’s Mikulov.

How good is this micro hotel of just seven rooms. Well, I had three guests so far and all of them want to come again and two are buying property in Mikulov.

This blog is not only about finding accommodations in Mikulov (Nikolsburg) but about the region of Southern Moravia and adjacent Weinviertel of Lower Austria. daily life, tourism, food and other things, nice or not so nice.

I will try to post at least one digital picture from Nikolsburg or Mikulov or the region every day, though of course there could be some pauses. I promise to be diligent.  Normally I am into analogue photography but digital is… well, instant.

Because Flickr is dead, I created a new Mikulov / Nikolsburg photo group on the (a great site by the way). Come on board and add your own pictures.

Here is a today’s photo of the Mikulov or Nikolsburg castle of Dietrichsteins and the Church of St. Wenceslas (Wenzelkirche, Kostel Sv. Václava) with a helicopter flying by! That’s a rare occasion, so rare that I don’t remember sighting anything like that at the sight.  In any case the helicopter is a Québec built Bell 206L-4T, registration OK-ZIU, of (Czech) Alfa Helicopters.

The view is the view from the terrace of the Pension Nicolsburg.  You can of course enjoy the same view, hopefully without any helicopters, if you decide to stay here.

View on Mikulov - Nikolsburg from our bed and breakfast balacony - terrace

View on Mikulov – Nikolsburg from our bed and breakfast balacony – terrace


A helicopter flying over Pension Nicolsburg

A helicopter flying over Pension Nicolsburg

Today we are officially opened. But there is still some (pleasant) disorder and a lot needs to be done.






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