are we budweisers yet? & 30 ways you know you’re from south bohemia


it has happened: we’ve lived in

české budějovice

for five. whole. years.

i don’t know what it means, but it must mean something. initially, i didn’t really think it’s necessarily any case for celebration because all i’ve been doing is, well, livin’. on the other hand, we managed to legally live here in the czech republic (through the multitude of bureaucratic hurdles) so i guess that is pretty celebratory after all! i ordered a moscow mule on the five year day at the fanciest cocktail bar in town. because.

although i have mentioned before that four year increments are most significant to me, alex mentions that the five year mark (in anything one does) is the most significant, so i’ve been thinking a bit about all of this. the thing is, i’ve never been a quitter. also, i happen to be, like many humans, incredibly adaptable. and finally: i’m not a huge fan of change unless there is something really pulling me to do so. all of those things combined are the perfect storm to continue living here even longer. i do, of course, miss the ocean a lot. and seafood. and it would be nice to see my family and friends more. but generally, there is nothing yet pulling us away from the czech republic or europe, so i guess we’re just going to keep riding this wave of life for awhile and see where it takes us… because life is good.

so, now that i’ve lived in budejovice for five years (am i a real budweiser yet?), i thought i would compile a lighthearted list of things that you need to or should do in order to be a proper budweiser. (i’m sure a lot of this could also apply to being czech in general, but some of it is location specific)


1. you spend any amount of extra free time outside – “in the nature”, garden, on the river, or especially, in the woods.

2. you collect mushrooms, berries, flowers, or nuts in the aforementioned woods.

3. you, of course, know the names of all of these specimens.

4. you drink instant coffee at home or turek (if you’re feeling old-timey).

5. when you go anywhere (even for a day trip), you come prepared with packed snacks and food.


6. you have been up klet’ hill so many times you can’t even count (and you would never take the chair-lift!)

7. you have told someone that you can see the alps from klet’ on a clear day.

8. you have actually seen the alps from klet’.

9. not a spring or summer goes by without some kind of trip on the river.

10. you have tied up your boat to your friends’ before, or have worn matching t-shirts on the river.


11. you know well how to properly wield a paddle and steer a canoe.

12. you like to shop at the farmer’s market at

piaristické náměstí.

13. you actually don’t go to prague very often, and if you do, you’re back before bedtime.

14. you go to austria more often than prague.

15. you have done your shopping before in freistadt (austria) or freyung (germany) because of the better prices and quality.


16. you have an extensive cultural line-up and are always seeing something – whether a play, a concert, an opera, or a ballet.

17. you already have your tickets to this year’s revolving theatre production.

18. you cheer on motor (local hockey team) and swear this is the year we’ll make it to the extra league.

19. you prefer to buy wine from a vinárna

in a plastic bottle.

20. skiing = life


21. you wouldn’t dare spend silvestr (new year’s eve) on the square, preferring to be at a friend’s place with a view or on klet’.

22. you might be a born-and-bred south bohemian, but you still prefer pilsner urquell.

23. you have spent at least a few late friday nights with the party people in the center.

24. you get your honey from a friend who is a bee-keeper.

25. you have spent many nights sitting around a campfire, roasting


and singing along to songs from an acoustic guitar.


26. you have attended a “pond-draining” event before. (this event happens every late autumn where the ponds across the region are drained and all of the fish are removed in preparation for winter)

27. you cycle everywhere (and have cycled in the snow before).

28. you think about the days when winters used to be colder and you could always ice-skate on the ponds.

29. you either have already been or are planning a road / camping trip to norway.

30. you’ve always agreed with the line from jára cimrman: “everyone wants to live in

české budějovice.”


it’s a beautiful city that has totally grown on me! although the first year was tough, all the rest have been like (see above photo).

hey south bohemians – any others you would add to the list? 

ps, you might enjoy the complete visitor’s guide to české budějovice or local lore.

some photos by jan pirgl.