• Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Herbalism,  Lifestyle

    Mushroom Foraging on St. Wenceslas Day

    “Our Czech forests are overflowing with mushrooms.” — an actual line from a local news report St. Wenceslas Day (Sv. Václav) is one of my favorite Czech holidays. It’s right after the official turn to autumn, the school year’s right about to get into the usual swing except for this last holiday weekend to enjoy the simpler things about the start of the season. Normally, I like to visit some sort of happening to watch folk-dancing, browse the craft markets, have a glass of wine or if I’m lucky, burčák (Federweisser aka “fermented alcoholic grape juice” – a wine byproduct). I had every intention of doing that as we started…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad

    My Own Private Náměstí

    české budějovice is a really beautiful city and has so many lovely spots: česka street, main town square, which is actually called přemysl otakar II náměstí. but currently my favorite place is a lovely little square called piaristické náměstí– piarist’s square. i had no idea what a piarist was until i came across the term mentioned in the good soldier svejk– a nickname for people belonging to: the order of poor clerics regular of the mother of god of the pious schools. this would make sense because this city has a loooong religious tradition, as it has been the seat of the roman catholic diocese since 1785. bam. so anyway, i’m walking to a lesson sometime…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Eats

    Hallo-Week

    hello listopad (november) in czech republic. i’ve seen you somewhere before. oh yeah– it was last year when we moved into you! yes, we arrived on a train from berlin fraught with worry and anxiety over an incident with the ticket checker and also our failure to follow instructions and meet our contact person at the correct place and time at hlavni nadraži (central station), prague. finally we were whisked away by taxi and shown to our simple apartment on kolbenova street, vysočanska district (prague 9). boy, that day was a culture shock. and going to one of the many chinese restaurants to realize we couldn’t say anything… not a lick…

  • Autumn

    Passau Passt – An Autumn Bavaria Trip

    we had a three day weekend thanks to czech national day! three day weekends are just made for trips. so we went to bavaria to a lovely little city on the SE german/austrian border called passau. passau is a small city in south-eastern bavaria (at approx 50,000 it has only half the population of ceske budejovice) and is only a four hour train ride away, with a change in linz, austria. (a great reminder of why living in europe is so wonderful and always exciting: getting anywhere in a short amount of time!) i wanted to go to passau because during my prior travels in germany (which are admittedly quite…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life

    Lately, Fall Pt. II

    this has been a weird week. the weather has been strange (highs of 20’C some days!) and been thinking a lot about the czech republic. one day loving it, the next, exhausted by the stares of crabby old people. thinking about friends, about relationships, about life, about home….. but at least it wasn’t as weird as last week with no electricity, hot water or heat! so thankful to be warm. preparing now for a nice little weekend in eastern bavaria! i haven’t been to bavaria in years, and i’m rather looking forward to a little shopping, some mugs of helles from a famous old brauerei, rich history and architecture and…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Expat Life

    Desperate Times

    sometimes i feel like alex and i are like harry and lloyd from dumb and dumber. living together in a former communist central european country where we don’t speak the language with only each other to count on, when it comes down to it. i realized this yesterday, which was day three of the great unexplained power outage. at one point i sat there in my hoodie that doesn’t zip anymore thinking, okay. we have no food. we have no money. my employer is two days late with the paycheck. we have no hot water… we have no heat… my phone is out of minutes…. “our pets’ heads are falling off!”…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  Life Abroad

    Dark/Light

    day two of unexplained power outage continues. arg. yesterday evening, i made swedish meatballs to celebrate leif erickson day (instead of columbus day) in the waning daylight on our gas stove lit with matches. it was funny to sit in the measly light of candles like the vikings must of done. today i took the plunge and had a cold shower. it wasn’t quite as bad as i thought. sort of reinvigorating in the middle of the day, to be honest! not a huge fan of the heat not working, but eh, we have blankets and tea. we will survive. besides the cold showers and no heat, i’ve actually been really…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle

    Misty Morning

    walked to my favorite corner store this morning and was pleased of how serene the morning was. slightly misty, not cold, sweet smell of leaves in the air……. so fresh and invigorating. i felt instantly better. one of my favorite kinds of fall mornings that remind me that i live in europe. pretty cool. cooking risotto and pho (dear everyone, alex ate a dish of primarily onions and mushrooms and LIKED IT), drinking coconut juice, staropramen light, new decaf coffee and kusmi boost tea. watched the conclusion of breaking bad season four, reading this book, meeting new locals/friends, listening to church bells and deerhunter’s halcyon digest album. enjoying the serenity…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia

    Bohemia Autumn

    when you move to sobo (southern bohemia), the first thing everyone tells you to do is go to the top of klet’ mountain. at 1,084m (3,556ft) it is the tallest mountain of the blanksý forest, southwest of ĈB and northwest of ĉesky krumlov. to put it in comparison, mt. erie in anacortes is about a third of the height at 388m (1,273ft). they say on a clear day you can see the austrian alps! so, it wasn’t exactly a clear day…. but we finally made it there. we took the train 35 minutes south to holubov, a hamlet popular with outdoor enthusiasts and mushroom collectors (ie, pretty much all czechs). on the…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Eats,  Lifestyle,  Recipe

    “Figuratively” Speaking (Making Fig Jam)

    an unexpectedly lovely weekend here in ceske budejovice! yesterday we sat for hours in the sun at a cafe along the river with a new friend (outdoor cafe season still going! wooooo) and today, it was all about relaxation. ie… cooking. because making life easier for yourself the rest of the week is awesome. i’ve never had a fig before! maybe in a fig newton, but i’ve always hated those. so, i’ve recently noticed their existence– all over the place lately with big sales at the supermarkets and at farmers markets as well. it must be fig season! so i stocked up and decided to have a go at fig…