• Expat Life,  Language Learning

    Adjusting, pt. II

    Last Monday afternoon, I walked out of my building, onto the street, and along one of the main streets of the center of town where pedestrians and commuters of all sorts are walking to or from their various activities — lunch, school, work, and I heard Czech language all around me (wot’s this?). After almost seven years in this country, that caught me off guard. I know, kinda stupid. But I had just spent the weekend in my home, watching films (#octobermovieseries), spending time with English-speaking friends, reading American newspapers. I was tucked in my warm and cozy oasis of English and culture and loving every second. However, as the…

  • Daily Life,  Expat Life,  Prague

    Small Kindnesses in Prague

    On a day early last month after recently having got back from the States, both of us had enough time to make it to Prague for an appointment and an afternoon of rainy cafe-going. It was such a cloudy grey day but as all of our business was to take place in Nové Město (New Town), I took it as a great opportunity to poke around a few places I hadn’t got around to yet, to stroll down some streets that I had never bothered to take. Even though it wasn’t “leisure” that brought me to Prague, I always believe in injecting a bit of leisure in everything. We passed…

  • czech culture,  Daily Life,  Eats,  Expat Life,  Language Learning,  Travel,  Winter

    Makin’ Plans

    although it may seem too early, january is an excellent time to begin travel planning! the weather’s pretty crap (ours is hovering just above freezing with never-ending slush rain) making it both tough and undesirable to venture out on day or weekend trips around the region. best thing to do: trip research with a nice steaming mug of tea. and try not to hide out in the house… too much. the first item that is looming over our heads, or at least mine is THE WEDDING: when the heck is it going to happen? planning a wedding when you live abroad is daunting and really almost impossible when we don’t…

  • Expat Life,  Milestones

    Passport Number Two

    2004-2014, R.I.P. we had some of the best times of our lives, you and i. from my very first trip to europe as the reason to get you, to the last year of your life, when you were really filling up too fast and just had no space for me anymore. people (immigration ladies) told me to forget about you…. to find someone new, someone who had more to offer (fifty-two pages) to better accommodate my needs (a visa stamp every three months). all of the greats are there… heathrow, gatwick, charles de gaulle, both functioning berlin airports. it’s been a journey, you and me. in this age when no…

  • Daily Life,  Eats,  Expat Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching,  Winter

    What I Do Now

    in my opinion, what one does for a living certainly shouldn’t define their worth as a person in any way. no, i’m not really a fan of the question, “so, what do you do?” {referring to their occupation} when meeting someone new, although it does provide you with more insight into their daily lives (for ever-curious people like me) and perhaps what their skills and interests are, i have to admit. and these days, i am much happier answering this question than i used to be. but before wasn’t terrible or anything; i have so many fond memories of being downtown seattle barista extraordinaire chick. a video of me “on…

  • Christmas,  Czech Republic,  Expat Life,  Milestones,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    Christmas + A Big Surprise

    veselé vánoce, friends! my second czech christmas is technically still underway (as people traditionally get the 24th-26th off work) and it’s magical. this year my mother has joined us from far away washington state and we’ve been doing a whole lot of wandering the cobblestoney budějovice city streets, last chance advent markets, and of course: eating a TON of food (i may have gone overboard with grocery shopping, perhaps to make up for what is now known as our poor czech christmas last year) and a lot of relaxing before our trip to salzburg tomorrow. and, oh yeah……. i got engaged! alex and i have had a few chats about marriage before, both…

  • 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!”…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Expat Life

    Coffee in Czechland

    this morning, i had my first cup of coffee in almost a year. okay, maybe that’s a bit over-dramatic since there’s been cups of nescaf instant, plenty of espressos and cappuccinos, and an iced latte or two in the summer. but this… this is my first black, freshly brewed from grounds, american style cup of coffee in way too long. the last time i had freshly brewed coffee was in scotland (above, isle of eigg), when we were still living the high(lands) life and staying with some wonderful and generous hosts with french presses in every kitchen. good brewed coffee left our life with our departure from the glorious british…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Expat Life,  Teaching

    Lately, Fall

    life here in czech republic is picking up again! alex and i’ve both started back up with our lessons for the new school year. i chose to stick with my job at the language school that i’ve been with since february instead of teaching only children with alex. i loved being around the kids during summer camp and i do enjoy having young students, but i thought that personally, i have a lot i can offer adults as well. so, i will continue to teach a variety of ages, 7 through 60+. what i like about this job is that i can accept or decline new students as i feel…

  • Expat Life,  Prague

    prague jokes

    it rains today. gloomy, grey and dark and making me wish for spring’s arrival as soon as possible. i wanna get out there! on friday (as i wrote below) we were in prague for three hours in order to visit the foreign poice in zizkov.  because our appointment unexpectedly lasted maybe a half hour, alex wanted to take an earlier bus back because he had work to do for his monthly reports.  naturally i would allow this, but i kept teasing him with things we could do if we stayed in prague for an extra three hours to try and change his mind.  “we could….. go shopping?“ no.  “we could…..…