• 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…

  • 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…..…

  • Czech Republic,  Expat Life

    the week of bureaucracy

    this week has been the most exhausting one since i’ve moved to the czech republic.  having the visa trip in the first part of the week was tiring enough as it was, and it took me literally two nights more worth of sleep to feel normal again.  even riding the city buses to my lessons this week made me think…. “i don’t want to ride another bus somewhere for a good while”. the rule states that no more than three days after you receive your visa, you must register with the foreign police.  we were fortunate enough to have alex’s boss marketa, who is czech, along with us for this…

  • Expat Life,  Winter

    how to just barely get a visa

    the past forty-eight hours have just been sort of a blur of long bus rides.  we traveled to bratislava for the second time to pick up our visas, but it wasn’t all quite as simple as that.  to obtain our visas, we had to show documentation that we have paid for at least six months of czech insurance, and could only pick up the visas within a half hour window.  the bus we wanted to take that would eventually get us home before midnight would leave less than two hours from the visa pick-up time. recipe for stress! after barely making the bus TO bratislava in the first place, we…

  • Expat Life,  Teaching

    teaching english

    i am now a long-term residence permit holder here in the czech republic! this means i’m legal to stay here for at least the next six months and am also legal to earn wages!  this is extremely exciting, as it was definitely a huge concern even before leaving for europe.  people often asked “howwww the heck are you going to stay past ninety days?” i had done some preliminary research and i felt pretty hopeful about it.  plus, there was always my back-up plan of fleeing back to britain for a spell, or perhaps croatia. but britain in the wintertime wasn’t exactly what i was imagining, so i am dang…

  • Expat Life,  Travel

    bratislava

    just rolled in on a very comfortable bus trip back from slovakia!  alex and i went over to bratislava (just under a 5 hour bus trip from prague) for a one night getaway.  purpose: to apply for our visas (or trade licenses, to be more precise) so we can not only stay in the schengen zone and the CZ longer than three months, but so we can be legal to work here!  and yes, you have to apply for your visa at a czech embassy in a country other than CZ.  (I KNOW) but i guess it weeds out the people who don’t take it seriously, right?  and we are…