Christmas,  Life Abroad,  Prague,  Teaching,  Winter

merry december!

the first day of december, traditionally a very important day for me.  the day i’ve been known to take off of work JUST so i could decorate and put up the tree.  the first of december has been no different, even though i am in the land of the czech.  alex and i went down the street to check out a fleamarket rumored to be quite awesome.  i’ve never actually been to a fleamarket you had to PAY to get into, what the what is with that?  i tracked down a small to medium sized fake tree and colorful globe lights as we navigated between the muddy icy puddles in the lot.  now, i have found the czech people rather forgiving and even friendly to those that don’t know any czech, but that still does not make me feel any less bad for not knowing how to say anything but “please”, “thank you”, and “yes”.  coming from germany this can be quite a shock.  i am grateful at how nice i’ve found the people here so far though.  definitely forward and sometimes direct enough to border on impolite, but generally pleasant.  they are not the most helpful sort, although this is probably because many don’t know enough english to feel confident they could be of any help.

although i’ve been here just over two weeks, there are other little things that set apart this city from others.  the escalators to the metro are loooooong and burrow deep deep underground so that the metro can run back and forth underneath the wide vtalva river.  the beer is CHEAP, most of the time you can grab a 0.3l beer for 20 czech korunas (about $1).  chinese restaurants are ubiquitous (to my delight) as well as typical czech fare like meat, dumplings, potatoes, goulash, etc.  they have LIDL (my favorite german discount grocery store) so eating is cheap as well. my cooking skills have improved even more since i’ve been forced to cook normal, non-asian food since i haven’t found a go-to place for all my asian cooking needs yet. my new thing is making an alfredo type sauce from scratch.  like a boss.  tomorrow, pierogies.

unlike almost any city, they have trams that run ALL night long every half hour… thank goodness.  its tough to navigate the cobblestones and uneven pavement sometimes and have already unknowingly rolled my ankle or something.  the official late night street food of prague is, similar to seattle, the hot dog… only these things are big honkin’ polish sausages with kraut, mustard, etc for half the price as their expensive seattle counterparts.

i am halfway through my TEFL course and am leaning a bit towards sticking around prague for awhile because a) we are already here, and b) we have great resources to help us with visa processes, flat hunting, and the job search.  if money was no object and i had unlimited schengen zone time, you might find me in germany, but i am looking forward to getting to know this very awesome city a lot better.

course has been going very well and i just taught an excellent grammar lesson i feel pretty good about.  i need those spirits to stay high going into week three!  

blood red shoes at roxy, 24.11

my current place of residence until mid-december on kolbenova street.  i’m staying on the top floor, my balcony is the one that borders the tan colored building.

view from balcony, essentially humongous dirt lot and abandoned factory at the moment

staremesto (old town square) on tree lighting ceremony night!  (astrological clock is on the left)

beautiful prague christmas tree!  the lighting process was very similar to seattle’s new year’s eve fireworks show.  it was a few minutes long and synchronized to orchestral music.

various concert programs– this one was a czech christmas carol concert