• czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching

    Czech School Curiosities

    What a month! In the middle of February, it was supposed to have been our half-term break week, but several months ago we agreed to teach most of the week at a primary school waaaay out in the countryside, about an hour from where we live. I mean, we didn’t really have any plans and we have an ambitious travel year ahead, so why not? The wind storm Sabine which ripped through Central Europe made it impossible to start teaching there on Monday as absolutely no trains or buses were leaving the city, but for most of this week we were up on the early train north. Although Alex isn’t…

  • Summer

    the shores of bohemia

    last month, i was hit by the annual spring homesickness wave and could think of nothing but the ocean. whether in washington or in iceland, i just wanted to walk along a beach, to smell saltwater, to feel waves lapping against my feet.  i spoke to a couple of people about this great wanting to be near the sea – something that i feel has been deeply embedded in my soul, if i want to get sappy. one person i talked to (a dane) mentioned they do not share my need for the ocean. somebody else mentioned – well – here in czech republic, we are river people! fortunately my…

  • Summer

    what’s in a name?

    and now, for a post particularly about czech culture! specifically, the “name day”, or as they call it here, svátek. this is a day celebrating the saint that you are named for, or rather that also shares your name. like some other european countries with similar traditions, each day on the czech calendar has one or two names assigned to it. this day is celebrated as your name day. apparently, this day is like your second birthday. it is more often celebrated with children – perhaps some special treats, like a cake or pastries, maybe candy or small presents are given to celebrate this day. you can see in the photo…