september is here again in south bohemia. all the little kiddos are scrambling around with their new backpacks and school supplies and the leaves on the trees in na sadech park are just beginning to turn the slightest hint of orange.

just like my hair has! this may be a fluke and i may need a couple more weeks to correctly prove this, but people here in budĕjovice seem to be friendlier lately. i cannot for sure tell if this is czech republic smiling upon me after my grand return from summer trips abroad (reason one), everyone has been in a good mood these days (reason two), my own good mood reflected in seeing the good of others (reason three) or if people are legitimately friendlier to me with this new hair color (reason four) but something seems different. yesterday there were people just smiling at each other on the bus. today, a random dobry den from a stranger!

alex asked his new boss (our landlord’s wife) why this might be and she offered that people may have thought i was russian with blonder hair, especially when i wore my hair in braids. we always joke how many people mistake me for russian here (which i always thought was all fine and well), but i never considered the implications of people thinking i was russian. russians, at least in south bohemia, are typically not looked upon in a particularly friendly light by the locals. some have rather strong opinions, some simply don’t care either way. i don’t think anyone would be outright rude to someone they thought or knew was russian, but no one is making anyone be cordial with them either. 


but i want to talk more about the imminent coming of autumn. (i’m trying to say autumn because calling it fall as i am usually wont to do just confuses people) i think autumn is my favorite season to be in the czech republic. the farmer’s markets are coming back and full of fantastic produce. berry season is over but that means soon you will see families out together in the country with baskets going mushroom hunting– i would give anything to be buddies with a seasoned mushroomer around here! and this month the autumn festival season begins with hundreds of harvest, beer, wine, or burčak festivals. not to mention, things are about to get really beautiful around here! i’m excited. (below, today’s farmers’ market haul: beets, pumpkin, pears, garlic & fresh gouda made in nearby horni brana)


and in this period of austerity measures, i’ve been getting into the concept of homesteading, or finding ways to make my household more self-sufficient. making things cheaper that you can normally get in a store, foraging, learning to use what we have already instead of buying new items, and more of the like. although i’m sure i’m only on the tip of the iceberg, it feels really good to learn ways of preserving food and smart kitchen tricks. i’ve made this potato and leek soup twice in the past week (first time it all got gobbled up by a certain bearded man) and i am loving that it cost only a dollar to make a big batch of. all’s you need is one leek, a medium-sized onion, and about 500ml of potatoes + seasonings. viva la potato and leek!

looking forward to the rest of what the month will bring us. i have a lot more about poland to show you but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start on this massive three week trip. you can bet i’ll figure something out. happy september!

linking up with kate for daily diaries