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Czech Culture & Adaptation Holidays

Happy Birthday Czechia

October 26, 2018
Czech flags on a handpainted sign announcing Czech-Slovak baked goods

Dear Czechia, I hope you don’t mind me calling you Czechia. The Czech Republic seems too formal for a letter between friends. When the hoopla about finding a short name for you made the headlines, I vetoed the idea. So did my neighbors. Now, your shortened name has grown on me. Go figure. Czechia sounds welcoming, like the nickname, Emilka, that my husband’s family gave me. Emilka is much more pleasant than Emil, which is what our postwoman calls me. (No matter…

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Czech Culture & Adaptation

Paying for Ketchup

October 12, 2018
outdoor cafe at Dejvice roundabout

I should have picked something more Czech, I think as I pace outside the Starbucks café. School has been in session for a few days, and the open-air café space near the traffic circle in Prague 6 is bustling with the energy of students who’ve been released from their desks in time to enjoy the afternoon sunshine. …

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Czech Culture & Adaptation Outdoor Life

The Empty Lot

June 14, 2018
empty lot with two diggers and ditches dug

Ten years ago, our children claimed the empty lot before we did. You could say they took advantage of the “freedom to roam” act, an act which allows the public in some European countries, including the Czech Republic, to access public and private land for recreational purposes (as long as those purposes do not damage or destroy the land). When we first moved to our house in a village on the outskirts of Prague, I didn’t know such an act…

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Outdoor Life Spring

11 Czech Ways to Enjoy Spring (unplugged!)

April 20, 2018
Emily and Anna on bikes below Karlstejn Castle

Ever since I survived my first Czech winter (more than 15 years ago), spring has become one of my favorite times to live in the Czech Republic. As the weather grows warmer and the days get longer, Czechs linger outdoors (perhaps to make up for time lost during the grey winter months). For parents, leaving the playground before dark can become a battle of wills. …

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Outdoor Life Spring

Confessions of a Reluctant Gardener

April 13, 2018
flower basket with watering can and gloves

Despite my strong attraction for being outside (in any season), I am at my least-best when asked to work in my garden. I feel particularly conflicted about my lack of gardening enthusiasm because many friends who live in apartments in the center of Prague or high-rises on the city’s outskirts would long to get their hands dirty in the green space that causes me wakes me up on otherwise beautiful spring Saturday mornings in a cold sweat.…

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