The Expat Question: some thoughts on why foreigners flock to Prague

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I was sitting in The Globe last night when the conversation came around to The Question.  There were about six of us. As you might expect given the location (the Globe is an expat haunt) we all came from different places: England, the States, Germany and Russia. 

 ‘So, since I don’t know you guys that well, we could do all the ‘why are you here?’ stuff,’ I suggest.  There is some rolling of eyes for comic effect. ‘Not in the philosophical sense.  I mean, why Prague?’

 

‘Aren’t we all here for the same reason?’ one of the Americans offers.  ‘That we hate our own countries?’

 

‘I don’t hate America,’ another swiftly replied.

 

I always listen to people’s reasons for having decided to move to Prague with interest. Suspect Answer Number One as far as I’m concerned is ‘I just fell in love with the place.’   This just doesn’t cut it for me.  ‘You know when you come to a place and it just feels like home?’ makes me just as suspicious.  Like home how exactly?  If you come from anywhere English-speaking it can’t be the buildings or the food and it most certainly isn’t the language with its complicated ‘ř’s and ‘ž’s and ‘č’s.  Are you trying to tell me even though you come from West Carolina or Scunthorpe or Melbourne your soul is somehow Czech? 

 

The most common unacknowledged reason for being here – for moving abroad full stop – is that you’re on the run from something.  Maybe the something is a bad break-up or a small town with no prospects or the enormity of deciding what to do with your life now college is over and you’re somehow supposed to get by in the real world.  Perhaps you were a misfit back home and you think you can disguise your oddball nature behind the fact of being foreign. I suppose there’s nothing inherently bad in any of these reasons for being here.  Just be aware that moving abroad will not necessarily solve the problems you had to begin with. 

 

What about me? Moving here for love might seem worthier than the reasons listed above but of course, it isn’t quite as clear-cut as that.  I had things to run from.  London was becoming too overwhelming. Things in Prague have been made on a human scale.  Getting to work doesn’t involve taking a bus, a train, another bus and then flagging down a camel ( I made that last bit up).  There are no strange men urinating in our stairwell; no little gangs of boys smoking joints and spitting; no barrage of grot and grime and crime to block out every time I walk out the door into my allegedly up-and-coming neighbourhood. 

 

Of course, I’m in Stage One of the Expat Trajectory: the Honeymoon Period.  This is when you walk around your new destination feeling that you’re on a film-set.  I’m not against honeymoons.  Honeymoons can be nice but they can’t last forever.  

I’m not sure how to end this.  I don’t want to say anything cheesy or sentimental by stretching the above metaphor too far, like ‘A honeymoon may last a week but a marriage is forever’ – and anyway, you’ve all seen the spiralling divorce statistics so that would not only stretch the comparison but would also cause it to fall flat on its hypothetical ass.  Anyway.  I am quietly optimistic about my new life in Czechland. Of course, nowhere’s perfect and I haven’t managed to escape all my old problems but things are going well with Czechman and I have reason to believe that my life is objectively better than it was back in England.  So that’s good.  Happiness is a notoriously elusive thing so let’s just hope it lasts.

 

If you’re a fellow expat reading this, I want to know about your answer to The Question.  Why are you here? If you’ve been here for a longish spell, has your answer to the The Question changed?  Is your life better than it would be back home or just different? 

krivoklat 012

P.S  This is a Turkish coffee.  A Turkish coffee is pretty much the same as an ordinary coffee except that it doesn’t have the little granules filtered out of it.  The only reason the picture is here is that as I said before, I’m a sucker for a well-presented hot beverage.  Also I was drinking it while writing this post.

36 Comments

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36 Responses to The Expat Question: some thoughts on why foreigners flock to Prague

  1. I think you left for the coffee.

  2. papaleguas

    Well, first of all, a small side note: if you allow me some generalization, no anglo-saxonic siting in Globe can say he’s here because he/she hates his/her country. Otherwise that person wouldn’t be there, in Globe. Globe is a piece of anglo-saxonic world (I keep using this designation as a shortword for USA and UK, not so much Australia and etc). Myself, beeing a Portuguese, I would never go to a place packed with other Portuguese. For that, let me tell you, I know a great spot: Portugal. If I’m here because I dislike my country…. well, you got the idea. Now…

    “If you’re a fellow ex-pat reading this, I want to know about your answer to The Question. Why are you here? If you’ve been here for a longish spell, has your answer to the The Question changed? Is your life better than it would be back home or just different?”

    1) I’ll pick the usual suspect: that “because I fall in love with the place” stuff. With the city, the people, etc.

    2) Beeing more detailed: the beauty, the safety, the prices, the dynamic of the city and of its people.

    3) No.

    4) Better, by far. Portuguese are boring, and I could go on, listing all the aspects I hate in my people and country. That’s why I would never be in a Portuguese kinda Globe.

    • girlinczechland

      First of all, thanks a lot for reading the blog and taking the time to leave such (two!) detailed comments.

      I think you’re being a little unfair in suggesting that merely by being in the Globe, I’m showing that I’m only interested in insulating myself in an anglophone bubble. I hope the rest of the blog demonstrates that I am interested in getting to know Czech culture at more than a superficial level. That’s why I spent a year attending evening classes in Czech in London and why I continue to do so here and bear in mind that I have only been here for six weeks. If I want to spend time with fellow expats from time to time and share experiences, I really don’t think that’s a crime.

      Secondly, you claim you are here because you fell in love with the place. Fine. It’s possible, I guess, it’s just in my experience there is both a push and pull in operation when people move abroad. Perhaps you confirm this when you say that you hate Portuguese people. I would never say the same thing about England or the English, however much the behaviour of English tourists makes me cringe sometimes.

      Anyway, thanks for helping to get some real debate going – that was my intention in posting – and hope you’ll keep reading.

  3. papaleguas

    Sorry for double posting but I forgot some things….

    “There are no strange men urinating in our stairwell; no little gangs of boys smoking joints and spitting”

    Well… no? Really? I see both, often 🙂

    “Are you trying to tell me even though you come from West Carolina or Scunthorpe or Melbourne your soul is somehow Czech?”

    Why not? I know Portuguese people who have USA souls. Believe me. They were just born in the wrong place amongst the wrong people. I don’t see why someone born in the other side of the Planet can’t fully identify himself with Czech Republic, as the place where everything is just as they would imagine it should be.

    P.S. – One day, you could do me a favor: ask that friend/acquaintenance of yours if America is a country, because I don’t think it is. As far as I know America starts in Argentina (or Canada) and it includes about 40 countries. 🙂

    • girlinczechland

      Hi there again,

      Okay, so to deal with the first point, I’d just like to make it clear that the strange men I saw pissing in London was doing it *inside* the hallway of my apartment block. Not sure that would happen here but I guess it depends where you live. The gang of boys also used to hang around in the staircase (again *inside*) practically outside my front door shouting and swearing and being a pain. When I asked them politely to move, they basically told me to go f*** myself. Could happen here I suppose, but I just generally wanted to say that I feel safer here in Prague.

      Secondly, as far as I’m aware, ‘America’ can also refer to the US. Which must explain why people say ‘American’ rather than ‘United Statesian’ when they describe themselves as having US citizenship. If you want to make it clear that you’re referring to the whole landmass including the 40 or so countries you mention, I believe it’s more appropriate to use the term ‘the Americas’. But hey, what do I know? I only get paid to teach people English for a living… 🙂

  4. Barbara

    Have just run across your blog (via your post on locallingo) and am greatly enjoying it. I will soon visit Prague for the second time and am looking to reach beyond the typical tourist pathways. Nice to know the favorite places from someone who has a bit of time to explore in depth.

    • girlinczechland

      Really glad you like the blog: the next post should be on a castle I highly recommend you visit if you have time for a day trip out of Prague.

      GIC

  5. Ahoj,
    I no longer live in Prague, but I do miss the people, the food and the architecture. It’s hot here now in Palm Springs, CA.
    Irena

  6. papaleguas

    Hi! There is a reason why I used the word “generalization” 🙂 I go Globe myself from (long) time to time, see? 😉 Well, true, not beeing anglo-saxonic, I can’t apply what I wrote to myself eheheh. And actually I wasn’t inspired by your own presence there, but by the person who through the reason “Because we hate our countries”. Who eventually was one of the non anglo-saxonics in the group (my mistake, in such case). If you wanna spend some time with your fellow expats it’s not a crime. And it’s not a lack of coherence, due to your own primary reason to move here.

    Well, as to the rest, perhaps your own motivations, which you pretty well explained, are keeping you from accept a mere “because I like the place” reason. But yes, if we consider the dislike of our own country / people, there is a “push and pull” reason. Which wouldn’t work by itself, alone.

  7. girlinczechland

    Hi there Papaleguas,

    I’m glad it’s obvious that I don’t want to insulate myself away from Czech culture; sorry for the misunderstanding.

    I think what makes me suspicious about the ‘I just fell in love with the place’ reason is my experience of living in France where I spent two years. I *thought* I’d moved there just for that reason, but when I analysed my motives later, I saw it was more complicated. And maybe I’m just a suspicious person 🙂

    I’m also glad you like the Globe! Perhaps we’ll bump into each other one of these days and we can continue this over a Gambrinus…

  8. I like it here because it’s still an adventure, all a bit of a dream still after 2 years. And there’s something happens every week that makes me like it a bit more, then a little bit more again. Really nice little experiences!

    Possibly because there’s an absence of cynicism, almost naivity. The novelty of living here wore off after 6-7 months, now it’s just enjoyable.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’ll wake up and I’ll be back in London, I suppose that’s because it’s very different here. The streets are different, the people are different. the language is completely different. But it’s still Europe, so familiar enough to be still in the comfort zone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t look at London as a grim type of reality, it’s nice to get back now and again. I just think of Brno as my home now. And I didn’t really plan it this way.

    Brno is different to Prague , I sometimes feel when I jump on a tram that I’m the only foreigner in the whole place and completely alone, that didn’t happen in Prague. Your experiences will be diferent from mine, so enjoy them.

  9. girlinczechland

    Hi Terry,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience here and of course, on your own blog. It’s interesting to see things from a Brno perspective which as you rightly say, would be quite different from my own here in Prague.

    Just want to make it clear that I don’t hate London: I just see the disadvantages that bit more clearly now I don’t live there anymore, like yourself no doubt. I am looking forward to going back as a tourist though.

    GIC

  10. ducky

    1. Why are you here? 2. If you’ve been here for a longish spell, has your answer to the The Question changed? 3. Is your life better than it would be back home or just different?

    1. I wanted to live in Europe, and at the time this was the place farthest west I could work ‘legally’. Tip: I’m not European.

    2. I never managed to move west (financial crisis).

    3. In some ways better (paid holiday, beautiful surroundings, more interesting people, travel opportunities*) in some ways worse (crap wages, limited job opportunities, sexism, the general [in]convenience of daily life, and day to day struggle in a culture that isn’t your own and doesn’t want you here).

    I want to read your posts in a year, when the honeymoon period is fully over, you’re not blowing your money on overpriced sandwiches at globe to soak up that homey atmosphere and paying for internet that is free at every other cafe in the city. When and life is work -> home -> buy groceries -> eat -> sleep -> repeat until the glorious glorious weekend, that’s the test of a city and a culture.

    *Prague (and the rest of Czech) offers the basic necessities affordably (food, transport, rent, pub meals, but as soon as you start to want more you’ll find yourself limited unless you’re earning a foreign salary. Want to buy a new car? You’ll be paying for it for years. A small flat? Expect a 30 year mortgage. A pair of jeans? The cheapest ones will be almost a full day’s salary. A czech friend explained it to me this way: Czech is a trap – life here is fine as long as you don’t want more then Czech can offer. With what you earn here you can have Czech, and goods and services going East. Everything else will be out of your reach financially. If you want the world – “go west young man”.

  11. leon

    two comments:

    1) interesting post

    2) That’s most definitively not a turkish coffee. It’s the czech interpretation of one.

  12. Charlicek

    Hi,
    Enjoyed your blog so far. I’ve lived for a short time in Prague and a few years in Brno. I echo several of the comments made about wanting to get away from something; in my case the increasingly negative and unsocial attitudes of people in the UK.
    What I particularly like about living here is that it is much easier and cheaper to enjoy life. What I find is that compared to the UK it seems that the unavoidable expenses for living take up a smaller proportion of your money and the expensive things you can live without. Also the Czechs are expert at having a good time and at the same time spending little money. And it is the pragmatic outlook of most Czechs that is refreshing. If something needs doing it gets done with a minimum of fuss (this comment excludes many state/regional offices and some big companies :-))

    Generally I feel safer here and the public transport makes life easier
    There are negatives but generally the beer makes up for them.

    On the comment about hanging out with other expats, this is an individual thing. I am quite happy to hang out with Czechs and expats, but only those expats who respect the culture and country.

  13. Excellent blog!! 🙂
    I’m moving to Prague in two weeks time for the summer. Not running “from” anything, but I suppose I’m running in general; I’ve had momentum of travelling for 7 years, spending 2-3 months at a time in cool places. Just because it’s fun 😛
    Any advice on Prague? I’m learning as much Czech as I can before I arrive and already sorted out a nice flat. I’ll be keeping an eye on this blog; keep up the good work!! I’ll be making videos on my site about Prague throughout the summer.
    čau!

  14. I came because it was cheaper cost of living than Copenhagen and a central location in Europe and stayed because of the fun and convenience.

    At first I intended to stay for 6 months but I have been here for 2 years now.

    BTW just came across your blog. Very interesting to read 🙂

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Michael,

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog. It’s also nice to hear that Prague won you over: l hope I enjoy myself so much that the next two years fly by…

      GIC

  15. Just an update to my previous comment – I’ve decided to make a site to show my progress in Czech 🙂 It will be interesting to a lot of people because I give my best language learning tips (after 7 languages, I have a few tricks up my sleeve!) I’d appreciate your thoughts and advice on fluentin3months.com. Enjoy the UK, congratulations on getting accepted for the job and I’m looking forward to more Prague posts 😀

  16. girlinczechland

    Hi Benny,

    Just had a quick look at the new site: it looks great! Very funny and I wholeheartedly agree with what you said about enthusiasm and confidence being as important as mastering any tricky grammar.

    Looking forward to reading the new posts!

    GIC

  17. Cool blog.

    I moved for a cliche: Ooops, I mean; I moved here for a woman, got married, got divorced, got a new Cz girlfriend, still love the place. Is it better than UK? Yes and no, but mainly yes. Is it different to the UK? Yes and no, but mainly yes.

    Good luck.

    • girlinczechland

      Glad you like the blog.

      Do you think it’s the case that there are more expat men moving here because of Czech women rather than expat ladies tempted here by Czech men? I don’t have any figures on this, just my impression from the people I come across.

      GIC

      • I know this is also an old comment thread, but my own anecdotal data: my Czech for Foreigners class includes two women moving here for Czech men, none the other way around.

  18. Petra

    Very interesting blog and even more interesting comments.

    I am Czech, so I really can not speak on behalf of expats living in Prague. However I made few observations over the years.

    There certainly are some people who are trying to escape from something (boredom, relationship, life situation, themselves), or they claim they hate their own country. Met expats of both sorts. Also Prague obviously gets a lot of kids fresh off the college who want to travel cheap and have some fun before making any serious life decisions. And then there is a special kind of American expatriates who live here for quite a long time, are very distant to what is going on in their homeland, some of them even dislike the U.S., but they still rely on being American when it comes to impressing people around them… We created a special nickname for this lot – “American zeroes, Prague heroes.” (I am not trying to be mean; another Am. girl actually came up with this name.)

    Also most of the people are always somewhat scared to go back home after living abroad for a while. But it is only natural feeling. The truth is that living in a different country is still partly exciting even after few years. It’s like using drugs. Very addictive. Once you are back home, you miss learning something little every day just by listening and watching. The world around you seems to shrink. (Yep, cultural reverse shock and all that.)

    Anyway, well chosen topic. I also put this blog entry on Twitter. Hope you don’t mind.

    Petra

    • girlinczechland

      Hi Petra,

      Very interesting comment: thanks for taking the time to leave it.

      What you said about reverse culture shock struck a particular chord. During my previous time living abroad I think I stayed longer than I should have, purely because I was uncertain and afraid about what I would do on going back to the UK. Going ‘back home’ can still mean starting your life over from scratch: renewing old friendships and starting new ones, thinking about what direction to head in workwise… the list goes on.

      Anyway, glad you’re enjoying the blog and keep reading.

      GIC

  19. I don’t live in Prague, but I am Romanian and live in the CZ. Because I fell in Love…with a Frenchman, who in turn is in love with CZ. 🙂 Good enough reason?

  20. A great post and good comments.

    My wife and I have been expats for 13 years now; first in West Cork Ireland, now on Paros, Greece and for three months starting in December, Prague.
    Our reasons have definitely evolved as each visit back to Oregon, USA makes feel more like foreigners.

    I could write more but we will be doing our own Prague blog soon and will need the material, he he. But you can read an article I wrote years ago about the allure of living abroad: http://www.parosparadise.com/NewsMay02.htm

    Cheers,

    P.S. In Greece you have to call that a Greek coffee or you get thrown out of the shop.

  21. Pingback: Girl in Czechland one year on: is the honeymoon over? « GIRL IN CZECHLAND

  22. Emily

    I only came across your blog today and have been reading through the posts since the weather where I am is crappy and I am in a non-studying kind of mood.

    I am an american and I am half czech. I have been to the czech rep. a lot growing up. My czech isn’t the greatest, yet I really want to move there after I finish college this year and after I figure out the best logical and financial way to do so.

    My reasons for wanting to move is that even though I am american born and raised, I feel a strong connection to the country. I have grown up with a strong czech influence in my house and I have wonderful memories there from my summers visiting family. I think to really figure out who I am I need to go there and stay for a long period of time. I want to perfect the language and really get to know my roots.

    I am not disillusioned by this ‘finding myself’ reason though. I know it will be tough and I want to do the move with a very level head.

    I hope thats a good answer for you 🙂

  23. I just stumbled over this older post thanks to Google. Interesting to read – I’ve only been in the Czech Republic for all of 5 days (!), and I’m in Brno not in Prague. I come from Germany originally but moved here now from 4 years in Amsterdam – the place that was supposed to be “forever”. We’re here now due to my husband getting his “dream job” offered in Brno. I’m surprising myself by liking it a lot more than I’d thought – culturally, I get these little flashbacks of German things that I missed and that I find here again, things that were unavailable in the Netherlands. I’m currently in shopping and food heaven 🙂
    If you’ve updated this post with your feelings post-honeymoon, I’d be curious to read that – could you point me there?

  24. I’ve been reading your blog for a while (I’m a recent transplant) and felt compelled to comment on this post.

    The thing that bothered me is that there seems to be an underlying assumption, both here and throughout the blog, that the Czech Republic is somehow “smaller” and “less shiny” than “the West” (a label that makes it, by implication, “the East”—of course it’s Central Europe, but people don’t go around drawing compare-and-contrast charts between the Center and the West).

    And it seems to be from this assumption of “less” that the need arises for us to question why we are here. After all, no one questions an immigrant from the actual second or third world or a college grad moving to New York. The question only arises about a move in the other direction.

    But what if I don’t see it that way at all? Caveat: my reference point is America, so your mileage may vary. Actually, mileage isn’t even a thing in Europe. Point is, so far I have found this place to be the opposite of less in all the ways that matter. Theatres and art are everywhere, public transportation is clean and efficient, and there’s a daily farmer’s market with great produce. The washing machine even has 9 more programs and the language has 7x more cases than at home.

    Also, another thing that bugs me (not just here, but in any expat forum) is the need to divide expats into camps and set them against each other. Sure, some people move for love, some people move for work, and some people are the poets and drifters who move for the hell of it. I’m an unabashed member of the last group, the one you seem to find most suspect. Yes, I just fell in love with the place—you can choose to believe me, or not. Not while here on vacation, but over years of following its writers and artists at a distance, reading translations. (I was reading Čapek and Havel at 12.) Eventually, I started wanting to read things that hadn’t been translated. An author became a favorite on the basis of one story in English. The translator of that story told me, go to Brno.

    Sure, we could all criticize and judge each other’s reasons. But what’s the point? Is it because the Prague expat community feels overcrowded, or is there stiff competition in the English teachers’ job market? Is there some reason why people continually feel the need to justify why they deserve their spot here more than the next person?

    • girlinczechland

      Hi there,

      You’ll notice that I wrote this post over two years ago during what I call “The Honeymoon Period” so obviously my views have changed and evolved since. We’re all here for different reasons and I see nothing wrong with having a post considering what those might be.

      I would like to say though that I’m sorry if you think I’ve been saying that the Czech Republic is somehow inferior to the big shiny West because I feel like the whole blog shows that my experience proves that this is a simplistic view and for the large part untrue. If I really thought the West was so superior and I wrote in a condescending tone I doubt I would have the Czech readership which I currently do.

      I do agree with you on one point – the expat scene can be competitive and backstabbing. And yes, I also have noticed on more than one occasion the extreme need people feel to show that they are at the top of the expat pile here – they speak Czech, they have a big salary and don’t mess around scratching out a living doing EFL, blah, blah, blah. I don’t really have an explanation but your own – the fact that the Prague teaching market is saturated – may offer one. Sadly it may just be human nature.

      Hope you keep reading and that you don’t fall out of love with Czechland any time soon,

      GIC

      • Promiňte za mrzutost (sorry, love that word) in my reply—the post just seemed to me to be dismissing my reasons for being here. To me, reasons are very personal things, and it is not my place to judge whether someone’s reasons for being here are up to my standards—they have the Foreigner Police for that, anyway.

        I’d like to be at the top of the expat pile…someday. But for now, I’m OK with being one of the ones scratching away at TEFL (probably here in Brno, after I get certification and a visa). There are way worse things one could do after graduating from college, such as eating ramen in your mom’s basement or going to work on Wall Street. And yes, I’m an unpublished playwright. I know, I know. There are thousands of us, and we probably came from egg sacs or something.

        I’m not OK with the fact that I don’t speak Czech well. I know I just said I was against the grand expat pissing contest, but I don’t want to be *that* expat. I do all my errands in Czech (and I think maybe people are nicer about it in Brno than Prague, but in order to avoid a Houskygate, I’ve been guilty of using the “[noun] + [number]krát” construction). It’s my only lingua franca with my roommate. I’m half-Ukrainian and have been told I have a Ukrainian accent (no idea why, as I don’t speak the language), which might be part of the reason why people don’t jump to switch to English. I’ve only been learning since July and been here taking classes since mid-September, so there’s a long way to go. (I call my big spreadsheet of cases the_reason_why_i_have_no_life.xls.)

      • girlinczechland

        Hello again,

        And I’m also sorry if I seemed a bit grumpy in my first reply 🙂 If I can be allowed to slightly revise the opinion expressed in my first post, I think that genuinely falling in love with a country’s culture from afar and then moving here on that basis is all fair enough – and as you say, far from the worst thing you could do to fill that horrible post-college vacumm. What I do still believe to be true is that there is both push and pull at work: we’re usually attracted to something (the allure of the exotic, the promise of dumplings twice times a day) but also running from something too (the ‘what shall I do with my life?’ blues).

        I wish you luck in your Brno based adventures – by deciding to move there instead of Prague you have more chance of getting to the heart of Czechland’s soul and avoiding being *that* expat (if it helps I don’t think you are judging from what you’ve said – and I have a couple of unpublished plays of my own ;))

        GIC

      • Well, if you must have it out of me, I ran away from a future that was almost certainly leading to a Ph.D. in neuroscience. I realized that grad school was going to be an 80-hour-a-week affair that would not leave me time to write or work in the theatre, and that an academic career would give me very little agency in choosing where to live. Despite coming from a line of biologists (my grandfather gets a mention in the Gregor Mendel museum in Brno) I decided it wasn’t the life for me. (As for scratching out a living as a TEFL teacher, I made less relative to cost of living as a lab technician in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the winter, rent and heating were taking over 2/3 of my income. After that, anything looks good.)

        At that point, though, the plan was just to run away to New York or L.A. The Czech Republic occurred to me when I realized that I didn’t have to limit my options to my own country—I could choose the place I most wanted to be out of anywhere. I would like to live in Prague at some point, but since my goal right now is language immersion, I don’t think it would be the best idea. I get to be there for a month this summer for TEFL training, anyway.

        And I haven’t run away from science, just from one particular career path that was going to make me sacrifice something that I can’t. Maybe I don’t make money from my art, and maybe I need a day job, but if my day job prevents me from participating in my art at all, that’s a deal-breaker. ČR job listings all have me vowing to brush up my programming skills. Living in Europe, and living here especially, is like a dream for me. I just have to hope that it will work out for me and my non-EU passport. I heard that there’s an employment law that they must hold jobs open for 3-4 months and prove that there were no qualified Czech applicants before giving them to a foreigner. If something ends up sending me home, it will probably be that. But we’ll see.

  25. SnickerDoodle!

    Ahoj!

    I’ve actually stumbled upon your blog months ago, and for some odd reason, remembered it tonight and decided to start reading from the very beginning, since you were celebrating your Prague-avirsary just recently.

    I’ve been living in Prague for almost two years now, and true to what you’ve said in this post, I moved because I was running away from something. It was the trifecta; a bad relationship, an unhappy career path (Despite its promise), and a case of clinical depression caused by them, that had me worrying that if I didn’t do something drastic, it’s “Game Over”.

    SO…I was actually in Prague for vacation, and I decided to look into schools and apply while I was here. Next thing I knew, I was a freshman again, packing my stuff and moving to Czechland. Best decision of my life, and I have never been happier!

    Now, I’ve lived in about 5 different countries in my 24 years; I cannot particularly recall a “home” feeling about any. Considering the fact that I feel just as foreign in my native country as I do here, I can say that…at least I really am a foreigner here, it somehow makes me feel less alien. I can’t explain the homely feeling about this place though; I guess it has more to do with the whole state of mind when you live somewhere. This place marks the happiest years of my life, so in my mind, I always associate returning to Prague from a trip as “going back to my happy place”, and it morphs it into a sort of a “surrogate home”.

    Whether I will actually have the heart to say goodbye to this city in 18 months, that’s definitely to be determined. I’m just as compelled to stay, as I am to go for my dream MSc program in Leiden, NL.

    And now, back to perving the rest of your archive 😀

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