Another year abroad begins!

18 Sep

Everything happened so quickly with me applying for and getting this job so it’s still kind of hard to believe I’m already here. First impressions of being in the Czech Republic:
1. I can’t understand anything.
2. It’s going to be very cold.
3. I will probably be pale all year.
4. It’s beautiful and I think I’m going to really like it.

cute little town of Radosov

I had been here for 24 hours without seeing Prague (where I flew into) or Karlovy Vary (my town) so the first day was a little anticlimactic. My boss Zuzana picked me up from the airport and drove me to her house, where I’m staying until my apartment is ready. She lives in a really cute small village, Radosov, outside of Karlovy Vary. I crashed on the sofa bed about 30 minutes after arriving but woke up in the evening because my future/new roommate Jess was coming home. Her and I are staying at Zuzana’s for the next few days because our apartment is not yet furnished. The landlord was going to Ikea today (Saturday) to buy all of the furniture and then because it takes 45 hours to put together a dresser we’ll probably be moving in early next week. But I’m very excited to see the place, it’s on the main street of Karlovy Vary, a pedestrian street with lots of nice shops and pretty architecture and Jess said it’s really nice and has big rooms.

I am just anxious to move in and get settled. I remember that feeling from last year as well, having to lug my unwieldy baggage from the hotel in Sevilla, to my home stay with my senora Julia, then to a hotel in Huelva until I finally found my home in Maria’s apartment. At least this time my luggage was lighter (learned that lesson) and, more importantly, I was totally spared the stress of having to find a place to live within five days of arriving. Though that would have been impossible because I know no Czech…

only 6,481 km to New York!!

So on the first night Jess, her friend Jon who is visiting from England, and I went to this little pub down the road from Zuzana’s house for some beer and food. Of course in my stress of picking up my luggage and waiting anxiously to meet Zuzana (and see if I was going to be picked up or if this was some scam that was going to leave me high and dry in Prague) I forgot to go to an ATM in the airport. So I had no money and found myself already bumming off my new roommie, but luckily she is really nice and didn’t mind, and I suppose I’ll have the next nine months to pay her back. Also luckily Jess and Jon had been to the restaurant the night before so they knew what some of the dishes were. But it was still humorous ordering and asking for the bill and such since none of us speaks the language. The little woman who runs the place was really nice and sat down and tried to teach us the word for bill (which of course I forget, I know it started with a “p” though!). Jess and I both got chicken with mushrooms served with a side of croquettes. It was a really tasty and filling meal, but if this meal is any indication of what kind of food I’m in for this year I’m going to have to do a lot of walking and exercising…

Our classes start on Monday and we’ll be getting our final schedules tomorrow (Sunday). Because I missed the orientation in Prague I have a stack of books and materials to familiarize myself with before the first day. Even though I’ve spent the last year teaching English this will be a bit different because it’s with little kids. Like really little kids. There is even one class called “Baby English” where parents bring their 2- and 3-year-olds to a class that is kinda like gymboree in English. I’ll write more about my program, how it works, and what I’ll be teaching in another entry. For now off to familiarize myself with techniques to entertain little Czech children whilst teaching them English…

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6 Responses to “Another year abroad begins!”

  1. Paul Bruce September 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Best of luck with teaching the little Czech kiddies Joanna! I bet you’ll have several little Pauls in there, being that I am half Czech after all…I want to come visit this time around! I hope your landlord can put together the IKEA dresser in fewer than 45 hours and that you can get settled in to your new place soon. Hasta pronto, Senorita!

  2. Matt Clark September 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Sorry I missed you when you were home Joanna. Czech Rep looks pretty damn cool. Gotta make to Pilsen while you are ther. Good luck with the new students!

    • JoDuggs September 26, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

      Clark – I actually drove through Pilsen today on the way home from Cesky Krumlov in the south. It’s not that far from us, maybe an hour so I’m sure I’ll get there soon! Also sorry I didn’t get to see you this summer, maybe at Christmas.

  3. Amanda Adams September 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Joanna! I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your email about this, but it all happened so fast, and it sounds really exciting! i’m reading this blog from my cube at work and it is sort of depressing, because your little village looks so beautiful! can’t wait to hear more, and good luck in your first week!

  4. Sean September 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Hey Cat, glad to hear you’re adjusting so well. Remember kids love candy, all kids, lol.

  5. Meg September 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    JoJo- You had me laughing at just the headline to the blog. Still giggling about it. Makes me look forward to the many more to come! We can all live vicariously through your adventures. Good luck!

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