Sunday, March 12, 2017

Winter is winnowing away and while there's been lots of theatre-going and park-walking, we've also been checking items off the ol' to-do list, which seems to sprout another few inches every time we pick it up.

- Get hole in rear of red pants stitched up
- Bathe the dog
- Write reference letters for students
- Make Czech travel plans for family visiting this Spring
- Get winter coats dry-cleaned
- Have taxes prepared
Etc. Etc. Etc.

A post I wrote a couple of years ago detailed some CZECHACHES - minor annoyances involved with living in the Czech Republic. Today, I want to highlight CZECHGREATS, or things that make life here pleasant. These are the sorts of things I'd miss should we move.

First off, art being at your fingertips all the time, everywhere, is a CZECHGREAT. On the weekends we'll scan the internet for something to do and there are always more art exhbitions than we have time to see, from vintage photography to performance art to contemporary sculpture and more. Below was a retrospective of Olbram Zoubek at Prague Castle a couple of years ago.

It's a snap to hop on a train, bus or bike and access nature within minutes of Prague proper. Being able to live in the city yet easily spend a morning hiking before popping back into Prague for dinner is a CZECHGREAT. Just don't climb and then get stuck on a pile of logs like our pup.

There is an abundance of starožitnictví (antique shops) and bazaars in this town, and they're very reasonable. Finding a set of old Czechoslovakian crystal goblets or yellowing 1970s film posters is surely a CZECHGREAT, whatwith the history and mystery attached. (And said items help one de-IKEA-fy) one's home. This is our favorite, in Prague 2.

Another CZECHGREAT is the wealth of opportunity to learn about history, sociology, conflict and more. Below, my feet are poised on the edge of a WWII memorial in Plzen after visiting the General George Patton Museum there. It's true that museums exist everywhere, but the Czechs do an extraordinarily good job of providing lectures, exhibits, tours and more to the public. I know more about Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV than I ever thought I would!

For those with a sweet tooth, a CZECHGREAT is the gaiety surrounding desserts. Coming from diet-obsessed America where people are swearing off anything with sugar in favor of Paleo this or Whole30 that, it's lovely to sit in a cukrárna (sweet shop) and have a slab of carrot cake or ice cream with warm strawberries. Food culture is quite different here.

I could write heaps more about CZECHGREATS, but I really should get the floor swept as dustbunnies are pooling in the corners. Perhaps you have more to add?

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