The Window Nook

Adventures in living abroad

Ten Signs You Have Lived in the Czech Republic for More Than a Year

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1) You have a favorite morning cafe, pub, and zelezarstvi (home goods supply store).

2) For any unexplainable or incomprehensible situations, you use the phrase ‘TIC’ (This Is Czech). This applies to crazy drivers, grouchy bureaucrats, and unhelpful post office clerks.

3) You have learned to shop by photo- when you find a useful item, you take a photo, then use this photo to find the same item if you happen to go to a different store. Also, you have been lectured by a clerk at the supermarket on the correct Czech word or pronunciation of the Czech word, before being pointed in the direction of the item.

4) You have nearly perfected the art of pretending to understand every word of Czech spoken to you. What you actually do is listen frantically for any familiar word, give your best guess as to the most likely question, and answer accordingly. This usually works, with occasional interesting results.

5) You know the difference in meaning between ‘my Czech friend’ and ‘my friend who is Czech’. The first accompanies you to government offices as needed, the second meets you for coffee.

6) Mangled, misconstrued, or missing prepositions no longer bother you, as long as you are not in ‘teacher mode’. Nor do missing articles. British pronunciations still rankle.

7) Your accent has changed and you find yourself being mistaken for a British person. Oh, the horror.

8) You are still discovering new coffee shops, new parks, and new hidden gardens that you never knew existed. Originally, you thought this was a phase, but are pleased to find that it lasts indefinitely.

9) You have reduced at least one student to helpless giggles by recounting one of your stories of mishaps while settling in.

10) When asked what you miss from the States, besides family and friends, you find yourself mentioning random items, such as super glue, or old-fashioned donuts.

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Author: annekemae

Enjoys writing, photography, reading mystery, historical fiction, and travelogues, chocolate in any form, and tulips.

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