Friday, April 15, 2011


The Czech Republic is a different place. In the fabled words of AFS, not good, not bad, just different. Here's my list of differences, in no order whatsoever, trying to stick to things that can be measured and that I hear from other people about their lives as well as my own.
  • Czech beds don't use sheets. Just one big duvet.
  • There are toilets, and bath rooms. Not just one room with everything. Perfect when your little sister (or American parasite) is in the bath and you have to pee.
  • Sandwiches= snack. I bring at least 2 everyday as snacks. Instead of apples, kids walk around with subs.
  • Chocolate is a treat, but one you can have everyday. My waistline lovehates this difference.
  • Young people drink a lot more here. The top three topics we talk about with friends at school: our absolute tyrant of a math teacher, weather, and alcohol. Oh, and the Czech equivalent of American Idol. I haven't seen it, but it sounds exciting :p
  • Everyone takes the bus. I can count the number of times I have been in a car since moving to Brno on my digits. I love peoplewatching.
  • There's a sink in every classroom, but no soap or anything to dry your hands with.
  • You don't move during lessons. At all.
  • We sit in the same spots, based on which classroom we're in. Like my French class, just for every single subject.
  • Way less tests, and they are shorter than... well...
  • Essays are out of vogue here. It's all about presentations. But we have almost no homework.
  • The one you always hear about: Changing shoes. Czech people are all about slippers. Not only at home and at school, but in hotels and at rehearsals.
  • No ice. Or free water.
  • No napkins. Use your hands.
  • Fork in left, Knife in right. No knifeless finaggling here.
  • Racism is rampant
  • You have to pay to pee. Normally about 50 cents. Good thing I'm a camel.
  • You bag your own groceries. If you're too slow, get ready for the stinkeye.
  • Plastic bags, like everything here, come with a price. I like this.
  • Nutritious food isn't the top priority. My diet is beige, though getting more colorful.
  • Cursive > print. I can now write like an adult.
  • Such old history. Churches that have been sitting there for 500 years. No biggie. I go nuts over it.
  • Everyone is the same color. Still a bit scary to me.
  • Czech people all seem to have these awesome windows that depending on how you turn the handle can open different ways. Like those magic cellphones.
  • Learning is about stuffing as much in as you can and spitting it back. No stewing and adding your own spices.
  • Even the smallest stores have probably twenty kinds of sausages and salamis. Yum.
  • Soviet bloc buildings. They are hideous.
  • People are cold. Physical contact is a no-go.
  • Au contraire, Czech people are extremely helpful. Getting directions from a stranger is way better than any map.
  • No automatic garage doors
  • No suburbs. Villages, and little cities.
  • People here eat a whole different spectrum of food. It's normal to eat a whole apple. Like stem, core, everything. But just serving peas with a bit of butter next to your mashed potatoes can seem weird. Oh, and I eat liver like all the time.
So, I know these are mostly just my opinions. But I like to think there's a kernel of truth in here somewhere. Oh, and here are some oldish pictures.

The tip of that is the highest point in the whole Czech Republic. Bylo tam zkurvená zima.
Guess what it is. Once I asked, I no longer needed an answer.
The last few days in October of 1808, Beethoven LIVED HERE (in Opava)! A whole week or so. They named the street after him.
Opava is really gorgeous.
Again from Opava. It was really heavily bombed during WWII, leaving these ugly chunks. The whole soviet and historical beauty clash is a strong theme throughout the country.

This kid is going places. When he wins a grammy, I can say I knew him. Yes.
AFS ball :D
Me and our Prom king and queen, if we were to do such silly things.
I have a thing for Germans.

Wawel, in Kraków
Auschwitz. So many emotions.
Somethings you have to see once in your life.

But life here continues to be lalalalalala wonderful. Letters would make me smile, chicos. I can't believe how little time I have here. The plane ride home will be so miserable, leaving all these people who light up my life and understand me better than I understand myself. At least I have all of you to look forward to! Went to a jazz concert wednesday, and heard a lovely New York accent. It was heaven. Cool concert by the way. Part of the Brno Jazzfest. And the ballet yetserday. Guys should wear skirts a lot more. Very attractive. hahaha
LOVELOVELOVE all of y'all. Take care! Traveling again with my family for the weekend. Not sure where to, but it's an adventure! Hugs!


  1. Meghan!

    What a great post! Thanks for all of the insights. I'm sure I could have coped when I was younger, but now I'm just too old to cope with no napkins or ice. But chocolate and sausages all the time sounds great! I'm so glad you're having an adventure. Most posts, please! We want to hear details!

    Mrs. S

  2. Hey Kiddo - Dad will be SOOOO happy to know that you're eating liver!! Thanks for the post - don't forget to keep at it - we all enjoy such things, especially the pictures!!

  3. oh, and I like hemenex - it does translate well once you have a clue... But the scrambled eggs and sausage didn't want to translate - finally it did!! That one isn't as much fun!! and after the first, I did guess about the cebolla to cibulce, or the other way around, to get to onion. Bring home a recipe for Chleb ve vajicku, though likely we can find one here, but one from there will be authentic!

  4. haha I only put the picture there for the hemenex, but now you know some Czech :D