home-base..Prague

back home and loving it!! time of arrival; 13:45 CET – an entire ten minutes ahead of schedule..

met up with some of the best friends i could possibly ask for, had a few beers and threw some snowballs – it feels good to be homeWP_20160120_14_40_56_Pro

Advertisements

peek-a-boo

In a week I will have crossed the eleven month mark of being a resident in historical Bohemia. Visa status, still pending – don’t be so pessimistic SA, it’s not just Africa.

– I miss Africa –

Physical and mental status – not too bad, a slight hiccup with my health, but nothing I can’t handle.

Relationship status – happy to have a best friend that understands me, lucky enough to share a relationship with him. Highly intelligent, kind and doesn’t get too upset when I beat him at video games. He reads too much, one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s biggest fans – sporting a bookcase decked with the entire Discworld series.

Work status – well technically unemployed.

Mental status – updated. Content.

My plans… well I have a few things in mind… although, lately, as soon as I voice those plans; the force of nature seems to turn on me and something rather unpredictably catastrophic happens… I might be a distant cousin of the Baudelaire children in Lemony Snicket’s tale. What did you say?

Plausible.

ahoj!

diary entry 0005

21/03/2015

day #197

this is probably long overdue… but i suppose it is to be expected…

mood for today: it is a beautiful-super-sunny-day, the birds are singing… maybe that’s slightly exaggerated, but i can hear the trains however. i saw my first working steam-locomotive two days ago – it was awesome!

status update; we saw a lawyer on thursday, she said there is no valid reason to deny the application, so we’re filing an appeal early next week. yesterday i signed the contract to my very first (and hopefully last for a very long period of time) permanent job in Czech Republic, i’ve already been added to the work schedule – my first day is next week friday. éééck!

my new employer (that’s if there’s no hiccup with the visa and stuffs) Mandarin Oriental Prague. with a purely Asian menu… and hints of molecular gastronomy here and there – i’m super excited!!!

MO2MO1MO3MO4

<<< rewind <<<

03/03/2015 Prague – it’s my birthday!!

… with not really much to say, i’ll let the pictures tell the tale of sight seeing in Prague and with all the souvenirs we had to buy, time was quite limited… hence the very one sided tour of Old Town and Prague Castle – tomorrow morning we leave for Berlin at 06:30 AM…

… oh and mother conveniently removed my camera from the backpack – just after i packed it, hence the slightly skew photography… ey there’s only so much a hobbit can manage to capture… and i do say this with the utmost respect and love  – so i’ll just have to do a proper article on sightseeing Prague in the near future… but wait until you see the pictures of Český Krumlov – 11 days from now…

the gateroar... door...south africanshianother dooroohancientmoederahhh...pretty  red buildingossewa ossewa byeboer wa..

tak čau

… this might not be too informative and i suppose everyone needs to start somewhere… hopefully it gets easier – and more intriguing – the biggest reason people starting out takes an entire week to post another article, is the fact that they second guess themselves, they’re insecure and procrastinate for a week… trying to think of something interesting to say… and honestly, with this trip, it might be harder than i originally intended… but bear with me… and let’s see what this turns into…

mother arrives…

diary entry 0004

15/03/2015

day #191

day two of being back home and even though we’ve had a few speed bumps during our travels, i have to say – my wanderlust might be satisfied for now – but tomorrow will hold more hunger…

the main additions of wisdom from this experience;

don’t loose your passport!!!

– choose your luggage oh so wisely

– do sufficient research

– learn a few key phrases in the local dialect

– and always… ALWAYS trust your instincts!

<<< rewind <<<

02/03/2015 Praha, Česká Republika (Prague, Czech Republic)

Letiště Václava Havla (Václav Havel Airport)

Prague Airport

Prague welcomes mother (as well as France, although with not such open arms)

8:30 – estimated time of Mother’s arrival 8:55, we are on our way to the airport, but of course we are stuck in peak hour Prague traffic. my phone rings. “i’m so glad i made it through. my flight only leaves at 13:05…” is all she manages to utter, when the line cuts out. nothing more… nothing less… we take the off-ramp and make our way back home again.

13:28 – i get dropped off at the airport, slightly unsure whether i’m late or if she really did say she only leaves at 13:05. i quickly do a walk through just to be certain she’s not lost somewhere – and then i wait – skip forward two hours and a bit and the arrivals board announcing her eta has changed not once… not twice, but three times! her flight arrives at 15:17, but she only makes an appearance around 15:48.

it is all hugs and kisses as we great each other after nearly seven months… there’s a quick bathroom break while I purchase a public transport ticket and we depart. we take bus #100 from the airport towards the terminal station – also the terminal station of the yellow metro line, Zličín – give or take 28 minutes later. we board the metro and start chatting along about the little incident that left my mother delayed – resulting in missing her initial flight – hence the slight, almost seven hour delay (but more on this unfortunate event come France).

the second last station before our final destination, Anděl (another twenty-something minutes later) – my mother realises, “but where is my bright yellow file?!” the exact one she boasted with when I met her at the airport; the one containing all our accommodation bookings, tickets, her insurance, all necessary copies of import documents (just in case she misplaces something, documents like her passport with Schengen visa) and of course, as Murphy would have it – her passport with her Schengen visa! our passport to our imminent travels…

bright yellow file...

immediately it is blamed on the French! we get off at the next stop and jump on the metro in the opposite direction. a phone call is made and once again a knight sets out to save some damsels in distress, the appropriate authorities are phoned in the local tongue (because we’re still the proud owners of the well sought after language barrier) and within a matter of minutes fifteen bus drivers had been phoned, the airport information centre, – security and – lost-and-found, all thanks to the Czech Public Services.

we arrive at the airport, report to information and retrace our steps… we phone public transport lost-and-found and retrace our steps – again! with no luck. i try to calm mother and as a last resort, report to the airport police and start making plans to visit the South African Embassy the following day.

i knock… a blond police officer with a very serious face answers… with a stern voice she greats me in formal Czech; “dobrý den.” catching me a little off guard i reply with a few sentences i have in the limited paperback phrase book that is my mind; “dobrý den. mluvíte anglicky?” which is basically just the formal way of saying – please tell me you speak English?! because if you don’t I doubt I’d be able to get my message across.

reluctantly she replies; “a little.”

she opens the door to a very secure, very intimidating Airport Police Foreign Inspection Hub and waves me in. the door closes behind me and she stops… faces me with a look of utter annoyance, impatience and disapproval on her face and immediately i start rambling on; “my mother just flew in from Paris and left her bright yellow file with passport and documents next to the hand basin in the ladies room, at terminal two.”

she turns around, takes a corner, returning in a matter of seconds with a bright yellow folder and a green and gold South African passport (screaming for my attention), i smile whilst mumbling details of her name and surname, to which she smiles and urges me to be more careful.

we make our way back to the hotel, freshen up and have dinner at a traditional Czech Restaurant, Lokál on Old Town Square. they have their own micro brewery on the premises with a dining area set in the original cellar of an ancient building. we spend the next day sightseeing and filling my mother’s bag with numerous souvenirs (which we’d later come to regret).

Lokál Cellar Lokál Dlouhá, Staré Město

two days later and the actual holiday experience truly begins…

Confessions of an expat: Home is…

Kate goes Global

Masca, Tenerife (Spain)

Where is home?

Have you ever hesitated in answering this question? I certainly have. Home might be where my belongings are, but this place differs from where my family and many friends are, too. Is it really home, if your family is over 5000 km away? Can I call it home, if I don’t always feel that I belong in my adopted country?

While living abroad is at times an exciting and enriching experience, it’s also challenging. There are times I feel dislocated. Misplaced. I’m neither here nor there. I’m in some kind of expat limbo. I’ve watched friends getting married, having children and buying flats (things that technically help to define home), while I’m slowly approaching 31 without anything tangible to settle with.

This makes me wonder – what makes home, home?

Lavaux, Switzerland

As a third-culture kid, I’m used to living in this grey zone in-between cultures…

View original post 209 more words

they say bad luck come in threes…

diary entry 0003

15/03/2015

day #191

it is with a heavy heart that we say our final farewells to Sir Terry Pratchett. he was an amazing person, a brilliant writer and he has captured the imagination of so many… however; “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”, as quoted from one of his numerous, unforgettable, awe inspiring, reality escaping fantasy novels. Sir Pratchett you shall live on an eternity.

Sir Terry Pratchett

mood for the day; not nearly as sad as yesterday… although thankful for another day, blessed for all the wonderful people i’ve met, great friends i’ve made, old friends from a life not yet forgotten, friends from a canvas unrouged, yet to be painted red with experiences, places i’ve been and my beloved family back home, not a day goes by that i do not think of you.

yesterday came a letter, painted with misery, hardship and without hope… today is born a willingness to fight it, a courage and strength; i shall not give up hope. we shall fight this… with fifteen days to appeal, after waiting nearly seven months, my temporary residency has been denied. this will not be the last of it… i shall prevail!

just a quick note (to take up some time)

diary entry 0002

27/02/2015

day # 175

another bright and sunny day – almost feels like back home, maybe not so much – listening to “Ozzy” radio on Spotify…sorry South Africa, we regretfully have to inform you that Spotify is not available in your country, so sad indeed. mood for today, anything we can possibly do, as long as it doesn’t involve having to work on our trip itinerary or cleaning the house.

i might have mentioned that we will be taking a little trip around western Europe next week. mother has decided to come visit her lil’munchkin for her birthday – yes i announce that with no shame! – i don’t really get why people are ashamed of having birthdays, i get that the older you get the less reason you have to celebrate, or so they say, but ey… a birthday gives you more than enough excuse to do just about anything and there’s cake!!! i don’t care much for the cake itself, but there’s something magical about making a wish whilst blowing out the candles. hopefully i’ll get my unicorn this year! whether shopping, music festivals, travel etc. is your thing, there’s not much anyone can argue against when it’s your birthday!! and i’ve decided travelling is my new thing – even if it’s just taking a bus to the other side of Prague… it’s a whole lot more travelling than i’m used to.

but back to the trip: so we have decided to go out on safari into the wild, armed with our global train passes, valid for ten days, prearranged accommodation and backpacks. what my mom and i know about backpacking through Europe is to say the least, about as much as we know about rocket science – but then again, we’re not rocket scientists – what do we know? maybe it’s a walk in the park (wishful thinking). so we will start off in Prague, board a train and on a daily basis travel to a new and completely different country (with a completely different new language barrier). The itinerary is as follows; Berlin, Amsterdam, Brugge, Paris, Nice, Florence, Venice, then a trip through Austria with a stop in Český Krumlov (Czech Republic) and then back again to Prague – where my mom will board a flight back to sunny South Africa the next day.

So I sent my mother a list of things i need from home; 2 x large tubs of Vicks (for those winter sniffles), 2 x large tubs of ZamBuk (the real makoya), 2 x tubs of Mybulens (cause getting normal over the counter meds here are almost impossible), 2 x boxes of Allergex (cause for some silly reason, I’m allergic to almost everything here in CR) and lastly a jar of Bovril (no comment).

6cedf743a48e911fdc0302073eda94ddbrand_header

…but for now, i really need to get working on that trip itinerary.  vicks_vaporub_by_jezrocket-d5yw8yc