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Showing posts from May, 2017

TRAINS AND TRAMS AND BUSES, OH MY!

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We sold our two cars before we left the states to fly to Europe. We knew that we wouldn't be owning a car again for a long time and would be using public transportation from now on. As I anticipated this change, I worried that I wouldn't be able to manage the process especially as a non-speaker of the Czech language. 
I am very happy to report that my worries were unfounded as far as transportation is concerned. I now feel confident enough, using the three main modes of public transportation, that I came home from an event last week riding on a bus and the Metro BY MYSELF. 
The Metro (or subway train) is exactly like riding on the BART train in the San Francisco area. We used to ride that when we went to visit our son in California. The Metro has three lines-green, yellow, and red that run in different areas of Prague-overlapping in places where a rider can transfer from one line to the next. While we are living in our temporary housing, we will be use the yellow line to get …

DOORKNOBS AND WINDOWS

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We now have been in Prague for about a week. All important things have been accomplished. We have Prague phone numbers - and are able to be online with our phones now. We've downloaded Google Translate, which is a life saver. When we're in the grocery store, we can turn on that app and our phone camera will "read" the words on the Czech labels and translate for us.


Our temporary apartment is very typical. It has a kitchen, living/dining room and one large bedroom. As usual over here, there is a bathroom with sink and shower and a separate W.C. (water closet) which contains the toilet.


Also, very typically there is no carpet at all in our apartment. It has tile flooring in the kitchen and bathroom areas and wood laminate in the remainder of the rooms.


One thing that is totally unusual for Americans in Prague (and all of Europe) is the windows. They open two directions. The handle is turned down if the window is locked shut (right window in picture). If you want lots of…

WE ARE ON OUR WAY!

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By the time this post is released online, we'll be flying over the ocean on our way to Prague. We stop in Dublin for a couple hours before taking off for the Czech Republic and land at 3:45 on Wednesday afternoon.

Monday we spent all day packing our bags and, as you can see, we didn't fit in six suitcases. After checking with the airline, we found out we could also take a box of books if it stayed under 50 pounds. Some of Chuck's theological books and a few of my organ books are in the box.

In the end, it was a very tight squeeze between space and weight. The only thing that I had to jettison was my large bottles of shampoo, cream rinse, and shower gel. But, as Chuck says, they have those things over there. I did manage to fill small bottles with them, so I have a couple weeks before I need to find my way to a store to purchase more.

After final weigh in, all the cases (and box) weigh between 46 and 50 pounds. I certainly hope that our luggage scale is accurate so we don&#…

APOSTILLE -- DO YOU MEAN APOSTLE?

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During the last couple months, we've learned more than we bargained for about a visa application so we can live in Prague. One word we learned is apostille. No, I don't mean apostle like my computer wants to spell it.

We needed an apostille, pictured on the left, from the state of Wisconsin to verify that our marriage license was a valid document in Wisconsin. The Czech Republic has that listed as one of the documents needed to complete our visa application to live in their country.

Other documentation needed from us is proof that Chuck has an employer who will continue to pay his salary, proof that we have money in our bank account to live on for a couple months if his employment ends, proof that we have medical insurance that will pay for any medical expenses incurred while in their country... The list goes on and on.

We had to write up an affidavit stating that we have no felonies or indictments against us in the past. My friend at my former law firm helped me figure out ho…

LIFE IN A SUITCASE

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How do you pack everything you need to live for six years in suitcases? That's a great question. When we were in orientation last summer preparing for this big move, they said, "Make sure that you take along personal items so that you feel at home over there." In suitcases?

We were planning on taking a magnetic picture frame that we could display pictures of our eleven grandchildren and families. It was too large to fit into a suitcase so we decided to send one box to Prague to accommodate that and other heavy items. The box was all packed and weighed - 50 pounds. We found out at the US Post Office that it would cost $233.00 to mail to Prague. Not too bad...

But then we asked acquaintances in Prague how to get it to them.  We found out that when it arrived in Prague, it would have to be carried from the post office to our apartment - NOT. And if it was worth more than $45.00 it would have to go to the Customs Office and pay an import fee. Again - NOT!

So... we are now loo…