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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Spicy Story

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Now that we are settled in our apartment and things are falling into a routine here in Prague, I'm starting to get braver about cooking in my kitchen. I haven't quite figured out the spices yet, however.


First of all the spices are purchased in packets (i.e. taco mix) instead of bottles like we're familiar with in the states. I have not, as yet, figured out how to organize these packets into some semblance of order in my drawer. They all lay together in a row, but finding the one I want is time consuming.

Reading the labels, which are in the Czech language, is also a challenge. The pictures on the packages are a huge help. If the package has a picture of an onion on it, the obvious conclusion is that I have onion powder in my hand.

One of the missionary wives who was here in the early 1990s, shortly after CZ freedom, said that none of the labels had pictures - only Czech words. I can't imagine shopping without the pictures on the packages. I guess she carried a diction…

Postcard from Latvia

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Last week we attended a conference near Riga, Latvia. Here are some of the interesting sites we saw.








Many of the old buildings had distinctive shapes to them and, surprisingly, many windows. I figured that the cold winters would require architects to minimize the windows.




Modern buildings were uniquely built also, in a very boxy style. 



 Our conference was in the resort town of Jumala  on the Baltic Sea. The beach-side resort building was old and a bit dilapidated, but from this distance it is very picturesque.



Several people commented on how much the Latvians loved flowers. There were manicured flowers even along the highways.









St. Peter's was built in the 1200s. Riga was the first city to become Lutheran in 1522, shortly after the Reformation began.





Recycling - European Style

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Every two or three blocks, bins like these can be seen on street corners. Of course, these are the recycle bins used in Prague. The blue one is for paper-"papir". Yellow is for plastics-"plasty". White and green are for glass-"sklo". Clear glass goes in the white bin and colored glass in green one. The orange ones are for beverage containers-"tetrapak".

Thousands of these bins have been distributed throughout the city in the last fifteen years to cut down on trash. It has done a fantastic job since Czech Republic is the fifth country overall in Europe for recycling.

We've noted some interesting things about the recycling here. Paper and cardboard can both be put in the blue bin. Even large cartons can be put in after being cut up. The plastic bin is for any kind of packaging or wrapper that isn't paper including plastic from a package of paper towels, etc. The orange bins are for cartons used for milk, orange juice, etc. All milk and jui…

AIR "CONDITIONING"

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It's been hot here lately. I guess that's no surprise. After all, it's August. The reality of no air conditioners is finally hitting home. When temperatures get to 93 degrees during the day and cool off to 70 degrees at night, we long for an air conditioner.

But we are faced with the fact that our only air conditioners are the windows we have to open, or shut, at will. As you can see in the picture, we have the "old fashioned" kind of windows in our new apartment. It's actually two windows that need to be opened to get any fresh air to come in.

Many European windows have the kind that either open on the side, or tilt in, leaving a small space open on the top. Our building hasn't been upgraded to that type yet. But of course, we have no screens on any of our windows (to make things more interesting).

When the thermometer is reading 85 or more outside, it's really not advisable to open the windows. So during the days when the temperature soars, we leave …

ROAD CONSTRUCTION - THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY

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Since we took a stroll along the cobbled streets of Old Town last week, I thought that you might be interested in knowing about cobblestones in newer parts of town. To be sure, most streets and roads are not cobbled at all today. They are paved like in the US.

However, in the tourist or higher rent areas, roads are still cobbled today - many of them in a decorative pattern. As you can see from the picture of my husband standing in front of a statue, the people who laid the cobbles wanted you to know that it was in 1882.

The question that crossed my mind was how, or who cobbled these streets to look so beautiful. A couple weeks ago when I was walking to our friends house, I received the answer to both questions. So, even if this cobbled street was laid in 1882, the same process is still used today by very hard working Czechs.



As I walked down the street, I saw that it was filled with cobbles lying about. It was obvious that the cobble laying process was going on.


I wanted to show you t…