Showing posts from December, 2017

A Very Unique Christmas Dinner

I had the experience of eating a very unique Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve this year. The main course of the meal consisted of potato salad and fried carp, and of course, a glass of beer. Basically, a Friday night fish fry anyone from the upper Midwest would be very familiar with. As it turns out, this Christmas meal was the same that almost every other Czech citizen ate. This traditional Christmas menu comes from the French Alsace region. Carp has been on dinner tables for this special day since mid-1800s. The recipe has been passed down from mother to daughter since then. I was brave enough to try it in a restaurant on Christmas Eve. When we first heard of this, we were astounded. Carp? A delicacy saved for Christmas dinner? In the United States, our only remembrance of this freshwater fish was that carp are a nuisance at best. The one fish you'd toss overboard if snagged on a fishing pole. Not so in Czechia. The most interesting thing we've seen about it wa

Postcard from Christkindlesmarkt - Nuremberg, Germany

Vendor in front of the town fountain Last week I had the opportunity to spend a couple days wandering around the Christmas Market in Nuremberg. I'm not a big shopper, but the experience was well worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this German tradition and wanted to share it with you. The Christkindlesmarkt was set up mainly in one large city square in front of the Marienkirche. The area near the church doors had a stage where choirs sang or musicians performed. We heard several different choirs/ bands performing during our time at the market - day and evening. From there, the rows of vendors filled the entire square with aisles for shoppers to walk through. All the vendors displayed their wares in wooden stalls built side by side. Since it's for the Christmas season, the majority of booths sold Christmas ornaments, decorations, nativities, and presents for everyone in the family. The German-made decorations were so beautiful that it was a joy just to

Surrogate Santa

Last week my husband and I traveled to Olomouc, a town in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, to meet with our missionaries there who have formed a group of Czech college students to learn English. This English Talk Group wanted to have a discussion about the traditions and meaning of Christmas, so we were invited to attend. We went to explain the theological importance of the coming of baby Jesus on Christmas. When he opened the meeting, my husband asked the college students to explain the meaning and traditions of Czech Christmas. We needed to know where they were in their understanding so we could expand their knowledge. Ježíšek We were pleased to hear that they were very familiar with the facts about the birth of Jesus - Bethlehem, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels singing, three kings, etc. All the churches have a nativity scene in them. Many people go to a church on Christmas Eve to see it or attend the midnight service (the only time they'd attend church all y

No Checks for Czechs

Banking in the Czech Republic is much different than we were used to back home. We were taken to our bank the day after we arrived in Prague in May. When our account was all set up, we never had to return again. We have direct deposit of my husband's paycheck, which is very common for US banks. That isn't a surprise for us, but the main thing that we find different is that there are no checks for our Czech bank. The Czechs handle all payments for everything with either cash, debit card, or phone app payment. We had to check into this because we were confused by the no check system. We found out that any bills that we receive come to us through an email. We've never gotten a bill in the mail since we've arrived. That's a nice change. The invoices all have the company's bank account number on it along with a variable symbol. Of course, these words are all in Czech, so it takes Google translate to figure out what number is what. The variable symbol is most of