Living as a Dane in Czech Republic

This blog post is part of World Blog Surf Day – where 24 bloggers not living in their native country around the world writes about the experience of living in a different country. At the end of my post you will find a link to the next blog in the circle.

Prague Castle in the sunset

I have been living in Prague since the summer of 2007 when Femi and I decided to move here for a period while growing our company. The initial plan of staying for 6 months has so far turned out to last for 22 months. 

Prague has a big (huge?) expat community of people from all over the world but Europe and US in particular. Whatever brought these people here in the first place most start out from scratch with building a social circle so it’s been easy for me to make new friends.

As a Dane I’m use to communicating in English whenever I’m not dealing with Danes because Danish is a terrible language to learn and we’re a small nation. When I came here in the first place I had little intention of learning the Czech language because of my short stay and because it sounded as complex as Danish to grasp. As I realized that my stay would last more than 6 months I started thinking and talking about taking Czech lessons – but it stayed that way. There was too little incentive, too many other interesting things to do and I was too lazy.

The Czechs are usually not that good at English unless they have a degree or have been abroad.  So with almost all my friends being foreigners and no language to communicate with regular Czech’s it feels to me like I live in this parallel society of Prague. In this parallel are we that work in companies where the language is English, our friends are English and the media we follow are English.

I have realized that whenever I return to Prague from being abroad (usually from counties where I speak the language) the first think that strikes me that I am back in my parallel world of not speaking the local language.

But apart from my inability to speak the lingo I am having a very good time in Prague, there are still plenty of reasons why this is a great place to live and why we’ve stayed here for this long. 
The city itself has a great atmosphere, I can still spend a whole day looking up at the marvelous buildings that are everywhere in Prague. Danes sometimes ask me about how dangerous it is in Prague and I must say that it is very safe – there are not the knives/guns problems of Copenhagen or the drunken crowds of London. 
The prices for food and beer are very reasonable compared to most places in Europe, it still puts a smile on my face when I can go to for a meal in a restaurant and have a beer or two and a meal for less than 6 Euros.
I’ve got lots of good friends who I have the time and opportunity to see several times a week and plenty of place to go to do stuff be it sports or other activities or clubs, pubs or concerts. 

One of the topics that has come up quite often in conversations over the last couple of months is that a lot of my friends in Prague are starting to move elsewhere. 
For many people like me Prague is a place of transit, a place to enjoy life and the good times before moving on. 
I doubt that many of the people I hang out with today will be in Prague in a year. In a way it’s sad to think about but on the other hand it’s a nice reminder to enjoy the people and the place every day – it’s not going to last forever.

Some people go to Prague for a couple of months, some for a couple of years. The next blogger in the World Blog Surf Day moved to Prague from USA to be with her Czech husband and start a new life in The Old World. I wish Sher the very best of luck in her adventure and hope you, the reader, will read Sher’s Living as an American in the Czech Republic and the others stories.


Have a nice Saturday! 

My first time on snowboard

Last weekend started off great with a dinner Friday night at one of my favourite eating places when we lived in Prague 6. Tandoor is a small restaurant at the bottom of a small alley almost hidden if you don’t know of it’s existence. The interior is quite modest but the food is great and reasonably priced. There were seven of us there and some could not get it hot enough. 

Dinner at Tandoor

At the next table over I heard the people speaking Danish and I’m always a bit giddy when I hear Danish in Prague. It’s not that often I get to talk Danish and it’s nice and homey to hear it. This time I got the idea that one of them was a blogger I had read before so I went over and said Hi and it turned out that it actually was Nicolai from auramin.com. He’s been in Prague for almost two years but it’s only been about 4 month’s since I discovered his blog. He always has some great pictures of the food he makes or eats and it was cool to meet him.

After the meal Kathleen, Carljan and I decided to take a night walk across town through some of the prettiest parts of town in the cover of darkness with many of the streets abandoned of people. I forgot to take any pictures tho.

Saturday I spent with Hermann geeking around trying to rescue the lost blog posts. More about that in a later post but things look bright. 

Sunday I was up early and then I went with a bunch of friends to the hills in Herlikovice . I haven’t really taken full advantage of having mountains 120 km from Prague but at least I got my second time in snow this weekend. Many of the others were on snowboard so I decided to give it a try and I really liked it.

Three snowboarders and a skier

I got some hard falls and sometimes the board was running way faster than I wanted it to, but controlling it wasn’t that different from skiing so I made some good progress. I never figured out how to make a a turn with the board facing downhill tho.
On the way home we stopped in a small village with a quaint square for a well deserved dinner 🙂

The town square in ?