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! 

One At All – Danish contributor

I got invited to join a blog called One At All – Project to write about Denmark.

One single person from each country.
The most different cultures on planet
talking about everything.

So far Ive written about places you should know in Denmark and words you should know in Danish. Feel free to correct me, comment or elaborate if I have missed anything.

I love the idea of this project! It is always interesting to see your culture in the perspective of other peoples lives. This project is a great way to share and celebrate our differences.

Oh, and please support this one:

Update: Later on I’ve written The most important fact in my country’s history and The one thing my country doesn’t have is….