Gosh, where to start? I suppose we are finding our feet here. We have:
-entered the country
-been ill and recovered (from a hellish bout of hand foot mouth – what timing!!)
-found a (n amazing) place to live
-wandered the city and admired the view (any Bangkok friends will appreciate the pleasure which can be derived from that!!)
-got to know our local area
-made a trip to ikea
-not gone crazy looking after the girls without help
-visited our local monthly flea market
-bought all kinds of fresh goodies (including unbelievable bread!!!) from the farmers’ market at the end of our street
-found a Thai friend for AW (she seems to be the only one in the city!) with Thai speaking kids
-set up a bank account
-gone all over picking up second hand bargains like ironing boards etc
-bought an annual pass for the zoo (of COURSE…)
The internet was set up today. Thank goodness. You can’t get unlimited 3G here, even on a mobile contract – in Thailand (and I’m guessing the UK?) it’s now standard and we have been accustomed to googling/ facebooking/ blogging/ whatsapping whenever we want. I also carry out a large number of transactions via Facebook groups (especially selling our Bangkok belongings and now in attempting to kit out a new place) and I’m finding it all very tricky (and expensive!) to keep up with. I’ve started lots of conversations and struggled to finish them as my limited data is gobbled. One of these conversations, ironically, is one about installing the internet itself.
But we are getting there.
Below, I wrote of the stuff we have been through in our journey between Thailand and the Czech Republic. You already know about HFM. You don’t know about our super-important-documents crisis, or our almost-missing-both-flights disaster (I’m 99% certain they were intimately related)… It has been high-octane and as you’ll read, there have been some pressure points. But it all feels in the past now, as our optimism increases. Thie issues bemoaned below are resolving themselves one by one, Mum and dad are here and we are all in good spirits. And my lovely friends over at babysearching.wordpress.com had their little boy! Love to them!
Here are the posts-I-couldn’t-post-coz-I-had-no-wifi:
Warning- even though I have just moved to an unbelievably fantastic city, this post is not a happy one. We have been enjoying the Prague 4 countryside to such an extent that we are a little sad to leave the area for our new apartment today. Actually though, that’s not the reason.
We have had a lot to handle. Too much, perhaps. That is why I’m waiting for a bus after what was supposed to be the final move from the hotel to our beautiful new place.
We left two important bags there.
In a similar vein, we left some really important things on the plane or in Vienna airport.
There are a million new sagas.
Our new place has just been given a facelift. It is pretty great. But I have watched a few too many scary films about young innocent couples moving into old (haunted) tenement blocks and I am a little anxious about spending our first night there. I know that is silly, but I can’t help it. Secondly, after arriving, we realised we’d lost the two bags with our most valuable and expensive documents and items in. Thankfully we were able to stay calm enough to call the driver and the hotel, and located them without further ado.
Thirdly, everyone smokes here, and while I can get used to it out and about, I fear our apartment may have a neighbour somewhere who smokes so heavily, that they are making our place smell of fags. We can throw open all the windows for now, but in the winter when we need to close doors and windows… I’m worried about that.
Why didn’t we notice it before? Well, the (smoking, struggling-with-personal-hygiene-in-a-heatwave) workmen were in, and there were rather a lot of smells unrelated to the apartment to concern our noses with. I feel so bad exposing my daughters to such a stink; even if I were a smoker myself, I’d smoke outside and always away from them.
I promise that I’ll update you with more positivity soon. Like I said though, we have had rather a lot to handle. Things will calm down soon, and my parents will be here on the 5th. Can’t wait to see them.
Ok. Things are looking up. We have come to the conclusion that the smokey smells in our apartment aren’t fresh smoke; the actual air is not smokey at all. Therefore, as foul as it is to think about it, the previous occupant smoked to such excess and with such abandon, that the walls reek of it, long after his/ her departure. My theory is strengthened by the yellowed woodwork and cigarette-end-shaped burns on the hallway radiators.
The searing heatwave which was in full swing in Prague has ended. The mornings are warm but fresh, and seem to bring rain (also in the vein of a Bangkok rainy season) at about 5pm. We have been stuck in it unprepared twice now. Clearly not quite have tried out a few new wraps.
The girls are not behaving very well around food. This is partly the way auntie fed them (Thai style, on the floor and/or running around after them all around the room. I never liked this, but I was not the one doing the feeding). This is also I’m guessing partly to do with the changes of moving here and the toddleryness they’re now exhibiting. And being infected with HFM. Both girls are very clingy, and Ivy loves her dummy again, Olive as boob-obsessed as ever. Maybe more, as it is the hols and I’m around all day, along with my heated, cuddly milksacks.
We have been zooming about all over the city on its (amazing and cheap) public transport system, which has been largely easy, however carrying buggies up and down escalators and/or steps is very tiring. Although compared to Thai people the checks are not exactly of a sunny disposition, they are friendly and helpful. We have been offered help so many times that I can now recognise the phrase (lots of Czech think I’m Czech, which is a novelty after obviously no-one EVER thinking I were Thai).
The school I will work in is in the outskirts of the city near where our hotel was. We imagined we would get a place to live out around there but have ended up right in the middle. We are glad as I think it makes things much better for mummy AW as she tries to make friends and travel with the monkeys anywhere while I’m at work. I will have a commute to navigate though.
We are really excited- Prague looks set to be a really exciting city for us. I’m missing Bangkok friends; especially those for whom travel is just a pipe dream. It was hard to leave them behind. And of course, we miss Auntie and even AW’s mum!