The New Flat

So, here are some photos of our new flat (that’s right, I’m all European now – I say flat instead of apartment and lift instead of elevator). It’s pretty and ours…but it doesn’t have internet. And I thought that leaving America meant leaving the clutches of internet oligopolies like Comcast behind…no. They are here. Not specifically Comcast but O2. They are the Comcast of Prague. They only speak Czech…and only send texts in Czech….and emails in Czech. And when you are on the phone with them, they will say, “No English” but then I’ll say, “No Czech” and then they’ll continue speaking in Czech…and you’ll repeat the viscous cycle over and over again. I finally had to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t understand you. I only speak English. Have a nice day.” And as I hung up I heard, “No English.”
And having no Internet means that it’s really difficult to apply for jobs. Or check where your interviews are. Or lesson plan. The internet is a very useful tool. They used to have piles and piles of books in these buildings called libraries and now people just tell you everything online. It’s great – when you have it. So, after applying to 51 jobs…and two and a half interviews…I got nothing. Prayers would be awesome as we have committed to a lot of bill-paying for the next year….and we need money for food and stuff.And here is our bedroom. We took a trip to IKEA…where we got that rug and those awesome bedside lamps….and IKEA is at the outermost edges of Prague. It is literally the last stop on the yellow line and then we had to take a bus. We just saw a sign that said “Ikea” and an arrow…so we followed that arrow to this huge line of buses and when we saw the bus with IKEA written on the side, we just got on and hoped it wasn’t going to take us to creepyville.
As we were riding this bus, we saw the “countryside” of the Czech Republic. And it totally looked like America. There were the same types of highway signs and there were stores with flags and advertisements. There was a McDonald’s (there is always a McDonald’s)…and cars driving just like in America. Except everything was in Czech. And the housing looked like it is leftover from Communism. They were just giant buildings that look like giant colored building blocks dropped randomly throughout the landscape.
And then we saw IKEA. The bus pulled up and we walked up this little ramp into the parking lot and there was a playground for the children to play with – and it was for sale. And it was bigger than a Home Depot…it was bigger than the mall in Tallahassee.
And we just followed the crowd upstairs and it was room upon room of gorgeousness. And everything was for sale. It was literally a showroom but of actual rooms – living rooms and bedrooms, and dining rooms and kitchens…it was so beautiful and I just wanted to take the whole room, fold it up into my pocket, and take it home with me where I could make that room mine.
And then we got lost. It’s literally this bizarre labyrinth. I think we spent an hour just trying to find the exit…and then we realized that we had no idea where we saw this one lamp we really liked….(the one we ended up buying). So, then we had to back-track…which didn’t work at all and we ended up at the entrance to the showroom floor that only had an escalator coming up. So, then we went through the whole place again and finally found the lamp….which we had to get on a different floor. So, a guy who only spoke Czech showed us the map (yes, this store had a map, for goodness sake) and told us we were on the wrong floor….
So, we found the exit….eventually….and made our way down to the first floor and there were these GIANT bins of lint rollers. Hundreds – maybe even thousands of lint rollers….why? Why were there so many lint rollers? Who could ever have a need for so many lint rollers? And that was only the beginning. There was hundreds of everything. Everything was everywhere. Cups, and plates, and little corkscrews, and bottle openers, and bendy straws (of course we got a pack of those) and more kitchen utensils and pans than I have ever seen and bins and shelves stuffed full of everything. And it was all affordable. And beautiful. There were so many beautiful rugs and shoes storage bins and organizational wonderfulness. It was one jaw-dropper after another after another as we went deeper and deeper into the labyrinth (I was poised for the Minotaur to attack at any moment).
And then we finally found the lamp…and it was beautiful and affordable (only $25 bucks for a base and a ceramic shade – so good).
And then we had to walk for another ten minutes until we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel – the registers, the check-out, those beautiful cashiers.
And everything else we got (which was SO much) was only like another $50. It’s still pretty insane though – they make you walk through the entire store, basking in their glory. You get lost over and over again while stumbling upon their random cafeteria in the middle of the store (how did that even get in there) and then you finally make it to the end and you feel like you have just trekked through the Himalayas while holding 50 pounds of kitchen appliances and other household goods on your backs….
And then we had to take it all home….on the metro. And then walk another 3 blocks…carrying all that stuff. But our apartment is much more homey now.
And we also made about 5 trips to Tesco (Czech version of Target) and it is kinda awesome…except when you don’t speak Czech and the cashier knows you don’t and starts making fun of you in Czech. That’s really great. And then there’s the whole lugging everything you just bought home….20 blocks away. FIVE times. That’s also great. That’s the one thing I miss about America. You can just go there once, shove everything in your car and then DRIVE home with everything. That, and  at least when people make fun of you in America…it’s in English. Yeah, we have a kitchen but I didn’t want to photograph it because it was dirty. Maybe later….there is also a toilet but I didn’t really want to post a photo of our toilet…that seems weird.

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One thought on “The New Flat

  1. your apartment looks great and very brand new!!–with your additions it looks like home. We miss you and please keep sending your blog and we pray and hope you get a jobs soon Love MomMmom

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