Saturday, 27 July 2013

So I guess this is where I live now...

Here are a few shots of my local area. I mean local because they are all taken within 200m of my house. It was my second trip out today, and I hadn't planned on making one. This morning I bought a fan to tackle the sweaty nights. I brought it home and unboxed it only to find that I had to screw the base together. Ask me if I have a screwdriver...

I needed my fan though. So I grabbed my camera (a habit I hope to restart) and left the house. In the 40 degree heat I quickly gave up taking photos and travelled as quickly as possible to the shop to find a screwdriver. I happened upon some colleagues basking in the sun, having some afternoon sushi so stopped to chat. I don't usually like people, but am trying to make the effort here, as I may someday need their help when trying to explain to a Czech waiter how I want my steak cooked. We really do have an interesting bunch of people working here. Our backgrounds are about as varied as you can get. Our beliefs, attitudes, habits, and languages are about as different as can be. But those of us who stick it out all have one thing in common: we have all upped sticks and moved to the Czech Republic to start a new career. We have what it takes to live abroad and not miss home to the point of depression.

I did, however, learn one thing today. I knew from the get go that some people end up going home after a few days/weeks/months. Either they miss home, the job isn't for them, or they are just dreadful and part with the company... I am in a relatively small group: five of us started, one of whom is Czech. None of us seem like we will be going home any time soon though. And this brings me back to what I learnt today: some of the other staff discuss, and possibly take bets on who will leave first from a group. Apparently a few people underestimated me because of my quiet nature. One also thought I was gay...

I live just above the bar with the green awning.

This is "The Square"

I haven't figured out the significance of any of this yet...

Wild Wild West?

Pardubice is full of alleys like this.

So I live 50m from a Castle.

My window opens onto this alley.

Where do I start?

Well here we are: the beginning of a new blog. One of the millions of blogs littering the internets. I know what you are thinking: why this blog? Well, let me tell you a story.

I graduated from university almost exactly a year ago (366 days to be precise). I graduated with a respectable grade in a respectable discipline. I was pleased with the outcome. As part of my degree I spent a year in Hamburg, die schönste Stadt der Welt, doing my absolute best to teach English to children with behavioural problems. Looking back on it, I should have kept a blog of that experience. It would have been packed with hilarious anecdotes. That year taught me two things: I love living abroad, and I love teaching. Upon my return to university, I came to realise how much I had NOT missed it. Going to seminars and lectures was a drag, the whole pretence of the place was just mind numbing, but I stuck it out. I did my due diligence and came out of it with a degree and applications in for a PGCE. Due to a clerical error, my application got held up somewhere and I only managed to get to one interview in the summer. It proved unsuccessful. 

So I took the summer. I enjoyed it. I spent three weeks in the USA with my brother and sister in law. I attended Gencon. I returned ready to try again. I applied for a PGCE yet again and applied for jobs in primary schools as a teaching assistant, while all the time offering to volunteer in schools as much as possible. None of that really worked out though. By March 2013 my applications had been rejected and it was too late to get into a primary school teaching PGCE. 

I was at a crossroads. My part time job at the Cinema wasn't enough to sustain me. I was a 25 year old graduate with a part time job, living with my parents in Southampton still. Needless to say, life wasn't the most fulfilling. Was I going to apply for a PGCE a third time round? Was I going to move in another direction to enter adulthood?

And here I now sit, sweat dripping from my forehead into my lap, trying not to touch  the mousepad while I type this into my laptop. The temperature is close to 40 degrees outside, most of the shops are closed because it is Saturday afternoon, the streets are empty, my back is stuck to my leather chair, a mariachi band is playing below my window, and I am being eaten alive by mosquitos. Where am I? I am surprised no-one managed to guess it. I am in the Czech Republic.

After the failure of my PGCE applications I began seriously applying for entry level jobs in various companies, graduate schemes, and training positons in various sectors. I felt it would be best to just get on the ladder, and then work out where I could go from there. In my searches I stumbled across an opportunity to move to Czech and get a foot on the ladder. I went for it. The role involved speaking German, and living abroad. Why wouldn't I apply for it?

So that is about it. I am a million miles from where I thought my life would have taken me. Lets see what happens.