Apologies for the lapse in posting, been pretty busy settling in, looking for work and exploring the town. What town you say? Why Pardubice of course, the capitol of the region of Pardubice. To help my friends understand and remember the name, we came up with the term Party-pizza, just don’t say it to the locals….who are lovely! I remember reading up on the country before we arrived and seeing articles with horrifying titles such as “Why do Czech’s hate foreigners?” and “Why are Czech people so rude?” Don’t know what those people were smoking because my experience, so far has been of warm, friendly, happy people. And polite, oh so very polite! Although this place is just as modern as anywhere in Western Europe, there is an air of old world dignity and courtesy that is just so refreshing. Seats are given up for women, ALL women, not just pregnant, old or frail. Cars stop to let you cross the road. I seem to be the only person who appreciates it and gives a wave of gratitude, cue puzzled yet charmed looks from the drivers.
So what’s it like here? Any pretty buildings? In the slightly rearranged words of Napoleon Dynamite “Heck yes there is!”….You have to say that in his voice for it to truly work. The old-town square is without a word of a lie, probably the prettiest square I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s like a medieval, Latin-American, Renaissance, mishmash of styles that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Absolutely and utterly beautiful and quaint.
Ok nice square James, but what about the rest of the town? Is it all like that? I’m afraid not, the rest is fairly standard Eastern European town architecture with occasional little details, a decorated facade here, a beautifully kept courtyard there. The main areas we’ve explored so far have been the northeast corner of the town, from the University, down over the river Elbe, past the CZ arena, where the ice-hockey and basketball teams play. Can’t wait to go see a game! Of ice-hockey of course, and then into the main commercial centre of Pardubice, complete with a brand new shopping centre (mall for my American readers) with all the modern shops you can think of…..expect they’re the Czech equivalent. There’s a Tesco for all your horse-burger needs, a myriad of clothes shops and lots of smaller stalls selling everything from coffee beans, to meat, to mobile phones.
I’ll leave it at that for now, don’t want to write everything there is to see in one post and then have nothing to write about afterwards. Stay tuned for an update on my efforts to find employment as an English teacher, and to see the local wildlife**
Here’s a short video I shot of Pardubice after the snow had stopped falling.
*no offence to gay vampires
**Actual wildlife, not the cringeworthy term used to describe the opposite sex