Our humble abode

So we’re almost two months into our Czech adventure and are all settled into our new home in Pardubice. We live in one of the apartment buildings owned by the University where Sinead, my girlfriend is doing her Post-Doctorate. It’s a one bedroom, one living room apartment, i.e. they’re both the same. It’s pretty much the norm here as far as student accommodation goes, in fact our apartment is considered quite luxurious. Our last place before we left Ireland was a spacious two bed apartment with a fine big living room and en-suite bathroom. So going from that to this was a bit of an eye opener to say the least. But in saying that, there’s people out there living in shacks or sleeping rough every night so enough of the first world problems. We quickly set about making the place our own, moving furniture around and adding a few bits and pieces from home.

Our heart lights, just one of a few little touches to make us feel at home.
Our bedroom/living room/dining room/library wing/games room/office

Our previous kitchen, although small had all the mod-cons like an oven, stove, microwave, kettle, etc. This kitchen however has a two-ring stove, and a fridge/freezer……and that’s it. When we first moved in, only one ring on the stove worked but they promptly replaced it with a shiny new one. Sinead’s colleague was really generous and gave us their “Remoska“, which is basically a giant saucepan with a heating element in the lid so we can make pizza….yay!.

Just the other day we received a brand new kitchen, the walls were painted and the old cabinets were replaced with shiny new ones and a counter top that runs the length of the kitchen, so no more spillages down the side of the fridge. You’d think having just a two ring stove would be limiting, but it’s amazing how it forces you to think about different ideas on what to cook. We’ve had some really delicious and varied meals here and although it’s basic, our little kitchen does just what it needs to do.

Our old kitchen before its glamorous makeover.
Our shiny new kitchen, much more practical now.
When we moved in we were greeted by this contraption. Only one ring worked and it was all we had to cook with, making dinner an interesting endeavour.
Our first meal, sweet and sour chicken, yum yum.

The apartment is one of two sister blocks owned by the university that houses mostly teachers and post-graduate students. We have a laundry room in the basement although we have to go over to the other building to get the key. The view from the balcony isn’t much, we look out on a garage forecourt, a casino and a window frame sales office. Added to that there’s netting up over every balcony too, not to stop people jumping off, but to stop pigeons landing and making a mess. The building is twelve stories high and thankfully we’re down near the bottom. The neighbours above us I’m convinced have terrible hearing as they seem to shout at each other a lot. They’re not arguing, they literally just speak VERY loudly. Everywhere we’ve lived our neighbours have been loud noisy people, it’s like a tradition now and if our next place is quiet it’ll actually be sort of weird.

This reminds me of that film “Attack the Block” but thankfully we don’t have any aliens invading our place.

With the freezing temperatures outside and our lack of Czech language skills there isn’t much to do in the evenings but hide in our apartment. We’re halfway through the fourth season of NCIS already and Sinead has started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the start (Oh and just as I wrote that she started watching Firefly too), added to that we have a hard-drive with loads of movies and there’s always the internet to provide further viewing content, so who needs a TV?

Other pastimes include trying the numerous beers available including the locally brewed Pernstejn, and making jigsaw puzzles. I was thinking of starting a little series of posts on the different beers you can get here but after trying a few of them, I’ve realised a lot of them taste pretty similar……..and delicious. I also find it more difficult to distinguish flavours in beers than say wine and so my reviews would probably be something along the lines of “Tastes like beer, provides the desired effect, the end”.

The local brew photographed in my home-made kitchen towel studio.
A work in progress, bought this 1,000 piece Mucha puzzle as an alternative to watching episode after episode of NCIS and The Big Bang Theory
Huzzah!! Took a few days but we got there in the end. I’d highly recommend putting a jigsaw together instead of sitting on the couch watching TV.
More from the series of “Things to do when you’re stuck in your apartment all day”
We have an oven now! Yay! Kindly donated by one of my girlfriend’s colleagues.
While waiting to hear about potential employment I got creative when making salads for my girlfriend.
What’s that? You want to award me EIGHT Michelin Stars? Oh go on then.

 It’s nothing fancy and if anything it’s pretty crappy but I really like our new home. Human beings are very adaptable creatures and moving out here has reinforced that thought. We adjust to what we’re dealt with and make the most out of it, turn any negatives into positives and do our best to live as comfortable life as possible. Home Sweet Home.

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