Our new home for the next three years is nestled between two forests, just a stone's throw away from the village of Nebušice (NE-bu-shi-tsay) in the Northwest corner of Prague. The road from the Airport is a narrow one, winding its way between stone walls, fields and tiny village communities. As we drove home from the airport, I asked our sponsor from the Embassy if this was the "back road" to our neighborhood of Malá Šárka (Malaa Shaarka). "Nope" he replied, "this is basically the road!" After a summer in the wide open spaces and "super-size" mentality of Oklahoma, the different sizes of things here in Prague is one of the first things that stands out to us.
When I first walked into our kitchen, for example, I had the odd feeling that something was missing. It soon hit me that I didn't see a refrigerator. After poking around a bit, I opened up what looked like a standard sized kitchen cabinet to discover the appliance I had been searching for - a tiny fridge and freezer (think dorm-sized mini-fridge) tucked behind a cabinet door. On our first shopping trip to a nearby grocer's, Erin bought the largest container of milk she could find for our growing tribe... a liter bottle (about 1 quart). Ditto the orange juice and packets of cheese, and lunchmeat (five slices). Fortunately, the Embassy staff, anticipating American-sized consumption, supplies each home with a standard American refrigerator in the garage... the fridge being about the size of your standard European car. Now we just have to find a wholesaler to fill it up!
Shopping in this part of the world seems to be much more of a daily routine - a stop by the local grocer after hopping off the bus on the way back from work. (Posting continued - click the link below to read on)
Our house is painted to match the pastel theme of the neighborhood (we decided it's "peach"), with an orange tiled roof typical of all the houses in the area. After three years in the desert, the community is positively verdant - filled with rosebushes, apple trees, and grape vines. I stepped outside this morning to be greeted by the sight of a light fog clinging to the forested hills just out our front door, and the scent of wet trees... lovely!
We have plenty of room spread over two floors - even a two car garage complete with an attic that doubles as "the bat cave" for our two experts of creative imagination. According to Jad, though, the best part of the house is the "stage" - the large bay window in the living room, complete with theatric curtains!
We're just a block from the International School of Prague, complete with tennis courts and playgrounds. Nebušice village is about 15 minutes away by foot (a couple minutes longer if four of the feet belong to Jad and Danna), and features a pub/restaurant, a grocery store, a church and a post office.
I'll be commuting into work on Tuesday for the first time in over two months - downtown Prague is reputed to be just a 30 minute ride away by a variety of public transport. Tuesday's also "D-Day" for Erin - the first day without Daddy and with three kids (and no maid or Mom to help out)... Yikes!