Friday, December 23, 2011
You come on-board and get moving the very moment at a nice steady pace. Without realizing, you are out of the city and zooming through the country (at a speed that you know will get you to your destination as soon as possible.) Then there is the gentle roll in the middle of mountains where the slow passing of scenery is better than any landscape painting and at a pace that compliments the peacefulness in life. (If it snows this is even more exaggerated.) This steady pace of life feels natural.
The sounds consist of gentle rumbling/humming/clanking of metals, a periodic bell off in a distance as we pass through some small station or another, the breathing of fellow passengers, an occasional horn of warning and silence (as if in a sacred place or the library.)
With a family it is ideal. You can relax, snack, play games, have quality time, and there is of course than human necessity, the restroom. This pace is one that suits me at this point in life.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
This morning was that time. I started romanticizing our last 'home' in the suburbs of Seattle. One starts missing the things that were there and are not so much here, (mostly the clean air.) But the reality is there are simultaneously 'good'/'bad' and really things just are without judgement.
Here is a list of unedited items that surround me presently:
Twin beds stacked next to one another to make a queen size bed that fits us all (2adults, 1child)
-morning and nighttime cuddles are readily available as is the accidental kicking throughout the night.
Keeping in touch with faraway friends, and trying to establish new relationships
-neighbor (somewhere in her 70's), currently one of my best friends in the CZ, finally someone to share a cup of tea!
History, history, history- it's within the exteriors of most buildings
-interiors however are quite the clash with the outer atmosphere. Modern era design fills the younger generation's homes.
Clean mountain air of Jesenik is just a few hours away from that of Olomouc, Zlin and other moravian cities where chimneys line the horizon.
Lard, beer, and dumplings make up more of my diet rather than my shakes of spinach, blueberries and bananas. (Thankfully the latter is still included!)
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I am slowly coming to the Czech conclusion that beer is somehow healthy for me. We now have it with almost every lunch, as it costs almost as much as water. (That's right, LUNCH not dinner, but somehow this is the new norm.) I now crave the bitter taste almost as much as chocolate! Yikes! I almost forgot the goulash. Soup is the appetizer of every lunch.
And the classic, Rizek or Schnitzel. Cooked in lard, a piece of pork or chicken, pounded to a centimeter, tastes fantastic with a few drops of lemon and baked potatoes. (Also can be eaten on it's own, warm or cold.)
One slight downfall however to the above dishes along with a couple of other staple Czech foods, is that this about wraps up the Czech cuisine. (I do not have an image of "Knedlo, Zelo, Vepro," or dumplings with cabbage and pork, another classic.) This is why we spent an arm and a leg on some Indian Food in Praha yesterday, a nice brake from this Eastern European cooking.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Jedi Bill, Ali's (pirate) grandpa, Will's father, has passed away Monday evening in the Philippines. When he asked how to say grandpa in Czech, Ali responded, "deda." "Cool, like Jedi!" he exclaimed and it has been Jedi ever since. It is unreal as he was only in his 60's, but somewhat anticipated. (His health was in a poor state.) A calm presence, he will be missed to a degree not yet realized.
Concurrently, (not to be emotionally insensative with the massive event of the past paragraph,) plumbing in our apartment is being worked on so that the toilet doesn't leak, the washing machine no longer backs up into the kitchen sink with a thick lining of garbage, the tub no longer backs up if the water pressure is too strong. On Thursday the first load of my grandmother's belongings goes to recycling and I've started carving the first of the 120 soaps.
We need to make another trip to Praha to meet with layers about our visas and find housing there within this month. (Have to request apostilles on all of our birth certificates.)
Parenting for now has gone out the window. Leapster and dad are the main source of teaching and entertainment Hopefully some structure will resume in Praha.
Missing 'HOME' and missing William Dale Swanda.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
This month she shifted from one side of the world to another, has spent a week in Boston, a week in Zlin, a week in-between Praha and Jesenik. She has gone between English and a little Czech (or just communicating through body language.) And she has survived 24/7 with her parents! That alone is a huge accomplishment! I’m very proud of her.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
When I told her I was naming my daughter after her, she responded with uncertainty. She had never liked her name, she admitted. In Czech “ka” at the end of the word makes it a diminutive and although it is a very sweet way to call a child, she went by Alena throughout her adult life. (I chose it particularly for the ka, for the sweetness of it as well as the pretty sound.)
She married Jaroslav Sustek around the age of twenty and bore two children. She changed her name as is common to Sustkova. “ova” at the end of a name means "in the clan of" or "in the possession of." I dropped the ova off of my name as soon as we immigrated as the ownership did not make sense to me.
Friday, November 4, 2011
-at 33 I have returned for a yearlong art sabbatical to the country of my birth but one I had not resided in since I was a child. (My mother was the same age when we emigrated from then communist Czechoslovakia in ’86.) It feels like a poignant return on many levels.
-the history is overwhelming both public and private- communist, early modern sculptures supporting heterosexual family and work values line public squares. I find personal postcards and scraps of my grandmother’s past throughout her one bedroom apartment which I reside in. I will be delving into this personal history and documenting my grandmother’s items. (I am reminded of Leslie’s work from the Hooligan class.)
-I am reconstructing a home both literally and figuratively. With our migration I have never had attributed home to a space, place or country. (I more or less carried the notions of ‘home’ within me.) And yet now returning, I am reminded of the first smells and tastes I had known and attributed to the only home I knew as a child, those of the Czech Republic.