It’s Hrad to Say… Life in Hradec Kralove


Needless to say, I was glad when training in Prague was finally over. I was so tired of living in a twelve person dorm room out of my suitcase. At least I had a bottom bunk, thank goodness!

After spending a nice Wednesday night out on the town with the few peeps remaining at the hostel, I embarked with my fellow teacher (who I shall not name… you will find out later) to our city called Hradec Kralove. Let me say that again. Hradec Kralove. Ok, you still probably haven’t got it. I have been living here for almost two months now, and I still have trouble pronouncing it. Let me try to etymologically spell it out:
Ah, that still isn’t doing it. Just click here to hear it. For my simplistic American ears/tongue, it is super difficult.
Anyway, now I’ll describe it. Hradec Kralove is a nice little town. It actually has two universities – the University of Hradec Kralove and a branch campus of Charles University in Prague. Therefore, I guess you could call it a student town. Though it definitely has enough life of its own outside the students – in fact, I wasn’t even aware it was a student town for some time… if you aren’t on the university campus, you hardly see any students!
The town center.

For me, it is a perfect place. It’s not as big or glamorous as Prague, but there are plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and for some reason, malls. This town has three malls (and there may even be more I haven’t found yet). CRAZY! But cool. The stores in the malls are pretty expensive, but they also hold some awesome gems, like the movie theater, or the BUBBLE TEA kiosk!

That’s right. Hradec Kralove has BUBBLE TEA. It is instantly better than your puny village.
Well, we were late arriving to town, because my fellow teacher was running late and caused us to miss the bus. At the time, I totally didn’t care, but I have since come to learn that this sort of thing was his typical behavior (I know what you’re thinking. “She used past tense there. Has she killed him? Does he not exist anymore.” The answer is no. You will see what I am talking about…later). Anyway, that meant that by the time we got there, our ride was nowhere in sight. Luckily, we eventually met up, but what a great way to spend your first few minutes in town, frantically wondering where you are and if anyone will ever find you.
River Elbe or something like that...
The river by night!


Finally though, we met up with one of our directors, who then took us straight to the apartment. Heh, apartment. That makes it seem like a nice, commodious place, when in fact it’s a school.
Yes, that’s right. I live in a school. A pedophile’s fantasy…
Ok, it’s not as if I’m sleeping on a pull-out bed in the middle of a classroom. It’s a small apartment in the back of the school (probably it was a couple of classrooms or a teacher’s lounge at one point and they just converted it to an apartment). But the real problem with it, is that it is only one bedroom, when in fact there are two of us.
Cue the drama. I’m living with a 28 year old Australian dude. Not exactly an ideal situation, but at this point I am open-minded. It turns out they have put a bed in the living room for him. The problem is that I must walk through the living room every time I want to enter or exit my room. Major suck.
Another problem. When I look in the room, I see a bed and a table and a chair. That is all. There is no other furniture – no dresser, no wardrobe, no desk, etc. Maybe I am expecting too much, but when we were promised a furnished apartment, I figured that meant I wouldn’t have to live out of a suitcase eternally.
So instead of unpacking like I dreamed, I simply had to keep living out of the suitcase. What else could I do?   Our directors promised that we would get furniture in a few days, that the school has just been arranging it and will have it delivered by the end of the week. Yup. About two weeks later, we finally got a wardrobe – as in ONE wardrobe. I think that they actually intended for us to share it. A 28 year old Australian dude and an American girl. Yeah, that was NOT going to happen. I put it in my room, since I have more clothes. I feel really bad though, because my roommate STILL does not have a wardrobe – nearly two months after we have moved in. It is quite ridiculous, and I am definitely considering moving to a place WITH FURNITURE and to a place that actually gives a crap about its tenants.
In addition, the school was also supposed to provide a movable wall to separate my roommate’s room from the rest of the living room and give him a little privacy. Maybe 3 weeks after we moved in, they finally brought us one piece of the wall! It was a glorious thing, and I regained some hope that maybe the situation wasn’t as bleak as I thought. NOPE! That was the only part of the wall they ever brought us. So now, there is one tiny wall just sitting in the middle of the living room that still doesn’t give my roommate any privacy. And now, instead of having a clear path to the door as I did before, I have to meander around the protruding corners every time I want to leave my space.
I know, I know, first world problems, etc. But come on, really. I have seen the apartments of the other teachers. No one else is living like this. And the fact that they just thought they could cram us in here without even considering the repercussions just blows my mind. We are not in college. We are fully-fledged adults. We should not be living in dorm-style accommodation, IN A SCHOOL.
Kindergarten School
Not only a school. A Kindergarten.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact that every morning at 5:30 I can hear teachers talking super loudly through the walls. Or that every morning at 7:00 I can hear students thundering around above my head. I seriously don’t understand what they do – it sounds like they are constantly running about and moving their chairs and desks back and forth. Do they even have class, or is it just a lesson about moving furniture every day?

Oh, and there’s the fact that the hot water keeps breaking EVERY DAY. The maintenance guy is here everyday to fix it… don’t know why it’s so hard.
As you can see, this is another blunder. I’m not sure whether to blame Wattsenglish, the school I am living in, my roommate, or just Czech Republic in general. I honestly think it is a little of everyone’s fault. I’m not going to lie – one of the reasons I took this job was because I was promised a single apartment. That might seem shallow, but I really wanted to live alone and start my life. I really did not want to be crammed into a one bedroom apartment with a strange man.
This is turning into a rant now, rather than a coherent blog post. I have a better use for my words today, like finishing my NaNoWriMo word count.

Kristy Snyder

I'm a creative and quirky woman just looking to make her mark on the world. Writer, thinker, crafter, doer. Loves playing ice hockey and curling up with a good book. Traveling is a foremost passion and the road is always calling. Above all, I try to be an enjoyer of life.

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