Month: October 2014

dust happy

We have achieved a new state of being.  Perhaps ‘dust drunk’ would better describe this state and feeling, employing alliteration, and my addition of Jack to my coffee on this Halloween morning, and the sort of helpless silliness of making the best of our current state and seeing the potential of our future state.  But hey, mine is retired and in need of good stuff to do and this is new & exciting.

For weeks and weeks after moving here, there was no reason for me to exit bed before 8.  But since the scaffolding has been up, for a few weeks, my ass has been arising and welcoming the workers every morning to our front door at 07:00, with a hearty “doe-bree-den”, to which I usually get a couple “doe-bray’s” from the crews, which have been performing amazing restoration to our home’s exterior.  Every morning after being welcomed, the workers collect their simple instruments of artistry, which fit neatly into a twenty-five-litre (six-gallon-ish) bucket from just inside the basement door, and they feed the water hose and electrical extension cord out the front basement window, for their daily needs.  So the majority of the magic, to this point, has been occurring outside.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday, with the exterior smoothing mostly completed and that material needing a day to dry before it could be painted, we arranged for three electricians to visit to execute inside wiring in accordance with (1) replacement of the old aluminum wires which are prone to fail, and (2) our desired convenient locations for outlets and switches and lights.  Wiring here is performed by gouging out the walls to expose/create wall and ceiling trenches maybe 4 inches deep, in which to run wires from point A to B, then wires are run from A to B, and held in place in trenches temporarily by big angled nails then permanently secured in place with regularly-placed gobs of thick fast-curing goo.  After the goo hardens and the dust settles, the trenches are filled – first with a thick bed of coarse mortar, then with a smoothing mortar coat to blend into the surrounding surface and texture.

Anyway, within the daylight hours, these guys accomplished major stuff – running fresh copper wires to every outlet and switch and light fixture location we had specified.  The lead electrician had originally cautioned us that this work would create a lot of dust, so we should consider scheduling this work in stages, but we chose in true American mindset – screw that, let the pussies worry about dust, we’re making one big mess once.  And we spent much the rest of the daylight hours secured in our upstairs, Jana working remotely, managing US IT projects and me researching endless amounts of bullshit online, even surviving one one-hour planned power outage.

When we emerged from our isolation, we experienced many thoughts and emotions, trying to appreciate that we got what we had asked for whilst not being too overwhelmed by the light coating of whitish greyish powder, which delicately and thoroughly was applied to almost everything everywhere within our dwelling.  Sure, we were warned, not their fault, we got what we asked for – however neither of us, individually or as a couple, however, had first-hand experienced a valid benchmark.

For now the plan is that I will mortar the wire gouges.  Our contractor foreman visited this morning to check our status, and he kindly called for 4 bags of the major-fill mortar powder to be delivered – and after review of the tools I was about to employ, he fetched for me one square headed trowel and one sponged wooden float, and explained the intricacies of the task – so technically I got no excuses for not performing the work..

That is, except I first gotta get that 150-pound (70kg) apron-fronted 36-inch-wide double-basin bad boy squeezed into a 30-inch wide IKEA sink cabinet, because the dishwasher and stove will be delivered on Monday.

Here’s a couple pictures of the work in progress.  Taking them felt like documenting the crime scene.



status change

Yesterday, Thursday 9 October, we got up early, opened the front door at 07:00, gave the exterior restoration duet their hose and extension cord and a spare key, and we hurried to the bus station, to catch the 07:30 bus ($2 apiece) to Ceske Budejovice, which is not only the home of Budweiser beer but also home of the regional ‘foreigner police’.  From the main terminal, take either the number 3 or 11 local bus from across the street, in front of the train station ($1 apiece), to the IGGY shopping mall, and the foreigner police building is right next to the casino.  Kinda cool, on the local bus return ride, we were checked by a plain clothes fare-checker, since local buses like the subways & trams, operate more on an honor system where you as rider are responsible for having a valid ticket or permit – so the dude flipped his badge and we showed our tickets pretty invisibly to the rest of the riders.

Tho I was a couple (excusable) days late in submitting my request for extended residency in August after we arrived (who knew they’d be closed at 2 on Thursdays and all day Fridays?), the plain clothes foreigner police duet that visited our home several weeks ago did provide a favorable report of their findings of our living situation, resulting in the department’s approval of my request, and issuance of my own new personal passport-lookin document that I must now carry with me at all times.  Would be easier if they’d simplify this down to drivers license-like, but we happy, and I’m legal for 5 years, as opposed to the standard visitor 90 days limit.

According to their available classifications, my new status is Temporary Resident, but I refer to it instead as “Permanent Tourist”.  A permanent tourist always has his camera along, and takes (and retakes on another day) fotos of the beautiful and charming scenes which are part of daily life in this enchanted city…


Doesn’t matter how many times I walk thru the castle garden on the way to our wellness program garden, ya know, it is just so cool, I can’t help but stop and shoot a picture, to share with my working sweetie, or to compare to a previous foto.  Like these.


This week I tried a couple evening shots, on the way back from gardening work.  Not great but can’t help myself..

IMG_5292 IMG_5307


The sights here continue to amaze me…so it’s my pleasure to be a Permanent Tourist!