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Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Old Apr 23rd 2014, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by Cihadlo View Post
Gail


I'm surprised that more Britains don't consider the CR as a place for relocation.
Language maybe and/or old cold war propaganda still lingering in the brain?
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Old Apr 27th 2014, 3:21 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by Cihadlo View Post
Gail

Yes, our spare house is a bit similar - it's in a location that has lots of recreational properties but is a bit big to be one itself. The garden is quite small though. You can't drive to it in winter either - not that it's a long walk from the parking spot.

The Czech teacher I had last year had a husband who was very keen on traditional Easter traditions. After beating her himself, he instructed his two young sons in the use of the pomlazka on their mother's bottom. They had two appartments above them where two unmarried women lived and so he went up there and thrashed them before driving off to his mother's home to administer the same treatment. Back home he had a beer and then slept off his morning's exertions until lunch-time.

My current teacher is male and he is also very keen. He explained to me yesterday how he had made the pomlazka according to a method his grandfather taught him. Apparently, far thicker and more effective than the weak things you can buy in the local Tesco.

I hope you enjoy Easter too!

Chris
Chris,

How long have you had your house for sale ? I remember you did say that you hadn´t had any interest last year so I assume that you´ve had it on the market for a year or so.We´ve dropped the price a bit then at lleast the house goes to the top of the property pages ! !

Did you have a nice Easter holiday ? Wow,what you said about the Czech guys still sticking with the "polazka" tradition,it´s all rather crazy.We have seen that in some towns and cities girls go around with polazky smacking boys instead ! !

The weather is now pretty good so cutting grass like crazy! !

Gail
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Old Apr 28th 2014, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by motyl View Post
The weather is now pretty good so cutting grass like crazy! !

Gail
Gail

Yes, we have the same issue. Lots of sunny days and evening storms to give a good watering - perfect growing conditions. How much grass do you have? We've got over 4000 square metres of it. About 1500 square metres I consider to be a meadow and only cut three or four times a years with a sort of agricultural cutter. Still, we are left with a lot of grass to cut weekly at the moment.

Last year we looked at garden tractors and had a demonstration but concluded that much of our land is too steep for these to operate safely. There are machines that could handle the terrain but they cost as much as a good car! So, I'm left with pushing a self-propelled mower around - it mulches very nicely and so at least we don't have to bother with where to put tonnes of rotting clippings.

What's the tick situation like in your locality? It's the worst I've seen it. Must be the mild winter. The dogs are getting them all the time even though they are treated.

Chris
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Old May 3rd 2014, 11:15 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by Cihadlo View Post
Gail

Yes, we have the same issue. Lots of sunny days and evening storms to give a good watering - perfect growing conditions. How much grass do you have? We've got over 4000 square metres of it. About 1500 square metres I consider to be a meadow and only cut three or four times a years with a sort of agricultural cutter. Still, we are left with a lot of grass to cut weekly at the moment.

Last year we looked at garden tractors and had a demonstration but concluded that much of our land is too steep for these to operate safely. There are machines that could handle the terrain but they cost as much as a good car! So, I'm left with pushing a self-propelled mower around - it mulches very nicely and so at least we don't have to bother with where to put tonnes of rotting clippings.

What's the tick situation like in your locality? It's the worst I've seen it. Must be the mild winter. The dogs are getting them all the time even though they are treated.

Chris
Chris,

We´ve got about 12,500 square metres ,most of which is grass /meadow.Since we´ve loved here we´ve planted over 1,ooo trees ,mostly fir trees of varying sorts plus silverbirches and fruit trees.We now actually have a small wood, where deer live which is great as we love animals. Of course where the trees have grown the grass doesn´t but we still have alot to cut .In the part we call "our garden" ,(though still quite a sizeable area) I cut the grass with my petrol mower,it has only one gear ,which is enough and I either cut with the grass box if the grass isn´t too wet or too long otherwise I also use the mulcher on the grass cutter and if need be we rake where needed.

If the farmer is cutting the fiels next to us we pay him to cut our top meadow.As you said the price of a decent garden tractor is crazy.

As to ticks, we also have them (as we do every year) but they don´t seem to be in greater numbers than usual.Though the collars our dogs are wearing against ticks and fleas, (produced by Bayer),which worked well as a complete barrier last year, haven´t been quite so effective this year as both dogs have had the odd one or two which we´ve of course removed.

Maybe you will get some luck with selling your house now Spring is here ?We also hope we get lucky !!

Gail.
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Old May 5th 2014, 5:29 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Gail

12,500 square metres sounds like a full-time land-management job to me! Our 6000 and a bit takes up a lot of time as it is. Woodland management is something we need to begin to take seriously; I did hack about with some of the peach and apple trees in early and they seemed to have recovered from the ordeal.

The previous owners were obviously keen gardeners but the chap died and it eventually got too much for a lady in her 80’s to handle. Her daughter found her an apartment in Prague and so we inherited the house and a garden that had lacked proper care and attention for several years, although it was by no means a complete mess. For us it’s been a bit like conducting garden-archaeology. Here we found a path completely hidden by grass, there we excavated an over-grown herb garden and then we discovered that the only really flat area on all our land had been a croquet lawn! I don’t imagine that there were many croquet lawns in the old Czechoslovakia but we found all the equipment in a cupboard in one of the garden houses. The croquet lawn won’t be resurrected as we’ve already built an enclosure for our outdoor dog there.

We did get a tick-collar for our indoor dog, a Jack Russell, but when we read the instructions there were dire warnings about the collar being very poisonous to cats – indeed, just contact with a dog who had been wearing the collar was said to be dangerous. Well, we have five cats, and one of them often sleeps with the Jack Russell, so we had to stick with Frontline. The tick situation seems to have diminished a bit recently.

About wilder animals, we have deer but also wild pigs. The pigs are a menace and many of our neighbours’ gardens got trashed during a big raid in the winter. Fortunately, the previous owners of our house invested what must have been a very considerable sum in building a very good fence; I don’t think we could ever afford to replace it and so we are looking after it very carefully! We can see deer strolling beyond the fence as none of the parcels of land outside ours are developed or likely to be.

Chris
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Old May 17th 2014, 2:24 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by Cihadlo View Post
Gail

12,500 square metres sounds like a full-time land-management job to me! Our 6000 and a bit takes up a lot of time as it is. Woodland management is something we need to begin to take seriously; I did hack about with some of the peach and apple trees in early and they seemed to have recovered from the ordeal.

The previous owners were obviously keen gardeners but the chap died and it eventually got too much for a lady in her 80’s to handle. Her daughter found her an apartment in Prague and so we inherited the house and a garden that had lacked proper care and attention for several years, although it was by no means a complete mess. For us it’s been a bit like conducting garden-archaeology. Here we found a path completely hidden by grass, there we excavated an over-grown herb garden and then we discovered that the only really flat area on all our land had been a croquet lawn! I don’t imagine that there were many croquet lawns in the old Czechoslovakia but we found all the equipment in a cupboard in one of the garden houses. The croquet lawn won’t be resurrected as we’ve already built an enclosure for our outdoor dog there.

We did get a tick-collar for our indoor dog, a Jack Russell, but when we read the instructions there were dire warnings about the collar being very poisonous to cats – indeed, just contact with a dog who had been wearing the collar was said to be dangerous. Well, we have five cats, and one of them often sleeps with the Jack Russell, so we had to stick with Frontline. The tick situation seems to have diminished a bit recently.

About wilder animals, we have deer but also wild pigs. The pigs are a menace and many of our neighbours’ gardens got trashed during a big raid in the winter. Fortunately, the previous owners of our house invested what must have been a very considerable sum in building a very good fence; I don’t think we could ever afford to replace it and so we are looking after it very carefully! We can see deer strolling beyond the fence as none of the parcels of land outside ours are developed or likely to be.

Chris
Chris,

I must say that if you have time to plant trees they really do a good job .They not only look nice but they of course stop the grass growing under them.Your garden sounds totally amazing with the things you found as you started to work on your garden.It´s really great just what can be found in gardens after so many years ! ! !

I´ve just had to buy Frontline spray as the collars for the dogs really don´t seem to be working so well this year. or the ticks have become immune !!!
I also heard that certain flea and tick sprays are deadly for cats.
We do have wild pigs around us but I don´t think they are in great numbers,unfortunately there are still "hunters" in the villages around us who do very great damage shooting animals and I really despise the idiots,but they´re all getting old so will hopefully all die off soon ! ! !

Are you still only speaking Czech when you have your lessons ? ? as I remember you said that your new teacher didn´t speak any English to you.

Gail.
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Old May 24th 2014, 5:59 am
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by motyl View Post
Are you still only speaking Czech when you have your lessons ? ? as I remember you said that your new teacher didn´t speak any English to you.

Gail.

Gail

I have three one hour lessons a week. With one teacher I just speak Czech and with the other I do the grammar and theory too. With a little time to prepare any specialist vocabulary, I can talk about nearly anything. My big problem is with understanding what is said to me. For me, forming the verb-tenses, genders and cases is fairly straight-forward but decoding them is a completely different matter.

However, away from lessons, I don't get many regular opportunities to practice apart from in restaurants and pubs. Some situations I role-play with my teachers and have put them in to practice such as ordering a taxi, getting a repeat prescription, at the post office etc etc. Some of my most extended conversations with strangers have been whilst walking the dog! At home we speak English. I work for an international employer and the working language is English. I need to work out a way to take my Czech to the next level. Was there anything that helped you improve?

Chris
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Old Jun 1st 2014, 3:46 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by Cihadlo View Post
Gail

I have three one hour lessons a week. With one teacher I just speak Czech and with the other I do the grammar and theory too. With a little time to prepare any specialist vocabulary, I can talk about nearly anything. My big problem is with understanding what is said to me. For me, forming the verb-tenses, genders and cases is fairly straight-forward but decoding them is a completely different matter.

However, away from lessons, I don't get many regular opportunities to practice apart from in restaurants and pubs. Some situations I role-play with my teachers and have put them in to practice such as ordering a taxi, getting a repeat prescription, at the post office etc etc. Some of my most extended conversations with strangers have been whilst walking the dog! At home we speak English. I work for an international employer and the working language is English. I need to work out a way to take my Czech to the next level. Was there anything that helped you improve?

Chris
Chris,

I must say it´s great that you have so many lessons in one week and also speak only Czech with one teacher,therefore you´re able to practice using the language as you learn,so to speak.I would have liked to have had lessons when we first came here but it wasn´t possible at that time.Therefore, I´ve learnt the language in quite a "disorganized" way .When my daughters were young I read Czech childrens books to them and when they started school I tried to keep up with how they learnt Czech in school but later their pace of learning was to quick for me.My husband used to speak to me more in English as (sorry to say,) being a man, he wasn´t always patient to wait for me to try and make a Czech sentence so he used to say "speak English" quite regularly.However ,I have kept practicing and asking how to say" this or that" over the years and can get by and understand fairly well.We tend to speak " Czenglish" (as we call it) when we are all together and because my girls like to practice their English they often speak to me in English and I answer in Czech.Sounds weird but it works for me.Otherwise I must speak Czech wherever I go so therefore I´ve come to understand quite well.It´s diificult for you as you use English with your job ,speak English at home as I suppose your partner speaks better English than you speak Czech,(that was the case with me.I actually taught my husband English as we never thought we would come to the ČR to live ! ! )

I can only suggest that at every opportunity you get try and have conversations in Czech and you really will improve,you may not think it but Czech people who know you will tell you.

Gail.
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Old Jun 8th 2014, 8:33 am
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by motyl View Post
My husband used to speak to me more in English as (sorry to say,) being a man, he wasn´t always patient to wait for me to try and make a Czech sentence so he used to say "speak English" quite regularly.

Gail,

I can assure you that lack of patience in this regard is not a uniquely male preserve! I have exactly the same issue.

Well, I think we have the first real summer weekend. At least the hot dry weather has slowed the grass-growth down.

We have some time off this week and so we are planning to visit the zamek at Veltrusy and Prague. I've been surprised to find that several of the local zamky have their grounds modelled as English landscape parks. The influence of Capability Brown (and others) evidently spread far from the shores of Britain. Maybe, at Veltrusy we will pick up some ideas for our own park but a Greek temple might be a bit beyond our means! If you don't know anything about this approach to the landscape, try a Google image search for the Stowe estate for the most highly developed example of this, although I think I prefer the simpler example at Stourhead.

Chris
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Old Jun 17th 2014, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Chris,
Pleased to hear I´m not the only one who experiences a lack of patience with the language situation at times.

Hope you enjoyed your visit at the zámek at Veltrusy.There are so many lovely zámky and hrady to visit in the ČR and the English influence in the landscaping of parks occurs very often.Did you pick up any ideas ? ? Greek temple aside.

It looks like we´ve sold our house now it´s between the solicitors with the paper work ! ! As you may well have found out,the ČR can sometimes be like a "modern klondike".Everywhere in the ČR the seller pays the estate agent but in Brno the buyer pays ! ! ! so although we´re selling with an agent called Sting,if we bought a place through them in Brno we would have to pay again .What a system ! ! However there are a few agents that don´t charge the buyer so we will try and buy something through them or drop the price to cover the agents fees.Have you had any luck selling your house?

Gail.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by motyl View Post
It looks like we´ve sold our house now it´s between the solicitors with the paper work ! ! As you may well have found out,the ČR can sometimes be like a "modern klondike".Everywhere in the ČR the seller pays the estate agent but in Brno the buyer pays ! ! !

Gail,

Congratualtions on finding a buyer for your house! Here the seller pays the agents fees. The rules have changed about the tax though – the buyer has to pay it now like in the UK. Have you found anywhere that you are interested in in Brno?

We’ve had absolutely zero interest in our old house. We need to reduce the price considerably to reflect the market and the changed arrangement with the sales tax. We really could do with getting rid of it as it’s a worry and it’s a pain to keep running up there to cut the grass and check it’s OK. Here’s a link:

Prodej, rodinný dům, 119 m2, Krupka - Horní Krupka | M&M reality

The price is going to be only 1.2 million CZK soon. Can you see anything obvious in the advert to put buyers off?

Last Wednesday was very hot and so we didn’t go to Veltrusy. Instead we went to the Sir Nicholas Winton exhibition in the Kampa park in Prague, which was interesting and very well done. Afterwards we did some ex-pat things like going to a fish and chip restaurant for lunch and Marks and Spencers. It was about 37 degrees in the centre of Prague and so it was a bit of a relief to get home.


Chris
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 7:57 am
  #42  
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by Cihadlo View Post
The rules have changed about the tax though – the buyer has to pay it now like in the UK.
PS

Gail

Sorry, I got that wrong. We had the agent visit us on Friday and he told us that the change is only a proposal and hasn't been implemented yet.

Chris
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Old Jun 30th 2014, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Chris,

Your "expat" visits to M&S and a fish and chip restaurant sounded good. I must say we had some really hot weather at that time too.Now it´s gone really cool and it´s raining ! ! !

We had a look at your house in Krupka.It looks very tastefully reconstructed.You could actually ask more for it but if your´re happy with the price you are asking now you really shouldn´t drop any lower.I don´t know what price the agent suggested to you but they can very often suggest a ridiculously low price ,just because they want to get a sale ! ! ! (We have met this type of agent and therefore didn´t go with them) Our view is ,start at 1.8 million and don´t drop lower that 1.5 million (as of course there is the agent fee plus DPH to pay plus state tax.)Do you have to stay with M&M ? (have you got a set term agreement ?) or can you change agents ? If "yes" then that could also be help for you.I must say that you may have to wait,before you get a buyer but if you´re not in any great rush it´s well worth waiting to get a decent price as you really do have a nice place .

Gail.
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Old Jul 6th 2014, 9:12 am
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Originally Posted by motyl View Post
I don´t know what price the agent suggested to you but they can very often suggest a ridiculously low price ,just because they want to get a sale ! ! !
Gail

Thanks for taking a look.

We know the agent quite well as he's already sold one house for us and we bought our current house from him. The previous owner of this house refused to allow any other agent to handle it and so I think he's one of the better ones. We've had the house at 1.8M for over a year and had zero interest......and I mean ZERO!!! I'm begining to get worried that, if we don't sell it soon, then one of these days we'll have to pay for a major repair, the cost of which will make holding out for a higher price look a bit stupid. Anyway, having lowered the price, we got 3 enquiries the same day, which was 3 more than in the previous 18 months!

You'll be begining to get packed up I expect. I bet that will take ages if you've lived there for so long. I imagine that house prices in Brno will be quite stiff compared with where you are currently. I think you said you wanted a semi-rural location, which doesn't seem very popular with Czechs who seem to prefer the comfort and convenience of towns and cities.

Chris
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Old Jul 9th 2014, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Any Expats in The Czech Republic ?

Chris,

It´s great that you know the agent and I can well see your point of view with wanting to sell it before you need to do a major repair.At least with lowering your price you have had 3 enquiries.Good luck and hope you sell it soon.

Though we´ve completed all the necessary paper work we will get a down payment in order for us to be able to put down a deposit when we see a suitable house ( and for us to be able to move out quicker) hopefully that will be next week.As you rightly said,the prices are stiff to say the least the nearer you go to Brno but we want something up to 30kms from Brno.Our eldest daughter has already been studying in Brno for the last 2 years and she has many friends who travel 30kms easily every day but of course we have to choose a place with a good train and or bus route.We are "house-hunting" on the comp as ,to try and save time we would like to try and have a few places lined up to see .As for packing we actually won´t be taking so much stuff with us as we reconstructed our old statek partly for our living and then for tourists, so we agreed to leave all the furniture ,bedding and kitchen equipment for the 2 rooms and appartment as our buyers want to continue with tourism.

Gail.
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