front(Vsetín, Zlinsky Kraj, Česká republika) —- It’s raining, no it’s snowing, no it’s raining. It’s freezing and it’s balmy. Everyday brings new dashed forecasts in the weather here in southern part of the Czech Republic. Will it be a long-underwear-plus-IRA-style-ski-mask-type-of-day or should I just wear a freakin’ jacket? These fashion decisions take time in the morning. I have to coordinate my ensemble just right to walk to school because people stare at me, even the toddlers if I am dressed for the wrong type of weather (well to be truthful, they stare at me anyway). I am dying to wear my Giants baseball cap but it’s still too cold yet and until such time when it’s warmer I’ll continue to wear my 49er snow hat because I like the way it covers my ears. (I hate cold ears!). I can sympathize with my friends back in California having to face possible water rationing because of the drought. I haven’t forgotten. Pray for rain and snow. Here, not so much. The Bečva river was almost frozen over last week, now there are only pockets of ice. It still looks cold. Every once in a while we see this thing called the sun, but it usually doesn’t last for long then back to the clouds. The Czech word for January is “leden” which means “ice” or “moon ice” or “moon wolf” which I interpret as cold. There is a saying which says “Když není konec ledna studený, únor to dvakrát nahradí” roughly translated means “When it is not cold at the end of January, February will replace it twice.” So I’m guessing that maybe February will be the heavy snow/cold month. So at this writing, I just don’t know.

So with that out of the way, I thought I would take you on a little tour of my flat and neighborhood to show you how I live in Vestín. I know you have been dying to get the TMZ treatment of my place. So here it is. I live in an apartment complex made up of several buildings with the same address. It looks as if it has been renovated at one time, but some of the old Soviet goodies still remain. I like where I live. (see above picture) It is centrally located within about a two minute walk to the bus and train stations. The town square is two blocks away and school is about a ten minute walk on a good day. There are two big supermarkets right next to each other across the way from school, so between classes I can hop over and buy what I need to buy for dinner if I don’t get it on my “shopping day” which is Saturday. The chief of police lives right across the street so if I get mugged I can crawl over and ring his bell if I can reach it.

Here is the entrance to the building with the elevator shaft in the middle of the stairwell. You have to walkelevator downstairs to take the elevator upstairs. If you are handicapped you are out of luck, bucko. The elevator does not stop on my floor which technically is the first floor.





Below is my bedroom where I sleep and work on my classes. It has a glassed in porch so I can hang my laundry out to dry (or freeze) depending on the weather (see above for the weather thing). Also, the view of the courtyard in back of my building.









Here is the living room showing the glassed in porch in the front plus the view I have of the house and apartments across the street. The chief of police lives on the top floor of the house. I have met the owner who lives on the first floor and she is delightful.




And finally the kitchen with the sink stuff and the table…nice and comfortable…and warm.


So there you are…consider yourself informed. I am well and I am content. Although I still would have like to have had the 49ers in the Super Bowl today. But…that’s life I suppose. Now, go make some nachos and watch the game!

and so it goes..