Friday, May 21, 2010

Yea! I'm Back in Prague

I'm glad to see this guy
is still going strong
in Prague's Old Town Square.
He produces endless smiles,
joy, and singing in those passing by.

I started this blog to move me forward to some very specific goals:

1) graduate youngest from high school.
2) sell my house.
3) move to Prague and take a TEFL class.
4) live in Prague teaching business English.

My youngest graduated from high school and is now in her junior year of college.  I moved to Prague, took my TEFL course and started to have the time of my life.  Six months into it, I had to go back to the States because my school waited 2.5 months before applying for my visa and it wasn't ever issued.  I tried to reapply for a visa from the States. I was told I was denied a second time (although I never actually received a letter saying so).

My daughters and I

I spent a very lovely 10 months in Madison, Wisconsin.  Madison is a city frequently chosen by magazines as the #1 most fabulous place to live in all of the United States.  I can heartily agree! Madison was a physically beautiful, intellectually-stimulating, healthy, wonderful place to live.  I may end up there some day, who knows. While I was back in the States, I finally got my house sold and watched my oldest daughter graduate from the University of Wisconsin (she did it in 3.5 years while working 20 hours a week and serving as president of one of her student organizations. Yea, Daughter #1! Somebody hire her please, she's amazing.).

But living in Madison was not what I wanted to do with this portion of my life here on Earth, so having accomplished all of the goals I set out to do, I'm ready to start Part II of Empty Nest Expat.  This part will be more spontaneous.  My goal is to write a very specific book about the Czech Republic.  I can visualize the entire thing in my mind.

I have come back to Prague to see if I can get a residence visa from the Czech Republic to live here while I write. I've applied for what is called the živnostenský list which is essentially a business trade license so that I can earn a living while I'm here writing. I am absolutely horrible at bureaucratic paperwork like visas and the like and am actually pretty proud just to have figured out (with the help of friends) how to do the živnostenský list without an agency's help. Having applied for this business trade license, and been approved, I will then have to move back out of the Czech Republic to apply for a residence visa (don't bother asking, I don't understand it either). Still with me, or have your eyes glazed over?  If they've glazed over, welcome to my world.

House of Týn Church

When I got back to Prague and first saw the spires of the House of Týn Church, I cried.  They were so damn beautiful!  And then I cried when I was on Revoluční, and realized I was going to have my first chlebičky in 10 months at my favorite kavárna (coffee shop). Oh, the joy of familiar Czech pleasures!

I hope I'm successful living here.  That's why I say Phase II of Empty Nest Expat may have to be more spontaneous.  I'm not yet ready to give up my Czech dream, but if I have to do so, I'll read up on how to develop Buddhist non-attachment to what I want and then find a country that welcomes me.


Dalighost said...

Fingers crossed!

Christopher said...

Good luck with your visa Karen!! said...

Hi Karen

I thought I'd better leave a comment as you are more faithful in doing so on my blog than I have been lately on yours!

Like both of the previous commenters, I do hope things work out well this time. Applying for a živnostenský list does seen to be the best way of being able to live & work here for anyone who is not an EU citizen. It does seem silly that, having done all your paperwork for your živnostenský list, you have to then apply from outside of the Schengen area for your residence visa. But an Australian couple I recently met followed this same pattern and have been successful so there is no reason why you shouldn't be as well.

MiGrant said...

Hang in there Karen! I was on a živnosťák most of my time in Prague. Can't say I enjoyed the annual ritual of standing in line to renew my residence permit, but it was all doable. Of course this was before the ČR joined the EU, so I'm sure things have changed. Still, I'm convinced that you've easily got enough determination and persistence to make it all happen.

If worse comes to worst, you can still stay three months a year visa-free.

Kim said...

It's always so great to go back to Madison. It's one of those cities that always welcomes you with open arms. I wish you the best of luck on your visa issues...I'm having my fair share of them over here in the UK (but ironically, due to the US gov't!). Thanks for the lovely post. Go Badgers!

Circuit Rider CZ said...

Good luck Karen! The bureaucracy here is awful but there's almost always a way through it.

Captain Oddsocks said...

Hang in there with the bureaucracy.

If it helps at all, I applied for my first ŽL in Vienna then got the train back to Olomouc that afternoon to wait until it was processed.

But that was way back before the Schengen 90 day thing came into force, so I'm not sure it would work out as well now?

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