Our neighbours, J and K decided to declare the village of Nezichov an independent state (Anybody seen the old film "Passport to Pimlico"?). While not actually achieving successfully the art of gerrymandering, and an independent state, it has not stopped us wearing independent state tee shirts (bright orange with blue writing) and carrying home-made Nezichov state passports. I ordered a load of tee shirts for the bar to sell as souvenirs. I think they are all in Holland now.
We needed to elect a president soon. The current self- elected president wanted me to stand as president, without bothering to actually have an election. I blew it with the first line of my manifesto.” All cars must drive on the left’’ (Well, I still have my car from the UK). .
Another neighbour, L, decided he wanted English lessons and since I needed Czech lessons it seemed like a great idea. What could possibly go wrong?
L has been building his own house for the past 7 years and it was nowhere near completion, although he had finished building his wine cellar into the side of a hill in the garden. The whole area was a mass of trenches and piles of bricks. So, for the first lesson we “studied’’ for about 3 hours and finished a bottle or two of Slivovice. He tried to show me how to get out of his garden in the pitch dark, we failed miserably and fell into every trench he had dug. Not sure I was cut out to be an English teacher.
The next day, with the world’s worst hangover, I tried to register my car in this country. Although I had the original documents, I was told they looked like forgeries. To be fair, from memory, anyone with a John Bull printing kit could have made the UK DVLA documents and I was advised I had three options:
1. Burn it and claim on the insurance (Not sure if that was a joke).
2. Sell it for spare parts.
3. Take it back to the UK and sell it.
I opted for 3 and in the meantime went to an auto bazaar to buy another car and ended up driving home in a huge Opel Sintra with 8 seats.
I arrived home to a huge debate about the Czech Republic joining the EU and the impending referendum. About 100% of the locals planned to vote against it or just boycott the vote altogether and so I was not hopeful of a “Yes’’ vote by the country. More importantly, we had still not decided upon a name for the guest house and I overruled “Vadné Věže’’ (Fawlty Towers).
We seemed to have finished most of the work on the hotel and we moved into our apartment upstairs, leaving space to make a self-catering kitchen and dining area for visitors, and for guests with children. We needed to work on marketing and make a sign with a serious name.
While discussing this, the tap to the beer pump on the barrel snapped off and so the EU and “What on earth should we call the guest house?” debate came to an abrupt close.
We were also waiting for Mr S (as usual) to change a pipe on the heating system. It is was not urgent, but he was already over a week late and I was concerned that winter would arrive within 6 months.
Within a few days, I had two surprises. Mr S turned up and the Czechs voted to join the EU.
Chris is a UK expat from Formby near Liverpool, based permanently in the Czech Republic and married with two children. He is an independent financial adviser network Opes Fidelio- dealing predominately in pension transfer (fee based) advice and trusts for UK expats. He lives near Karlovy Vary out in the country - a town famous for its film festival and the filming of Casino Royale. For more please visit his blog at www.christopherlean.weebly.com/