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Czech Courses Students: #LockdownStories with Yuliya & Vitalii

April 25, 2021  

It was freezing cold when we were talking with Yuliya and Vitalii. I was covered in five layers of jackets, but those tough Siberian guys were just fine, warming me up with the best sense of black humour. What do they like about the Czech lifestyle and what would they change about Czech foreign police and public office services? As usual, it was super fun and I loved every second of this meeting.

Yuliya: My husband Vitalii and I come from Russia. We have been in Prague for two years. I work as a project manager, while my husband is a web developer. 

Vitalii: We came to Prague because of work. It was the only job offer that was out of Russia and not in Cypre. Czech people work in a much calmer way. The Russian and American style of work is more similar. We want to finish the task as soon as we can. Here in the Czech Republic, people I met at work were calmer and more patient. 

Yuliya: When we came in, we were surprised at how slow everything was. On the one side, it is nice. You can relax a bit. But what is also very slow are the services. If you want a guy from telecommunication to set up your internet, it takes ages.

Vitalii: Government services for foreigners are horrible. In Russia, it is not great either, but at least you can do everything from paying taxes to get any confirmation online. Here in Czechia, you need to go there physically or use post.

Yuliya: On the other hand, we really like nature here. We like the way people here treat nature and use it. They go out a lot and spend their free time in the forests or parks. Everybody is cycling. And I like how much time people spend with their children and dogs outside, how families are gathering to go out for a walk or a weekend trip. In Russia, families gather in shopping centres or in front of the TV. But we are not the only ones who noticed that. It is one of the main reasons why most of our friends from abroad moved here. 

Vitalii: In some Russian cities, we have this „regime of the black sky“. It is a name for an ecological situation when the factories drop out so much poison covering the city like a dark sky. And it is normal. The air in Prague is really good. Also, public transport is great in the Czech Republic. 

Yuliya: Before covid, we would go for a trip every weekend, either around the Czech Republic or Germany or Austria. This year has been totally different. Most of the time we are sitting at home in front of our computers, we are working and learning or chatting with people only through phone or PC. However, I feel people are more friendly and likely to connect over social networks. It is easier to find new friends. 

Vitalii: What is difficult is the fact that we can´t travel home.

Yuliya: And we don´t know when it will be possible again. That level of uncertainty is horrible.

Vitalii: But there are some good things about how covid changed our lives. Right now, there is plenty of vacancies for remote jobs in our field. Before, we were always going to the office. That is something that covid changed completely. Now it is also great that after covid, the rent prices of flats have dropped significantly. The streets are empty and without tourists.

Yuliya: We have finally time to study languages, see the physiotherapist or practise yoga. That is something we really like about the new quarantine life!  

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