A Summer in Czexile

Today’s the day odlétáme (we fly away)… 😀 we are leaving for NYC!


This is the end of my third year in CZ, and I have accomplished some major life goals! For one thing, I measure each year in terms of my Czech progress.

Last year, my goal was basically not to get tired after listening to Czech for more than 30 minutes and to be able to chat with one colleague at a time over lunch. CZECH! ✓✓✓

Here’s me both accomplishing and not accomplishing a major goal of learning how to ski.

Meanwhile this year, I started to be able to follow and contribute to a conversation with multiple people! Anyone who has learned language through immersion knows this is a huge step.

I have a lot to improve, but I’m really proud of myself.

Here’s me in Greece after realizing a couple in their 70s was fitter than I was at climbing this volcano. Aka NOT accomplishing life goals.


I also have “language phases”- my speaking abilities will improve for a time, then I’ll get mentally exhausted and deteriorate, then the skills will return after a few weeks. Moreover, when I return from vacation at the beginning of each school year, there is a two-week period when I forget I ever learned any Czech, then somehow the time away helps me to digest and I start the year refreshed and better than before.


After my Czech lessons ended a month ago, I thought I needed a break from Czech, but now I’m sad for this pause! While away, Ondra and I plan to speak Czech when we are not with others.

The first summer I returned to NY, I was desperate to say děkuji (thank you) wherever I went, and I felt weird and irritable that everyone around me spoke only English. And when I was in London last year, I found myself on a bus with Czech and Slovak speakers, and I listened to them hungrily although I had only been gone three days.

While abroad, sometimes eavesdropping with a smile is all I can do not to blurt out, “oh my God, you speak Czech? WOWTHAT’SSOCOOLISPEAKCZECHTOOLET’SSPEAKCZECHTOGETHER”

But I know that’s not going to make me many friends, so… I just smile and stare.

I have to distract myself somehow this summer from this. Hmm, I wonder how…

*rubs hands together* excellent, excellent… all the coffee that is waiting for me in my house in NY…


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