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my lifestory

I was born in Prague where I worked the potato fields until I was almost 19 years old. Then I moved to the US where I live now. The End.

Just kidding! Let me be a little more specific about my life. The trouble with me is that I have both sides of my brain working so that means that I have always liked math as well as drawing (see some of my doodlings here) and music. So, when someone would ask me:”What do you want to be when you grow up?” I wouldn’t know what to say! Well, first I wanted to be – as the 98% of all the other girls – an actress. I did try out for the University of Acting in Prague but didn’t make it to the last round. So, after some soul searching, I decided to try out for the University of Business. After all, my mother always wanted me to be a diplomat (!!), so why not? As I was waiting for the exam results my father’s American friend (let’s call him Mac) came to visit us. The summer before Mac’s visit I worked as an Au pair in England to improve my English skills for the upcoming high school final exams (I guess here the equivalent of that would be the SATs). Because of this nannying experience I was able to communicate with Mac very well. One day all of us were went for a walk around town and Mac made me an offer. He said if I tried out for a scholarship at their local college I could live with his family for free. The thought of me going to AMERICA was just insane! First of all, my dream was to go to Italy (!) and second, America was so far! But I did apply for the scholarship and low-and-behold – I got it! By that time I also found out I was accepted to the University of Business as well.What to do?? After some time of thinking everything over I decided I would go to the US just for a year – to master my English skills.

Right before I left I had a couple of “star” moments: I was a one-day tour guide to a famous European DJ Paul Van Dyk when he performed in Prague and played a part in a Japanese TV show!! The tour guide experience was a success but the Japanese show totally flopped. But since it was shot in Prague I got to fly back home for couple of weeks for free. Anyhow, once I started school in the US – guess what – I began to like it here and stayed for 2 more years until my scholarship was over, transfered to a local University and – after changing my degree about 5 times – I finally graduated with a degree in Biology. During these school years I had also met my wonderful husband in one of my GE classes, married him and now we have a beautiful baby girl ! Simply a fairytale come true…even Popelka* would be jealous!

Although I love America I am proud of my Czech heritage (as well as my Slovak heritage since my grandpa was Slovak) and do miss the Czech culture. That is why ever since the beginning of my stay in the US I would always try to find some Czechs or Slovaks in my neighborhood. The International Club at my school seemed to have all nationalities but Czech. After months of searching I finally sniffed out this local Czech guitarist player who told me that him and other local Czechs met once a month and that I should come. I became really excited and when the time came I headed for the Czech meet up. When I got to the restaurant I looked around but didn’t see any Czech-looking group. The only gathering I saw was this table with a bunch of old and grumpy-looking guys who were sitting in a complete silence, each staring at the big jug of bear sitting in front of them. I thought to myself: “that couldn’t be the Czech group I am looking for!”. So I asked the hostess and she, indeed, pointed to that particular table. Without giving it another thought, I then proceeded to turn around and drove back home. That was my first “Czech community” experience. Throughout the years I met some other Czechs/Slovaks but they would either have the “everything-sucks” attitude (which would make me feel depressed) or they were just visiting and went back home after a while. I also tried to look for some Czech info on the internet. Most of the Czech-American websites I found were just….let us say…unsatisfying. Even the “Current Events” page listed at the Embassy of the Czech Republic website were 2 years old for Heaven’s Sake!

This whole bitter-sweet journey of trying to connect with other fellow Czechs made me wonder: ” There must be an easier way for us to find each other”. That is how I started to think toward the Czechmate diary direction. I just didn’t know where to start. I knew I wanted to write a series of short stories someday that would describe some of the things I had to face while getting used to a completely new culture. One day my husband suggested that I start a blog about all this. And I said: “What’s a blog?” After a few months of frustrating as well as rewarding experiences of finding out what blogging was all about I finally arrived: I created my own blog where the content is exactly what I have been looking for all these years! And it works out great because it allows me not only to connect with other Czechs and Slovaks in the US (and abroad), but it also motivates me to research things from Czech culture and history that I have always been interested in. That is how I stay in touch with my Czech heritage and it makes me feel fulfilled. The satisfaction also comes from the fact that lot of my viewers are also 2nd and 3rd generation Czechs living abroad who do not speak the actual Czech language anymore (fluently anyway) but are very interested in Czech culture. These people want to connect with the Czech culture as much as the “regular” Czechs and Czechmate diary allows them to do that.

* Popelka = Czech-style Cinderella

If you liked this post buy me a coffee! (Suggested:$3 a latte $8 for a pound) Thanks!

69 comments… add one
  • pavlina February 12, 2008, 5:48 am

    You have a great sense of humor. Your story somewhat reminded me of my experience here (certain changes applied). Have you ever thought of being a freelace writer? Or are you?
    Take care, thanks for the uplifting! Pavlina

  • Tanja February 12, 2008, 4:23 pm

    Diky Pavlino/ Thanks Pavlina!
    No, I am not an official writer only the “closet” writer:)
    If you think about it, there are so many stories for us to write so that our children and grandchildren will be able to know what crazy stuff went through..

  • Denis March 14, 2008, 9:38 pm

    Chtel bych vytknout jednu vec a to ze bys tady mohla mit moznost prepnuti do ceskeho jazyka.
    Normalne nekritizuju,ale since it’s create by czech for czech,it would be nadherne =).
    Jinak v poho prijemny design a celkove prehlednost.Jsem na strankach ani ne 5 minut takze,kazdopadne prvni dojem byl prijemny.
    Tak teda zatim a pokud tady mas neco jako sign up tak si Me muzes zaregistrovat pokud chces.Cau.Denis,Atlanta.

  • Tanja March 14, 2008, 10:55 pm

    Ahoj Denisi,

    dik za koment. Jestli jsi se mel cas podivat trosku kolem, tak jsi asi videl, ze se dvojjazycne psat snazim, ale to vis, nekdy na to nemam cas. Taky se s tou mou cestinou necitim az tak sebevedoma, par zadrhelu uz v ni mam….
    Co bys mel radsi, kdyz pisu clanky v cestine a anglictine,ale take s par chybama, anebo jen v anglictine? S tim porad debatuji…Parkrat uz jsem od Cechu taky dostala vynadano, a to kvuli vyjmenovanym slovum…:(
    Jinak blog navstevuje take hodne Cecho-Americanu, kteri uz cesky neumi…

    PS: prelozila jsem do cestiny muj “about”; mas pravdu, melo by to tam byt dvojjazycne – je to dulezity post.

  • Zuzana April 11, 2008, 7:17 pm

    I found your site when searching the net at work. Go figure it was a post about instructions of how to make Koprovou Omacku ! I can not wait to go home and make it. I am quite sure my fiancé will take some convincing to eat it. hahaha. Hope you heave a great weekend.
    With love from Florida!

  • Tanja April 11, 2008, 8:16 pm

    Ahoj Zuzko!

    Good luck with the Koprova omacka! I am about to introduce my husband to the art of Ovocne knedliky (stuffed fruit dumplings) so that should be interesting as well….

  • Zuzana April 11, 2008, 8:58 pm

    I hope it works out well. I have never quite worked up the courage to make those but remember as a kid begging my grandmother to make them stuffed with peaches..ummm yum ! little powdered sugar and some melted butter. My all time favorite though are Bramborove sisky z makem ! Ummm Ty jsou super ( a ty taky neumim ) !!!

  • Lubomir April 16, 2008, 9:39 pm

    When are you looking for a Czech recipe, type it in Czech to Google.
    It will come up in several versions.

    Monoho uspechu s varenim!


  • Arturo May 29, 2008, 5:49 pm

    Hi, as the things that happen because happen, I was looking for some radio of iceland and suddenly I finished in this blog. I am not czech but your history country and people seem of the most interesting. I live and are from México city and will be delighted to be a czech people´s friend -at least in your blog- hasta pronto

  • Tanja May 29, 2008, 8:50 pm

    Hi Arturo,

    thanks for your comment and say hi to all of the other “czechmates” in the Mexico city!

  • Pavlina S. November 24, 2008, 11:19 pm

    Cauky Tano!
    Moc pekne stranky. Zrovinka serfuji stranky, protoze se snazim koupit letenky pro me rodice. Mam pobobne story, priletela jsem na Floridu v roce 2000 a zacala jsem od sklepeni az do vyssich pater. Neumela jsem Anglicky a tak jsem zacala s housekeepingem. Jsem tu osm let a dodelala jsem si vysokou a delam v bance…moc hezke, ze jsem si mohla precist tvoje story… Dekuji

  • Tanja November 24, 2008, 11:50 pm

    Ahoj Pavlino!

    Tak koukam, ze jsi taky prozila ten “American dream”,co?? Neni to super? Jak jsou ty ceskky holky sikovny….

    Mej se moc pekne!

    PS: mrkla jsem se na ty tvy fotky a moc vam to s manzelem slusi.

  • Zora January 29, 2009, 7:52 pm

    Hi Tanja,
    thank you so much for this blog. I don’t even know how I found it but I’m glad I did. When I read your story I spontaneously smiled and thought to myself, that up to the point about your baby girl, my story is pretty much the same. Only I would be writing now, because my story of life in the US is just beginning. I came a year ago and married the greates guy. I love it here, even though I’m not really living the “american dream” yet (immigration matters). But I miss Czech a lot. I miss talking to Czechs who don’t hate everything about the US and don’t think that it sucks. That’s why I’m so excited I found this blog. Czech news, czech humor, czech food…I’m from Maryland so If anyone is from around here, please let me know.
    Thank you again, you did a great job.
    Zora, MD

  • Julie February 8, 2009, 11:34 pm

    Ahoj Pavlino,
    Zdravime z jizni Kalifornie. Muj osud je velmi podobny tvemu. Take jsme par let zili v SF, kde se nam narodila dcera. Stale si pamatuji, jak jsem chodila na obedy do Prague Cafe. Nyni zijeme mezi LA a Santa Barbarou.

    PS: Mas moc hezkou rodinu!

    Julie (dcera 7 let a syn 5 let)

  • Tanja February 9, 2009, 12:37 am

    Nazdar Julie!!
    Moc me tesi!! Taky jsi “ztrozkotala” v Kalifornii, co? Hele, jestli mas zajem potkat vic ceskych kamaradek/maminek, tak se zaregistruj na blog skrze email a poslu ti seznam ceskych kontaktu v USA/Californii 🙂

  • Emily February 22, 2009, 4:17 pm

    Thanks for sending me the link to your website. I’ve enjoyed surfing from post to post, finding out a little about your perspective as a Czech in America. You’ve amassed a wealth of information here.
    All the best,

  • Tanja February 22, 2009, 4:26 pm

    Hi Emily,

    thanks! I hope you can get something out of these posts 🙂

  • Vlastimil March 10, 2009, 1:15 pm

    Ctu tady, ze Pavlina zacala od sklepa a dostala se do vyssich pater. Ja mel lehci start, zacal jsem v prizemi, akorat ta fima, kde delam, ma jen dve patra…tak dalsi krok k me prosperite by byla strecha ale tak si ten “American dream” nepredstavuju …

    Tanja nadsene pise, jake jsou ceske holky sikovne, ale zapomina, ze my, cesti junaci mame taky mozek (a nekdo i zlate rucicky)….

    Jinak ja jsem zacal v USA tak, ze znama byla na konferenci v New Yorku, tak mi privezla telefonni seznam, otevrel jsem ho a prstem jsem pichnul do stranky a zavolal jim, jestli nepotrebujou lidi….

    Nerekli ani ano nebo ne, jen me rekli, abych jim poslal resume…. Zrovna jsem spal a dcera vtrhla do nasi loznice a zacala kricet…Myslel jsem, ze mi pribehla prat vse nejlepsi k narozeninam, zrovna mi bylo presne 40….”tata jede do Ameriky”, kricela a mavala spatne utrzenym faxem….Zvali me na interview, nic neslibovali…..Sel jsem koupit letenku a odletel do New Yorku a za 3 mesice jsem mel praci v New Jersey…
    Nejsou ti cesti kluci sikovni?????

  • Stana March 20, 2009, 5:43 pm

    Hledam takhle recept pro kure na paprice a nasel jsem ho tady a s tim i tyhle stranky. Musim uhanet, ale urcite se vratim a “prolezu” to tady.
    Tak zatim ahoj z Memphisu. 🙂

  • Verunka Vlkova March 24, 2009, 10:16 am

    I really loved reading your story! You have a beautiful family and I am so grateful for your blog. I have been working on being more comfortable writing in Czech and have officially memorized those 7 pady! That is just a small percentage but it has gone a long way….

    It has really made a difference reading your blogs in English and Czech and it is wonderful to read comments from people that remind me of my family growing up! You are doing a great job and I thank you for it.

  • Vlastimil March 24, 2009, 10:37 am

    I would like, the same as Verunka, to thank you for this wonderful Czech blog. By contributing in the discussions, I may even improve my English;)

    This blog brings me additional happiness on top of all the happiness I am already surrounded by 😉

  • Tanja March 24, 2009, 3:20 pm

    Ahoj Verunko!

    Diky! I am so glad that the Czech translation does not come in vain! Keep practicing your 7 pady and you know what the next step is,right? Leaving a comment here in Czech!! :))

  • Tanja March 24, 2009, 3:22 pm

    Thanks Vlastik!

    I am glad I can add into your cloud of happiness ;); and once again, thanks for the comments, hence promoting the discussion!

  • Katka Stanny May 17, 2009, 11:57 pm

    Super stranky!!Konecne nekdo neco vymyslel!!!
    Ja jsem byla asi shruba 9 let v Kalifornii Orange county a ted jsme v Arizone asi 4 roky.
    Mam 9 mesicni holcicku Sofii!!!

  • Lenka June 13, 2009, 7:49 pm

    Ahoj Katka, co porabate v Arizone?

  • Shawna Birnbaum August 13, 2009, 1:53 pm

    Hmmm, if you live in LA, I could introduce you to a small Czech community of people through my husband (his boss, his coworker, his old roommates, his best friend, etc.)

  • Denisa September 6, 2009, 11:37 am

    I came across this site last night after talking to my sister in Prague who suggested I make leco like she did. Found your recipe and dinner was amazing. The main reason I found my self coming back to your site this morning is that majority of our posts are both in Czech and English. My written Czech has gotten very poor after being here since 93′ (not an excuse). So I enjoy reading your posts in Czech and seeing the direct transaltion. I was in Denver for few years and now I’m in Phoenix AZ.

  • Vlastimil September 6, 2009, 5:12 pm

    Denisa, don’t worry my any written language is bad…Who cares? We are here to have fun and Tanja’s blog is really wonderful. BTW, I could buy a can of Lecho in Aldi (US).. Happy Labour Day, cest praci!

  • Tanja September 6, 2009, 5:15 pm

    Ahoj Deniso, uplne souhlasim s Vlastikem, vubec se neboj delat v psany cestine chyby – vzdyt jsme na tom vsichni stejne!!!

    PS: mimochodem, dekuji Vlastiku za krasny kompliment

  • Hana September 9, 2009, 8:14 pm

    I just have to say “Thanks for this blog, it is great!” I just found it and got ‘stuck’ here already for about an hour reading and smiling… I have my story too, I’m in USA for 10 years now and always looking for czech people 😉 I live in Maryland like Zora, so if you read this Zora, please feel free to contact me, I’m on skype – hkrestan. Great work Tanja, can’t wait to read more… A uz mi neni tak smutno ;-))) vetsinou touto dobou jezdime do cech, letos ne 🙁

  • Tanja September 9, 2009, 10:04 pm

    Ahoj Hani, Diky moc! Vidim, ze jsi se zaregistrovala, tak se mrknu, co tam v tech ceskych kontaktech pro tebe mame :)))

  • Marie September 29, 2009, 7:04 pm

    Ahoj Tanjo,

    nebo Táňo? Zrovna jsem objevila Tvůj blog, věř mi, že při vaření prvního guláše s knedlíky se mi ohromně hodil. Jsem tu ve Státech jen pár měsíců a trochu se mi stýská, myslíš že by šlo přidat i nějaký ten diskuzní blog? Nějak mi chybí povídání si česky!!

    Děkuji a hezký den,
    Marie z Floridy

  • Tanja September 29, 2009, 10:36 pm

    Ahoooj Marie, tak to jsem rada, ze ti byl (a take doufejme ze bude) blog uzitecny 🙂
    Jinak jako diskuzni blog mam to Forum (pravy horni knoflik na blogu) – tam diskutujeme o cemkoliv, anebo teda komentovat na clanky – tam si taky dosti zadiskutujeme :))

    Preju hodne stesti ve Statech!

  • Simona November 28, 2009, 10:38 am

    Ahojte ludia, a Tanicka samozrejme. Nasla som tvoju stranku, je super. Trochu o mne. Som Slovenka na Floride. Emigrovali sme v 1987 a do USA sme sa dostali v 1989. Tak si tu zijeme, mame v Longwoode (pri Orlande) restauraciu s najlepsim jedlom mimo Europy. Mame vsetko co Slovaci Cesi vonku hladaju. Kacicku s kapustou, gulas, kuraci paprikas, fazulovu polievku, svieckovu, rezne, pirohy strudlicku a tak. Tak pridite nas pozriet, a ak niekto potrebuje dobre slovenske, madarske, czeske recepty dajte mi vediet.
    Na vianoce robime tradicne pecivo: plnene oriesky, rosteky, medvedie labky, linecke kolaciky… vsetko s najlepsim ingrediencii ak mate chut tak mozete objednat a posleme v USA. Oh este jedna vec, robime super chlebicek. 🙂

    Tanicka este raz dakujem a davam si tvoju stranku do favorites.

  • Iveta December 5, 2009, 3:36 pm

    This is the first site writen by Czechs who actually like living “abroad”. Thank you for reminding me about the wonderful Christmas cookies – I came upon this site when searching for Vanilkove rohlicky. I have been living in Canada for 21 years and I love it here. I also love cooking and, although I learned to cook in Canada and am therefore very versatile or multicultural (I cook mostly Italian or French food), there are those specific Czech dishes that are simply the best and deserve not to be forgotten. Good job to keep the tradition going! I will come and visit again. All the best to all of you Czech souls in the great, beatiful, supernatural North America!

  • Tanja December 5, 2009, 3:51 pm

    Ahoj Iveto! Zdravim z Kalifornie! To me pobavilo: “the first site written by Czechs who like living abroad…” :))) No jo to je ta nase stezujici povaha vid? Urcite se zase zastav anebo se rovnou zaregistruj 🙂

  • Vlastimil December 6, 2009, 9:15 am

    Iveta, Canada je nadherna zeme, az tam zase pojedu, tak se stavim na tvoje vanilkove rohlicky 😉
    Hadam, ze zijes v Quebec ?

  • Iveta December 6, 2009, 1:44 pm

    Vlastimile, vanilkove rohlicky se pecou dneska vecer, uz se nemuzu dockat. Nanestesti muj muz nema rad sladka jidla a skoro nikdy je neji, takze nakonec to snim vetsinou ja. Letos, preventivne proti obezite, planuju napect ceske cukrovi pro svoje kanadske sousedy – minuly rok me totiz prekvapili tim ze den pred vanocemi kazdou pulhodinku-hodinku zvonili u dveri a v prubehu par hodin nam vsichni prisli poprat hezkych vanoc a zahrnuli nas kanadskymi “cookies”. Zijeme na predmesti Vancouveru ale vetsina nasich sousedu jsou druha a treti generace Holandanu, Italu, Anglicanu, Nemcu vyrostlych v Brazilii, atd. atd. Ale proto ze jsme s manzelem do Kanady prisli velmi mladi a ja jeste neumela varit, naucila jsem se varit od vsech svych znamych v Kanade a tak moje kuchyn zahrnuje celosvetove vlivy. Tento rok je chci ja prekvapit typicky ceskymi vytvory (loni se naprosto zamilovali do meho bramboroveho salatu s halibutem – kapra jsme s manzelem nikdy nemeli radi – Kanadani byli prekvapeni tim ze jsme halibuta opekli jako Wienerschnitzel aka rizek a nemohli si to vynachvalit).
    Proc ale dnes znovu pisu: pred lety muj muz letel sam do Cech a v letadle dostal od jedne Slovenky z Kimberley v Kanade recept na ten typicky tmavy chleb, ktery uz dnes v Cechach i v Nemecku (kde jsme take zili a kde mivali naprosto vynikajici chleby) je tezko k nalezeni. Kanadane tenhle chleb vetsinou moc neoceni, protoze oni vyrostli s tim typickym bilym chlebem, ale pokud se vam styska po celozrnnem hutnem chlebu s krupavou tmavohnedou kurkou, tenhle recept je ten nejlepsi ktery jsem za cela leta vyzkousela (a ze jsem jich ve svem patrani vyzkousela mnoho). Hodi se nejlepe ke gulasi, nebo jen namazany maslem a oblozeny salamem a syrem. Pecu ho uz leta ale nekolik let kdyz jsem byla zaneprazdnena studiem jsem ho nepekla a recept jsem nekam zalozila. Pak jsem si vzpomnela ze jsem ten recept dala kamaradce s kterou jsem se leta nestykala – ona se odstehovala na Vancouver Island. Jaka byla moje radost kdyz jsme se uplne nahodou sesli a ja jsem ten recept od ni znovu ziskala. Zda se ze muj dobry skutek (predani dobreho receptu) se mi jako karma vratil. Tak tady to je at ten dobry chleb obrazi svet (I pres to ze pekarny v severni Americe se za poslednich dvacet let velmi velmi zlepsily, nic takoveho zarucene nikde nenajdete):

    Slovensky tmavy chleb z kanadskeho Kimberley:

    (pisu to anglicky, neb nevim jak nejlepe prelozit)

    7 cups all purpose unbleached flour
    2 cups dark rye flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    3 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon caraway seeds (if you have them from Europe, they tend to have more aroma)
    40 g fresh yeast (do not substitute dry yeast, it won’t work)
    2 teaspoons sugar
    300 to 400 mL luke warm water
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    3 large russet potatoes, cooked in skin, peeled and grated

    Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Mix yeast, sugar and 200 mL of water in a small cup, preferably glass and let foam up (usually takes about 15 minutes) (to je “kvasek”)

    In a large bowl, mix flours, salt, caraway seeds and grated potatoes. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the water, vinegar and “kvasek”.

    Work into a dough for about 15 minutes until it forms into a nice, pliable mass (you may have to add a little water – it depends on humidity, etc. – as you accomplished bakers probably know). Form into an oval nicely tight loaf (it will rise and spread a little) and place on a lightly floured and baking-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with dry towel and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes in a dry and warm place.

    Put in the oven and decrease temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In about 15 minutes, brush the top of the loaf with salty water. Repeat brushing every 15 to 30 minutes. It usually takes about 60 to 75 minutes for the loaf to be well baked, but you will know when it is absolutely perfect when the top of the loaf is nicely dark brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

    Let cool on a rack and enjoy!

    This will make a very large loaf. It is initially quite hard to slice, but if you let it cool and then place it in a plastic bag loosely tied so that some air can still get in, it slices easier (but you lose some of the crispiness). It keeps very well and tastes great for up to a week (I didn’t know this for years, it is the vinegar that prevents it from going moldy). If you don’t think you will eat the loaf in a week, put it in a plastic bag in freezer and let defrost overnight before you wanna eat it and it tastes just like fresh.

    Anyhow, gotta run, but I will be checking in again, this is a very nice blog and I am enjoying the exchange of ideas and experiences, not just about cooking.

    Take care everyone!

  • Vlastimil December 6, 2009, 3:42 pm

    Iveto, ty ses rozepsala 🙂 Ja jsem pekl chleba, kdyz jsme bydleli ve Svedsku, tam byl chleba jiny, nez na jaky jsme zvykli… Nekdy ten tvuj recept zkusim, ale ja jsem hrozne linej. My tu (New Jersey) mame naprosto vyborny vyber chleba, polsky rezny, rusky rezny, nemecky (tedy peceny v v New Jersey) , litevsky, ukrajinsky, lotyssky a take takovy strasne “husty” chleba primo z Nemecka…
    Ale samozrejme neni nad vuni cerstve peceneho chleba, a jen pomysleni, ze hladovi kojoti , medvedi, lisky a mozna i srnky se sbihaji k memu domu diky teto vuni, me velice hreje 😉
    Jednou jsem tady v obchode koupil chleba a prisel jsem domu a manzelka se ptala , kde ten chleba je. Ja ji ukazal obe ruce pevne sevrene a rekl jsem ji, jestli muze uhadnout, kde je chleba…Ukazala samozrejme na spatne zapesti..Ja otevrel ruku a chleba nabyl sve puvodni velikosti…. To s ceskym chlebem bych nedokazal 😉

  • Vlastimil December 6, 2009, 3:46 pm

    nojo, ale moje vahy jsou v poundech a ouncich, ale litr jest zmerit muzu…to jsou tri flasky piva 😉 (maleho)

  • Tanja December 6, 2009, 4:39 pm

    Iveto! dekujeme moc za recept! Urcite to brzy zkusim – vzdycky hledam dobre recepty na chleba :)))

  • Pavlina Perry January 17, 2010, 5:42 pm

    v lete to bude osmy rok co jsem v NJ.. to to leti.
    Mam jako ostatni hodne podobny osud :),
    zacala jako aupair, nastoupila do skoly, dokoncila A.A, ted mam dve semestry do B.A., v lete jsem se tu vesele vdala za prima chlapa..
    Proste zivot je krasny, kdyz se zije podle predstav 🙂
    Diky moc za krasnou webovou stranku.
    Uricte prijde vhod 🙂
    Hodne stesti a pohody
    Jestli jste nekdo z NY nebo z NJ s podobny osudem, dejte o sobe vedet 🙂

  • Eva Z. July 6, 2010, 10:10 am

    Ahoj Tani, diky za stranku, moc rada se sem vracim. Jen jeste k te diskusi o psani v cestine ci anglictine…Je clovek jeste Cechem kdyz neumi cesky? Podle me ne…Ale asi je dobre, kdyz je to i v anglictine pro ty radoby Cechy a vsechny priznivce. Ja osobne si rada cestinu prectu, anglictinu tu mam vsude, ta mi rozhodne nechybi! 🙂

  • Tanja July 6, 2010, 10:44 am

    Ahoj Evi,

    ja si myslim ze jo. Kdyz nekdo v Cechach vyroste, tak to se proste nezapre. Hodne jsem jich takovych pres Czechmate Diary poznala, i kdyz je trosku divne, ze cesky nekomunikuji, jsou to – mentalne – uplni Cesi. Taky si myslim, ze zalezi na tom, do jake miry je osoba stidliva/perfekcionista. Zacnou se bat psat/mluvit, protoze v cestine delaji chyby a to oni nechteji. Tak presednou na anglictinu. Taky nevis, kolik kolem sebe maji ve Statech Cechu, treba zadne a to se potom ta cestina spatne procvicuje.

    Jinak jsi navrhla vyborne tema na diskuzi! Diky!

  • Posh Parker October 11, 2010, 1:59 pm

    Nazdar Tanja,

    To bylo skvele historka o stary, mrzuty muzy u hospodu za ‘Cesky Vecer’ a velky dzban pivo. Velmi vtipni a mam dobry obraz o ta scena. Jenom jeden problem s tvujem sitem ze mas foto ten debil Klaus! Hehe. I’m an English guy but spent a lot of time v Cesko and have written a book about it! I’ll be in touch about adverising on your site when it’s published.

    Tak, zatim,ahoj a cau,

    Posh Parker

  • Tanja October 12, 2010, 10:46 pm

    Hi Posh,
    Hey, I will take whatever president will take a picture with me! 🙂
    As my mom always says: “But he (Klaus) is so handsome, he always wears the best ties” ;)) He just charms the ladies with his outfits and then they vote for him. I bet there are more female voters in Czech than there are male voters, hence those election results!

    Looking forward to your book!

  • Zuzana December 23, 2010, 1:06 am

    Ahoj Tani- ja som tvoju stranku/blog tiez nasla tak, ze som hladala recept – konkretne na linecke koliecka. Musim velmi podakovat – podarili sa a pacili sa aj kamaratom mojho 4 rocneho syna v preschool. Mame tu Vianoce a idem si pozriet ake recepty tu este mas. Inac tvoja life story znie velmi podobne tej mojej…
    Vesele Vianoce! Zuzana (Los Angeles)

  • Tanja December 27, 2010, 4:03 pm

    Ahoj Zuzko! No jo jsem rada, ze si se tim receptem vytahla, pred Amiky :)) Moje Americka kamaradka si vzala recept na vanilkove rohlicky, pry ze to ted zacne pict o kazdych vanocich! Tak vidis, jak se ta nase kultura (tedy hlavne recepty) vstrebava do te americke…

  • Monica Durfinova January 1, 2011, 7:42 pm

    Wow…I felt like I was reading a book when I was reading your story and when it ended, I got mad because I wanted MORE! HAAA How amazing! Ja som Americanka a my husband is 100% Slovak (born & raised)–his story is very similar to yours. When we got married, I too (along with him) wanted to find more Slovak & Czech people here where we live that we could hang out with from time to time so the “feel” of Slovakia could still be felt (although we are in the US) but just like you experienced….we got nowhere! 🙁 I’m glad to know that you have found a great group of connections & hopefully we will do the same!!! Happy New Year & thanks for sharing your story–I am also interested in buying the “Holiday (forget the other part of the name)” jewelry. Take care! Cau!

  • Greg January 23, 2011, 10:38 am


    If you are interested in Ovocne Knedlicky, I have a good recipe for kashe ovocne knedlicky Tanya. I can send it to you if you would like. i make it every few months and even my 14 month old can’t wait to eat it.

    I’m not sure what area you live in, but if your inthe Chicago area, I can recommend a few good Czech restaurants and bakeries. Let me know.


  • Kathy January 26, 2011, 11:23 pm

    I’ve been doing some research on Czech and Slovak studies as my 17 year old son (Keith) is looking to spend next year studying abroad in the Czech Republic (senior year of HS), and would also like to major in Slovak studies in college.

    Keith would love to get a some exposure to the language before heading over in August. I was wondering if you knew of anyone that would be interested in doing some language tutoring? We live in Greensboro but travel often to Raleigh often, my daughter lives there.
    Thanks so much

  • Helen Tjioe May 1, 2011, 11:49 am

    Hi Tanja,

    I’ve enjoyed reading some of what you have written in your post. I lived in Prague for a year-and-a-half (when I was around 25) while I studied at piano performance at the conservatory with a wonderful teacher. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I deeply miss Prague. I learned so much from attending concerts, wandering all over Prague by foot, and steeping myself in the beautiful culture. I was born in southern California and grew up here, and I’m just about to finish my biology degree at Cal State Long Beach. One of my main passions is classical music–which is what brought me to Prague in the first place–and I plan to concertize again one day after science schooling is over. Thank you for writing this post! I’ve tried to look for Czech meet-up groups in my area too. It would be nice not to forget the Czech I learned.

  • Tanja May 1, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Hi Helen,

    guess what I also have a degree in Biology and love classical music (I also play the piano)! Let me know if you have a concert somewhere I would love to come 🙂

  • Helen Tjioe May 1, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Hi Tanja,

    I surely will let you know about any future concerts in the area. Did you grow up in Prague?

  • Tanja May 1, 2011, 9:09 pm

    Yes! In Prague 2

  • Helen Tjioe May 2, 2011, 9:05 pm

    You must miss your homeland and home city very much. I know you now have your family here, but if I miss it as a foreigner and visitor, I can only imagine how you feel! I know that the United States is a very blessed place to live in (especially So CA where I live now, the weather is heavenly!), but I miss the culture there, and the different attitude towards the arts people in general have there. The people also are special, I found, and relationships are different there than in California, a lot of the times. Do you live in San Francisco? Also, since I was living there by myself (my parents helped me to rent a flat on the other side of the bridge where the national theater is, very central to many beautiful places), I had a lot of time & space to dream & wander around & meet new people. I had one Czech friend while there, who is now teaching classics in Charles University. One of the main influences that remains to this day in my heart was all I learned from studying with Frantisek Maxian at the music conservatory. You may have heard of his father, who was a famous pianist (he had the same name). He inspired me so deeply as a musician, and without him I would not be at the level I am now artistically. Can you believe that our lessons were totally in Czech by the time I left Prague? (When I got there for the first time, I knew nothing about the language at all). I’m curious, what are some of your thoughts about how different the culture is here? What were the main “culture-shock” issues that you dealt with? You may have written about this before, and if you have, please excuse this question. Also, I’m curious as to whether or not you were taught that humans evolved from monkeys in the schools, growing up there. As a bio major, you probably got a lot of that here, as I did!; I believe God made us (Adam/Eve the 1st humans) & we did not evolve from animals.

  • Vlastimil May 3, 2011, 8:06 am

    We have not evolved from monkeys, we did evolved from apes …. Monkeys and apes are different species.
    There is also another story: God created Adam and he was alone and since he could not procreate only by looking at his legs, God called for the meeting, where all the beasts were present (I guess, some monkeys too) and proposed Adam to pick his “friend” , so he would be happy. Unfortunately (actually fortunately) Adam did not fall for any beasts out there and he left the meeting very depressed. Then once when Adam slept, God ripped one of ribs out of Adam’s body and got so excited and said “Whoa man!!!”….That’s how “Woman” got created. She was beautiful, blond, but there goes also another story, that there were two women the other had dark hair …. I will not get into the details 🙂 but it has been removed from the Bible as many other things that were either too graphic or not very convenient for the official priesthood…

  • Chasity Jenny June 21, 2012, 8:03 am

    Hello! My name is Chasity, and I have just now found your blog. I have smiled at your witticism, and I know my grandma (full-blooded Czech, or Bohemian as she would say) will get a kick out of it! She has told me many wonderful stories of her grandparents, all from the “old country,” and we are a family of very proud heritage. I am researching for a cultural background paper, as I am studying to obtain a Master’s in counseling, and that is how I have come across your blog. Thank you for all the information and fun stories!

    Chasity Jenny, of the Soukup and Jirak families.

  • Cynthia Dvorak Grandjean May 27, 2013, 7:18 am

    Found your blog while looking for Czech recipes. Visited Czech Republic once and loved it! I am a member of the Texas Czech Heritage Society and really enjoyed their annual conventions. Yes, I am Czech, both parents were 100% Czech. Doing a little genealogy work and found out my family came from Vsetin. I found one letter written in the 1960’s to my cousin, from an Anna Dvorakova. That piqued my enterest..trying to trace origin of that letter from Prague. Anyway, looking forward to reading your blog.
    Cynthia Dvorak Grandjean
    Lake Jackson, Texas

  • Rick Porvaznik October 21, 2013, 4:08 pm

    I miss the Slovak songs growing up as a child in
    Lansford Pa. At least with the Internet I can keep up
    With Slovak culture of today., like Kristina Pelakova the
    Number one singer in Slovakia.

  • Roy Rezek December 9, 2013, 4:37 am

    Hello, I was curious of any information on if you can tell me about a town in Czech Republic named Horazavodice . My grandfather came to U.S. (Danville Va. ) 1904 about at age 14 . I wonder if there are distant relatives . Thanks Roy

  • Tanja December 11, 2013, 8:44 pm
  • Jerry September 23, 2014, 3:15 pm

    My son Vincent and I just came back from visiting Prague and loved it. We originally went to Munich and met some people from the states and they told us about Prague and how interesting it was. Being of Mexican-American heritage, the German people were not to hospitable. My son and I took the train to Prague and when we arrived we found a hotel in Florenc. The people were so friendly and made us feel comfortable. We went to the old square, new districts, even the Jewish section, took the boat ride by the famous Charles bridge. We were planning on going to Berlin then to Amsterdam but we enjoyed Prague so much we stayed an extra week there. I learned so much and fell in love with the city and the people. I even thought of going back some day maybe to retire?? Vincent definitely wants to go. I want to learn more of the culture and the History is very interesting especially the saint Walenska who set himself on fire. also the two students at the university who, when protesting communism, also set themselves on fire. Anyway, I saw your article, enjoyed and decided to respond. Good luck to you and your family. P.S. loved your guy’ s coffee and food, where can I get some in San Diego?

  • Jan Ševčík October 25, 2015, 10:36 am

    I want to take this opportunity to say hello.
    I came to work for one month in Dallas as a support service on trains.
    Good luck in your interest for others

  • Lumir Cech February 20, 2016, 9:18 am

    I am a full blooded Czech. My father came to America in 1910 at twelve years of age. My mother was also Czech but was born here. I am a third generation farmer. Still farming at age 76.
    Would love to meet some people that are “real Czechs.” Although, I am far from California – I live in Nebraska. By a small town, Clarkson, which is about 90 miles west of Omaha.
    One more thing. I could not speak English when I started school. Speak Czech fluently.

  • Tanja March 13, 2016, 3:05 pm

    Hi Lumir,

    If you go on, you can find a Czech group in your area. Good luck!

  • jarmila April 29, 2016, 6:56 pm

    Ahoj Tano,
    kontaktuji te z duvodu relokace z Chicago do Portland,OR. Rada bych se seznamila s ceskymi lidmi zijicimi v Portland a ziskala informace o doporuceni bydleni,v kterych castech hledat, rada bych se zapojila do akci poradanych ceskymi organizacemi,atd.Muzes mi dat vedet,prosim,jestli mas nejake kontakty?dekuji ti mockrat,Jarmila

  • Marty September 21, 2016, 7:40 pm


    I liked your website! Nice. My Grandpa came from Czech too when he was 18 in 1918. I always loved his Potato Pancakes but don’t know his recipe. Thank you for your! I hope and know they’ll be better than mine already! I will give them a try!

  • Lukas October 21, 2016, 6:58 am

    Hello, really nice website you have there 🙂
    Im enjoying your articles and I will sure post-forward it to my english speaking friends 🙂

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