How do you tell the travelers just passing through from the long-term locals? If you find yourself nodding your head through this list, you might just discover that, despite your best laid plans, you’re actually here to stay:
You’ve Found a Source for Every Vice (or Learned to Live Without)
Whether you frequently splurge at the Candy Store or know the local shop that stocks the cheapest Sriracha, you are skilled at finding the ingredients for just about any recipe or fulfilling any intense craving for a taste of home with minimal leg work.
You Insist That Your B1+ Level Czech Is Terrible
Despite your Czech friends’ constant praise of your grasp on the language, and your ability to carry on a conversation in a noisy pub, you’re painfully aware every time the wrong ending slips out of your mouth.
You Regularly Think about How to Decline Non-Czech Names
Is Meliška a thing? Do I really have to be an “–ova” if I’m a feminist? If I’m Victoria and my boyfriend is Viktor, who’s the real Vicky? You know what, forget it. Let’s just use the name Martin for reservations so that nobody gets confused.
You Consider Yourself an Expert on All Things Prague and Czechia
You’ve got a list ready for when your mom’s friend’s nephew asks for recommendations. There are pubs you’ll avoid or go out of your way for based on what kind of beer they’ve got on tap. The names Havel, Cimrman, and Forman mean something to you and you’ve got a pretty fierce opinion on the best bowl of pho in Prague.
You Can’t Stand People Who Don’t Make Eye Contact While Toasting
Who are these monsters with their arms crossing and glazed eyes scanning the table? What’s that? Why do I tap my glass on the table before taking a sip? Well…um…because that’s just what you do.
You’ve Embraced Slipper Culture
You’ve got a pair at work, a pair for each season at home, and multiple pairs for visitors to borrow. Bonus points if you now adamantly defend the comfort of wearing Crocs at home.
You Tag 10+ Facebook Friends on Popular Name Days
Shout out to all the Jans, Janas, Jakubs, Lenkas, Martins, Martinas, Terezas and Tomašes you know and love (and a very Merry Christmas to any Adams and Evas, via SMS, of course).
You’ve Picked Up a Bit of an Accent
After years of overenunciating, speaking slowly to Czech colleagues and loved ones, and absorbing a fair amount of Czechlish, you’re starting to wonder if you can still be called a native speaker of English!
You’re in Love With a Local
Now, granted, it’s certainly not a requirement to couple up if you’ve been here for more than a few years, but it sure is among the most common reasons that most people give for putting down roots.
You’re Not Sure What Qualifies as Home Anymore
If a Czech friend asks when you were last home, your first instinct is to say, I am home. When hometown friends ask when you’re moving back, you dodge the question to avoid saying you can’t imagine returning any time soon. But when weddings, holidays, or family illness strike, you realize a piece of your heart may always be in two different places.
You Are Content to Live Outside of Prague
The draw of affordable housing and space for a family can eventually outweigh the benefits of a flat in the city center. You may also have found the perfect underserved area to open your restaurant or language school without competing against 10% of the population.
You Were Only Planning to Stay for a Year or So
There are those rare unicorns who came with a plan to stay, but for the rest of us it just sort of happened. If you find yourself wondering how you’re possibly going to see and do everything on your Czech bucket list before leaving, take a deep breath and start gathering the paperwork to extend your visa. Trust us, it’ll be worth it.