As I was leaving the visit to my new apartment (yes, you got it - I have a new home!), it was raining steadily while the sun was shining - gorgeous!
So, I visited three apartments today. They all had their pluses and minuses, and after much debate and consultation - thanks Susan and mom - I went with a nice apartment in Praha 2. This is the area just south of where I am currently. It is in a cute neighborhood with many little markets (can't wait to go to the butcher, fruit store, and bread shop), coffee shops and restaurants. I'll get more pictures of the apartment and a final address soon. I am signing my lease in the morning, and not to worry, this time I can stay and get the appropriate paperwork for my visa - yay!
I'm going to have four roommates. Three are guys and one is a woman (sorry, that was obvious). Anyway, they are all professionals in Prague including another English teacher, but she's moving out at the end of the month. There are two bathrooms with showers and laundry as well as a huge living room, which is very rare here. The room itself is much bigger and nicer and even a bit less expensive, so this is turning out to be for the best. In addition, the roommates seem really cool and like we could hang out for sure but that we'd also respect each other's privacy.
To show the apartment, John, the owner came and the flatmates were there and there were four of us there to view the flat. We all stood around and chatted for about 45 minutes, which I thought was really cool. I kinda felt like I was on the Prague version of Real World, because it totally felt like that first moment where everyone arrives and is getting to know each other. Here's hoping the drama level is much lower than the Real World!
After getting another offer on a different flat, I finally connected with John to secure the room. We'll meet to sign the lease and pay for the room in the morning. Moving shouldn't be too tough. There is a tram that will get me from this apartment to the new one with just a 3 block walk on either side. I should be done on Saturday. :) I was grateful to have good options on this round of house hunting, but I feel really good about this place! And ironically enough, my training on Monday starts at a church just 3 blocks from the new place - must be fate!
I have decided that going apartment hunting is a grand way to see a city! I have seen a ton these last few days! It's been a cool way to get to know the city and the surroundings. I also opened a bank account, which was surprisingly easy. There is an expat center at one of the leading banks here, and they cater to expats (duh again - sorry, i'm tired) so I was helped by a great employee Olga, and all is set for that. Another thing off the list. Now, all I have to do is move and get settled and start work. :)
At the end of my day, I wandered down to the river to look at the Prague Castle. Gorgeous!