Somehow I made it to Ostrava with broken wheels on my big suitcase. It was a 3.5 hour train ride from Prague. I upgraded to a mid-class where I got a reserved window seat and my own power outlet for a total of $22 USD. I think I’ll be able to afford travel around the country.
The department of social work is in a beautifully newly restored building (the big white one pictured above). The inside is just stunning. My flat is in a building along the Ostravice river and very close to the city hall which has a viewing tower. I spent my first couple days just trying to accomplish very basic things like figuring out how to buy groceries (why could everyone but me find a shopping cart? Is this food yogurt or cottage cheese?), get a bank account, log into the university wifi. Basically everything went wrong and everything was three times harder than it seemed it should be.
Registering with the foreign police within three business days of arrival to one’s host city is a requirement for anyone here on a visa. It was two tram rides away and took five visits, hours of waiting, and a good dose of being yelled at by a woman in uniform. Despite researching exactly what was needed, where, and when, it turned out each time something was wrong: wrong time, wrong location, wrong document, missing information. But it did finally get done and I hope never to encounter them again.