The blog of DAVID KOUŘIL

We are now completely moved to Vienna

Wow, it’s the first time I’ve missed putting out a post on Sunday. The reason is that I was just completely exhausted yesterday.

We spent all weekend with moving. On Saturday, it was another trip with a rental van, only this time without our friend’s help and with the rest of ALL our stuff. You don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to physically, with your own hands, move each and every one of them from one location to another. We also bought a couch, which meant we had to somehow get 60 kg to the first floor. But we managed!

We went back to Brno to return the van, relax for a while, and sleep there so that we could hand over the apartment in Brno. There was also a lot to clean still.

I would say that we are very clean people. We can take care of the place we live in. That’s why we were pretty angry that we had to pay for a kitchen unit doors under the sink because it got wet and wrinkled slightly. Maybe I’m wrong. But I think we treated the apartment as best as we could and this was just an effect of actually living in the apartment. It was some kind of chipboard or something like that BTW. Something that almost wrinkles when you just breathe on that. I don’t think you can expect something made from the cheapest materials to last forever. But I don’t know, maybe I’m the asshole…

Oh no, it’s completely ruined!

But anyway, we handed the old apartment over, put the rest of the stuff into Gabi’s mum’s car, and went for lunch to her and her partner’s apartment. After that they took us and our stuff to Vienna. The rest of the Sunday was spent putting our things into places and cleaning. We also finally found out where our storage compartment in the cellar is. The door sign was “parteienkeller” which translated by Google Translate was funny—”party cellar”. It’s pretty nice to have something like that, in this previous apartment we had to keep everything in the apartment. We were lucky to have the bikes down in the bike room. The bike room there was able to only take 4 bikes. And there were 12 apartments. Here in the apartment in Vienna the bike room is HUGE. I guess it’s not surprising when you think about how many people use bikes for every day commute here.

The new apartment look awesome in my opinion. Even now when we are not done unpacking yet, it’s getting cozy. I like that. I can only hope that we are going to like it here. It’s been pretty scary and emotionally taxing, this whole procedure of moving. At this point, I’m glad we are doing this. I’m glad that we are trying this big scary and outside-of-comfort-zone thing. Now I just hope that it doesn’t turn out being a bad move.

April weather

I have a hard time writing something this week.

It’s really cold these days. I think I’ve heard that there is a wave of cold air from the north coming and that’s easy to believe. It’s been hailing one day! It’s not very pleasant to be outside and therefore there was not much happening this week.

On Monday we had a holiday (Easter Monday) and we basically just went for a short walk because it was so windy. Other than that we spent the day laying around. Gabi left on Tuesday morning and it was just me again for the rest of the week. But that’s not gonna stay that way for long! Just one more week.

I’m getting more comfortable in the city every day. I figured out the fastest way to work with just one transfer. The bus stop is few steps from our apartment and the station of Ubahn where I get off is similarly close to the work. I’m nailing the conversations with the cashiers (“grüß gott”, “danke shön”).

We need to go through one more weekend of moving. We will be finally handing over the apartment in Brno so we need to move the rest of our stuff to Vienna. It’s probably going to be pretty hard to coordinate and execute but at least that’s the last thing. After this we both will be living in Vienna.

I was thinking about my goals and “mission statement” of what I want to accomplish actually. Right now, I’m just having fun learning stuff, studying whatever seems interesting to me. I, of course, have this goal of becoming better person—I want to be emotionally stable, calm in high pressure situations, knowledgeable, be the guy who’s able to help people, contribute. But that’s just what I think growing up is about. I always had big ambitions. I knew that I’m going to be successful somehow. I never knew how, but I was just sure that I will find success. My problem however is that I feel like I should already be working on my success. Not to say that I’ve been failing up to this point—I’m very proud that I was able to get my master’s degree and get a job at a university in another country. I want to achieve more however. I want to take control of my life. I want to do things my way and be sure that my actions are what influences the results.

Two things kinda triggered these thoughts. First, I watched La La Land with Gabi. The struggle of becoming great and achieving something is the theme of Damien Chazelle’s films Whiplash and La La Land (I loved both). Another was this DOOM documentary. I don’t know what’s so interesting in this for me. But I really wished that I had the skills needed to work on something like that game.

That being said, I’m still going to continue doing what I’m doing. I’m starting to get really into Swift and iOS development. I really like that all the info is basically out there, either in official apple documentation, or in tutorials on the web. The thing about iOS tutorials is funny—everybody wants to make money on that. There’s so many people explaining how to do simple stuff and marketing their books/paid tutorials. I don’t know if that’s the only way people make money from iOS development. But I just want to create apps, tools for myself, and maybe games. I want to produce as much as I want. And I will!

We now have the Internet at the apartment (and Gabi’s visit in Vienna)

Many people at work already are, or are preparing to go, at a conference, which means that it has been kind of a slow work week. It’s also what they call “first Easter week” (Friday was Karfreitag, not really a public holiday but nobody worked I think).

As soon as I got to work on Tuesday, I noticed that in the online package tracker it was written that my package from UPC (the modem) should be delivered that day. I was expecting a text message but I didn’t get any. I went home right away and waited. Finally, around 3 pm, a GLS van arrived and I got our UPC router. I think the apartment got like twice as cosier as soon as I loaded a webpage!

While I was waiting, I thought it would be a good time to try out our oven. Therefore—mini pizzas!

When I started talking about the food, this is Zimtschnecke. I was hyping it up to Gabi all the time last year when I was in Vienna. You would say I overhyped it. But no, Zimtschnecke delivered. Gabi said it was the best thing ever.

Gabi came on Thursday night. She was supposed to come at 7 pm, but the bus was close to 2 hours late. We went to a walk around Donaukanal, that’s where the title photo is from. It looks very cool, but it doesn’t smell as good (too much pee for our taste).

My parents visited us on Saturday. They’ve never been in Vienna and me and Gabi felt a little bit bad that we didn’t take them anywhere. It’s a pretty long drive (3 hours or so) so they couldn’t stay for the whole day. The weather also wasn’t very nice and we needed to pick some basic stuff in a store (like trash can) which they even bought for us. So we kinda used them. But I think that there will be many other opportunities for them to visit us, maybe even stay for more days, and we will be able to take them around Vienna.

It’s been very windy on Sunday, but we went on a walk along Donau and then to Floridsdorfer Wasserpark (which is like a park with lakes, very cool)

That’s it. We still have free Monday tomorrow together thanks to Easter holiday. I’m not sure what we will do.

First wedding in my life

My third week in Vienna. I had one main task for this week—prepare a lecture for a Computer Animation course. I’ve been assigned the topics of Kinematic Linkages and Motion Capture.

I have no expertise in either one of these. But we have been following one book so I tried to make myself a little crash course on these topics. I really tried. But I don’t think I did a very good job. I’m not really a mathematician by heart and I had maybe two days to learn everything and prepare the lecture. This meant that I could only talk on a very high level, not really going into detail because I just didn’t have any depth of knowledge. Even though that lecture probably sucked (and I finished very early), I think I did what I could, and I’ve learned things that I can improve upon next time.

This week I also ordered internet connection for our new apartment. It has been a cool experience to not have it for a while. I like that when I went home, I wasn’t working. I couldn’t. I couldn’t answer things on Skype. I couldn’t answer things on email. I couldn’t catch up on stuff that I didn’t manage to do throughout the day. I was at home and I was either relaxing or working on something personal offline. On the other hand, I couldn’t be very productive. When I needed to do something (like the internet connection order) I had to wait for the other day. That’s a downside.

On Saturday we went to a wedding. I’ve never been to one before. Our connection to the newlyweds was that Gabi went to school and was friends with the bride. So we weren’t pivotal guests. I’d say we had a pretty good time! Made some new friends. I think the couple can be very happy with how well everything went. We didn’t stay very long, left at maybe midnight. We slept at this old house in an old bed and I had an allergic reaction in the morning. I forgot my meds but we went on a walk around the town, to get some fresh air.

When we got home on Sunday, we were still so tired. So we just had a pretty relaxed Sunday, even ordered burgers from BURGER INN which was an excellent decision. Had a brownie too.

All in all, it was a little bit more relaxed week compared to the last one. I was spending a bit more time outside the office. I really look forward to the spring, when Gabi’s going to be with me in Vienna already and it’s going to be warmer again.

First week in Vienna

This was my first week working in Vienna and living in our new apartment.

I picked a very busy time to start working there. On Friday night there was a deadline for the VIS 2017 conference, so almost everybody was working on a paper, including me. I was spending most of my days at the institute. We don’t have the internet at the apartment yet. I was just sleeping there, watching the two movies I have on my laptop (Good Will Hunting and Dirty Dancing), and assembling IKEA furniture. I haven’t even cooked or eaten anything there.

It’s so empty it’s sad. We still have a lot of stuff in Brno and I’m just too used to living with somebody. I’m really looking forward to when Gabi’s gonna move as well.

I still like Vienna. My commute to work is not the shortest (30-40 minutes) but I don’t mind. The sight of the city is still new and exciting to me so I like that I get to see more of Vienna.

We submitted the paper (I was second author, Peter did most of the work) on the night from Friday to Saturday. There’s a tradition of drinking after conference deadline which means I didn’t sleep that night. I successfully made the 6:55 bus to Brno and then proceeded to sleep through the rest of the Saturday.

Next week would probably be a little more relaxed but I need to give a lecture on Thursday.

Vienna apartment moving, graduation ceremonial = pretty full week

I haven’t had a week this busy in a while. I’m exhausted.

On Monday and Tuesday not much has happened. I was working at home and preparing for what was coming.

On Wednesday I had an alarm set to 4am. I had to go to Vienna for the apartment handover. I probably could have gone with a later bus but I wanted to be sure that I’m not late. I got the apartment keys and then worked at the institute for the rest of the day. I got home around 10pm. Student agency (or RegioJet? I don’t know) bus between Brno and Vienna is like my second home.

On Thursday, we both had our graduation ceremonial. Unfortunately, since we had different study programmes, we didn’t go at the same time. Gabi’s was at 10:00 and mine at 12:30. I am still not sure how I felt about the ceremonial. On one hand, I’m still very proud of us, mainly Gabi because she really worked hard at the end even though people were telling her to not try to finish this semester. But on the other hand, it feels so long ago! My mind is already set on a completely different thing. But I’m glad I did it for my family. I guess that’s why you do these kinda things anyway.

We went for a lunch/dinner afterwards. It was the first time that our families had met. There wasn’t much time so I don’t thing they talked that much. But it all went well I think.

Friday was again a little bit slower. I was planning how we’re going to move some of our stuff to Vienna. The apartment is unfurnished so we had to get some basic furniture there. I knew we’re going to need a bed and some storage. On Friday we were looking at IKEA and finally deciding what we’re going to buy. It turned out that it would be better if we rented a van, bought the stuff in IKEA in Brno, put some of my stuff into the van as well, and drive to Vienna.

That’s exactly what we did on Saturday. It was one of those days where many things needed to click. The van had to be picked up. IKEA had to have all the stuff we wanted. I needed to be able to find a parking spot close to our apartment in Brno. The car had to survive the drive to Vienna. We had to find a parking spot close the the apartment in Vienna.

To some people, this is probably nothing. I know that there’s a solution for everything. But I’m still learning how to do things in life. I’m still learning how to handle everything. All in all, it was stressful, but everything worked out great. I am probably too superstitious but it seems that everything is going well in life lately. It’s never easy, but it all usually ends well. I’m not complaining, I’m just aware.

I have to thank our friend Miloš who went with us and helped us with the moving. I can’t even imagine having to do this with just me and Gabi.

Sunday was a rest day. We just returned the van in the morning, went to get groceries and then came home and slept.

So this was my, kinda crazy, week. I’m going to Vienna tomorrow. We have a paper deadline on Friday.

Honestly, this all is very scary to me. Moving to a different country is something that I’ve always wanted. But it doesn’t come easily. Yesterday when we got back to our half-empty apartment in Brno, I got very emotional. A lot of has happened here, both good and bad. But it was our home for a year. We got used to it. We knew how to sneak around the bed in a way where you didn’t hit your kneecap. We knew that when you went into the closet you needed to be fast because the light sensor works weird. We even kinda learned how to cook in such a little space, we learned that we need to do it together, help each other.

Moving is hard. Moving to a different country is even harder. Moving to a different country when you don’t speak the language…pffff. But I hope that we will work it out. I hope that this will end up being a good decision and that we both figure out how we want to live our lifes, what we want to do.

I know that I can do it all if Gabi is with me. Cause, ultimately, my home is where she is.

I got her flowers

Gabi had a name day on Tuesday. I got her flowers. It was also an international woman’s day so let’s say that I got her them for both. I don’t know what it is about flowers that girls like. But they make them so happy! So I just like giving flowers as a present.

Other than that, this week has been kinda slow. I’m mostly just at home working, only going to the gym in the morning. Besides my main job I’m also working on some side stuff. I’m finally just doing it. I’m determined to just stop talking about it and just doing it. You could have seen the blog post about my ‘project manager’ tool project which is how I’m learning Python and Qt. Besides that I’m learning Cinder and trying to produce more visual content (mainly for instagram) this way.

I’ve signed the rent contract and now I’m just waiting for the money to be transferred from my Czech account to my Austrian account. It’s taking so long. When I was sending money from the Austrian account (Erste bank) to my other Czech account (Fio), it was there the second day. For this bank (mBank) I’m waiting for 3 full days. Uhhh.

The weather has been like on a rollercoaster lately. Some days it’s super sunny and nice (mostly when I’m at home and I don’t plan on going anywhere), but sometimes it’s still windy and cold. This one day I remembered how nice the evenings are in summer, when the sun is about to come down and it’s just really strong atmosphere outside with the golden hour light. I’m looking forward to that.

I think I’m saying it all the time but I’m really looking forward to finally being in Vienna. Not that I would be in a bad situation right now. I am OK, I can work and basically everything is going well. But I just want to start the next chapter. I want to get lost in a new city. I want to find new places, see what opportunities this new place offers. The bad thing is that me and Gabi will be away from each other for a while. That kinda sucks. But I think we’ll be alright.

I guess we have an apartment!

We found an apartment that we both really like. It’s not the closest to work and it’s on the upper bound of our budget but it’s all new and nice looking. On Thursday I had to fill out a whole lot of papers and send them to the estate agent. I guess that’s easy, but filling out forms for a foreign country in German (which I know close to none) was a pretty hefty task for me. I also don’t have a printer or scanner so I needed to do this at the school in Brno. Also, I’m an idiot so I forgot my work contract at home. This means that I did a lot of walking that day. After I sent everything, I got an answer.

I was approved for the apartment by the owner, but I need to pay bigger deposit. Instead of 4 months of rent, I need to pay 6. If I add to that the provision for the estate agent (2 months of rent), then we have 8 months of rent at the beginning, without even paying for the first month! That’s just crazy numbers for me. It’s close to a one year of rent. Considering the difference in prices, I could live in Brno for this amount of money for the whole year. But I will consider this as a opportunity cost. I’m very excited to be living in Vienna and I believe that we will have a higher standard of living there.

One thing that’s not perfect is that I will get the keys on March 22nd the soonest. I was supposed to start working in Vienna from the beginning of March. But my supervisor was okay with me working remotely from Brno until then.

I’m really looking forward to finally being in Vienna and working at the institute. I’ve been working remotely for a while now and although I kinda like it, I’m looking forward to finally being part of everything. You get a little bit disconnected from your peers when you work alone, you don’t get to contribute to some decisions and you are out of the loop a little bit. So I’m really excited to finally be back.

Apartment hunting in Vienna

I’m looking for a place to live in Vienna. On Tuesday, I was told that I need to sign some paper in Vienna as soon as possible. So, the next day I made a trip there. Since I had to go there anyway, I arranged two apartment visits for that day.

I didn’t really like any of the two apartments so I’m still looking.

I have mixed feelings about all this. On one hand, I’m very excited about living in Vienna. I really like the city and I want to explore more of it. I’m looking forward for the work and all the opportunities that come with it. But finding a place to live and moving is such a hard thing to do. I’m not used to it at all and it’s pretty stressful for me every time I have to move. I thought that this time it would be different, I thought I have plenty of time to find a place and then slowly move there. But as it turns out, time flies faster than I thought. On top of that, I have look at ads in a language that I don’t know, in a country that I’m not in yet.

I’m trying to keep in mind that this is a huge step outside of my comfort zone and as such it’s to be expected that it won’t be easy. But what are the alternatives? Stay where you are? Get a comfortable job? Not only there is no such thing as a comfortable job (you always have to do things you don’t really want to), but I know that I can’t settle. It’s just not in my nature. I always want to go to the next level, to see where can I get with the skills I have. And I know that I’d rather do something that is hard but I really want to do it, than to do something that’s easy but it’s not interesting to me at all.

I’m working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I don’t want to have an easy life, I don’t want to play things safe. And with this it comes naturally that there will be periods of time where things just won’t be stable or known in advance. I don’t know if I will find a good apartment soon, or if I’ll like living abroad. The best that I can do is to just be present, have goals in mind, work towards them, but don’t worry about things going wrong. I know that there are terrible things happening in the world and in comparison to that, my problems are nothing. My problems and fails should only be viewed as opportunities to learn. With that in mind, there’s really nothing to worry about. It will all be alright.

Entering the adult life

I can’t believe it has only been a week or so since I’ve finished the school. It kinda seems longer than that. I imagined that after this ‘deadline’ everything is going to be great and I will have no worries in life. Well…kinda, but I’m also not that naive. And I’m not trying to say that I’m having a lot of troubles right now. It’s just that once you get rid of some obligations and responsibilities, you don’t really get rid of them, they are just replaced by others. But on the other hand—I love it. I much more prefer to be occupied with the real-life stuff, like finding an apartment and working, then worrying about studying, preparing for tests and exams. I guess I just hate exams now. So I’m actually happy that I have to deal with stuff that I feel like actually matter.

We’ve started to look for apartments in Vienna. I should be starting my PhD at the beginning of March and I would ideally like to be already in Vienna. The question is if I will be able to get an apartment till then. The other option is that I would rent a room for a months or so and then I would be able to stay in Vienna and look for apartments from there. I guess it would be easier. But I will have to wait how it works out. For now, we will be looking at ads and writing emails. Maybe I will go see some apartments this week as well. In the end, Vienna is not that far from Brno, so I guess it should be fine to go there even if I go there for just one day and go back in the evening.

This week was all about me getting back to working. I haven’t programmed in a while so I needed to get back into that. Every time I get back to something that I’ve been programming, I am suprised that everythins works as it did before. I don’t know why it’s surprising for me. It’s just that I have this feeling that if I don’t work on something continually, it’s going to degrade somehow. I don’t know. It’s weird. But everything mostly works the same as it did before, I still enjoy graphics programming and I’m committed to getting better.

The main story of next week is going to be the flat-finding. I’m gonna have to figure it out somehow. I hope everything goes well.