The blog of DAVID KOUŘIL

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.

2016 has been the best year of my life (yet)

I’ve started 2016 with a little bit of stress (yeah, I see a pattern here). I’ve had several exams to pass and on top of that, me and my girlfriend found out that we will have to find a new apartment (to which we have moved in summer 2015) to move into starting from February. I was also meant to go on Erasmus exchange to Vienna from March till June so this was another whole lot of stuff to figure out and arrange. Because I was going to leave, I didn’t have any job for a few months and I was very worried about money.

In the end, it all got figured out. Not by itself, both me and Gabi worked very hard on solving these problems. But everything ended well. We found a new place which is the nicest I’ve lived in Brno ever since I started renting places here 4 or 5 years ago. We passed all our exams. And I went to Vienna. I feel like everything went upwards from this point.

I was worried that our relationship is going to suffer because of the long distance, but in the end it made it maybe even a little bit better than before. It made us appreciate the time when we could be together more and realized how much we actually miss each other. At least that was my takeaway.

My stay in Vienna is a chapter on its own. Instead I made a video after I left.

It was really great and I had an awesome time both socially and from the work point of view. I was working on the programming side of my thesis there.

After I went back to Brno, I kept working remotely on other projects for TU Wien. In September, we went on a vacation and it was the first time I’ve been to the sea and also my first time flying!

Autumn and winter was a go time—I still had to go to school for one course, had work and had to write my thesis. I’m going to be done with the school soon. I can’t wait to finally finish this.

Yeah, it was the best year of my life. There was a lot of ups and downs but in the end I think the ups outbalanced the downs. I’m looking forward to this new year. Everything is exciting. I see a lot of opportunities and I can’t wait to figure out how can I use them and what kind of life I can build for myself.

Moving to Vienna? [week Nov 14 – Nov 20]

I’ve been on a visit in Vienna this week with Bara. We went there for two days, Thursday and Friday. Thursday 17th was actually a public holiday in Czech Republic so I didn’t miss school which is good. We went there because one of the founders of our domain of molecular visualization, Arthur Olson, was visiting the group in Vienna. It was pretty overwhelming I have to say. It looks more and more that we are going to be moving to Vienna after we finish our masters and so I was looking at it a little bit differently. I think there is definitely a difference between thinking about something as a wish or something that might happen some day but when that thing become almost reality, it makes you think about it from other angles as well. I’m not trying to say that I changed my mind – I (and Gabi as well) still want to make the move and I’m looking forward to being a part of VisGroup because it’s a very special place to work at. But on the other hand I realised that I’ve switched onto another kind of life while I was back in Brno. For example, I don’t go out to drink as much as I did before. So I’m a little bit scared that I will either have to change back to that habit and my relationship will suffer (along with the fitness and stuff like that) or I might go against that and maybe become the guy that’s not fun anymore. The thing is that the magic of VisGroup is kind of in the atmosphere and how people stick together. And of course, the social aspect of this is very important in this career. But now that I wrote that down, I know what’s the right option to go for. Of course I want to keep living my life how I like it. I like working but I also like taking care of myself properly, eating healthy, working out and being with Gabi. And I stand by these principles and values. So I think I’ll be fine if I just do my thing and keep it in balance with the social side of working there.

But yeah, I’m pretty excited to be moving to Vienna. For both of us it’s actually a dream to live abroad. But it’s going to be a huge step outside of our comfort zone and that’s always scary. But I keep telling myself that I would regret not trying it. Even if we eventually move back, we will be able to tell ourselves that we tried it. And maybe we will go somewhere else from there. This is what I would probably like the most.

Now that I’ve come to this – I think it’s important for us to think about and write down our expectations, goals and most importantly our reasons for this move. I know it’s gonna get hard some time and I want to be able to remind myself why we did it in the first place. Only that way we can decide if it’s still worth continuing there or not.

But back to my week. I went to gym Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday again. So it’s the second week I wasn’t able to make it 6 days a week. But it’s not entirely my fault! All the travelling is messing up with my plan. I know that I will not be able to do it this week as well because I’m going back to Vienna again on Tuesday till Thursday. I have a test on Thursday so it’s going to be a challenge to squeeze some studying time there.

Arthur Olson in Vienna was great. Very inspiring person. Actually his whole team is inspiring to me and I’m motivated to try hard to be able to contribute as much as they did.

We went to visit my parents on the weekend. I think we haven’t been there for more than a month. I’m a pretty “remote” son I would say although I try to keep in touch with my mum at least over the phone. I think the next time we go there will be for Christmas because we are already very busy and it’s only going to get worse.

That’s basically my week. The plan for next one is pretty set already. I will be finishing a poster for my thesis and then I’m off to Vienna of Tuesday. Test of Thursday, Friday and the weekend will hopefully go towards the thesis itself.