Today marks the 13th anniversary of my arrival in the Czech Republic, on a one-way ticket with $100 in my pocket.

The reasons for going somewhere are never the same as the reasons for staying, and I’m just fortunate to have found lots of good reasons for staying. I’ve always said I’d stay as long as it was both fun and interesting, and it’s been both so far. Knock wood.

“So, do you feel more Czech?” was a question I heard tonight. The short answer is that I don’t know. I’d like to think I understand Czech culture. I love Czech culture deeply, and in my time here I’ve been able to find a lot of things to love. I appreciate Czech history, its language and aspects of the national character.

As much as I appreciate it, I’m beginning to wonder if Czechness is something I can never get at. But I’ll be happy to keep on trying.