Hey everyone! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to post something on here but these first few days have been hectic but excellent. I will try to stay more updated as a more concrete schedule starts to form for my life over here in Praha. But, let’s get started.
Let’s go back a few days and I’ll lead you on the journey I took to get here. Friday was the day I left. The morning seemed almost like a dream but here are some of the more important things. Neil Craft’s parents were nothing short of hospitable and a family away from home. Saturday morning we had a fantastic breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon and toast. From there we were on to Ohare Airport in Chicago with our only stops being lunch (which was brief) and a speeding tickets (which was also brief). As we drew nearer to the airport I was surprised that I wasn’t feeling what I thought would be waves on anxiety. With this being the first time out of the country, and not to mention my small fear of flying, I perceived this to be a more stressful event. I’ll spare you some of the minor details in the airport and just simply state that we boarded and left for London with out a hitch.
At around 12:00pm we arrived at London Heathrow Airport in the UK. The journey over wasn’t as terrible as I had assumed it would have been. In fact, I spent most of the time watching a sick-to-my-stomach-it-was-so-bad chick flick called “Something Borrowed”. I still hold to the opinion that this was absolutely the worst movie I have ever seen and I still despise every character in that film. London was primarily uneventful except for the rich accents and the constant “mate” being thrown around. I loved London (at least the airport part of it) and if I were to ever be blessed with the fame of a writer, I would move there in a heartbeat. Actually, now that I recall it a little more, there was one event that does stick out in my mind. While waiting for our plane to Praha we had the pleasure of meeting two girls, Lex and Gretchen. They were 21 y.0. who have just returned from a whirlwind tour of California and were departing for their home city of Amsterdam. Surprisingly they absolutely loved the United States and mentioned that the people there were so friendly. It wasn’t until I arrived here that I realized how much I would be missing the friendliness of our culture.
When we finally pulled up to the apartment that I would be calling home for the next three and a half months, I was suddenly overtaken with a small feeling of fear. We were by no means in the richest part of town but neither were we in the slums. I’ve come to realize that most of our area of town look like this, peach colored buildings marked with graffiti. It is not so much the graffiti you see on the History Chanel gangland shows with the silhouetted thugs. No, I feel as though this is more of an art than a vandalism. The first night out on the town was a night to remember. After much wondering around and grumbling stomachs we finally settled on a small pub a few blocks from our apartment. The establishment was great but somewhat pricey. We ate in what seemed to be the basement (it reminded me of the bar scene in Quentin Tarantino’s film “Inglorious Bastards”). There was one thing we learned that night and would not be soon to forget: it’s okay to say “no” to the waiter. We ended up paying for the side of fries and drinks that we didn’t want. Later that night we headed to Wenceslas Square and it was nothing short of stunning at night. It was a cool night I can remember and the square was lit up. A funny thing struck me though as we were walking down the street, confused and at times, amused, at the signs we read. That thing was, Praha seems to contain a darker side to it. When the shops close and the owners leave for tonight, a more hidden and possibly not as beautiful side lurks the streets and jostles you to join her. We refuse of course, but there is always that curious thought as to what she might offer. I doubt we ever will know, in fact, I know we will never find out what this “Darker Praha” has to offer, but it amuses me to know that it has a not so garish side.
If you’d like to Czech-out pictures from my first couple days, log on to facebook and check my homepage (wow, if that wasn’t a well plugged advertisment then I don’t know what is!) I love you all!