Monday, February 10, 2014

The First Week

Is it a miracle? Yes, I think so.
Well, it's officially been a week since I arrived here in Prague. And what a week it's been. I think I've walked more this week than I did all last semester at Chapman. Which I like, a lot. Walking around for the mere purpose of exploring just doesn't seem to exist in Southern California! With all the pastries I've been eating, I'm going to need to do something so I don't come back twenty pounds heavier!

Because school didn't really start until this week, I had nothing but time on my hands. It almost seemed surreal that I had an entire week devoted only to discovering this city that I now call my home. Naturally, part of that discovery was with food. If you were to look at all of my pictures, it would appear that all I did was eat. Which is actually fairly accurate. Walk a little eat a little. I've got a pretty great routine going. It seems like I've been to countless little cafés and restaurants, and I have yet to find something I really didn't like. It's all good here! All of it!

The tiramisu in the picture is from a little restaurant in Old Town Square (I don't remember the name!) I don't think this tiramisu was particularly authentic, considering the lady finger was just kinda thrown on top, but it was delicious nonetheless. My favorite bakery/coffee shop that I've discovered so far is called Bakeshop Praha. Oh my. My roommates and I went on Sunday for brunch because it was rumored to have the best croissants in all of Prague, and maybe even better than those found in Paris. And in my opinion, this rumor is correct. The almond croissant I got was perfection. Flaky and light and moist and almond-y, but not too sweet. I don't have a picture of it because I was far too preoccupied with each delicious bit to even consider pulling my camera out. I included  some pictures of the store though!

Bakeshop Praha 
Prague food is considerably cheaper than food in America. The average meal here costs from five to ten dollars. When I went to the restaurant that had the tiramisu, I was shocked that my meal was around $17! At home I wouldn't think much of that price at an Italian restaurant, but here it's just not normal to have something that "expensive." Of course, I've only really been eating at cafés and smaller restaurants that of off the beaten path for tourist, but it still came as a little bit of a shock!

Bakeshop Praha 
This weekend, my friends and I all went out for the first time too. It is so different than in America! We went to a club called Lucerna, where it was a throwback 80s and 90s music video night. There was a huge projector screen and TVs all around that projected the music video to whatever son they were playing. My roommate Brittany and I left kind of early (early here being 1:00 am) because she wasn't feeling well, but apparently after we left they played some Britney Spears and NSYNC. Now that's good club music! The vibe at the club was so different than anything I'd ever experienced in the states. You could tell the Americans there because they were the ones "dirty dancing," while the locals (and people like me) all danced together sort of communally. Thank goodness for this because typical American dancing is so not my style. I like to bust a move and they are more than accepting of that here!

This past weekend, my roommates and I also visited the John Lennon Wall. I have to admit, I had heard of the wall before, but had no idea the story behind it or what it represented. The wall was blank up until the 1980s, when students began plastering the wall with Lennon-inspired graffiti to protest the communist rule of Gustáv Husták. Now that communism has fallen in the Czech Republic, the wall represents youth ideals, like love, freedom, and peace.

Visiting the wall was so incredible and inspiring. A man was there with his guitar, playing Beatles' songs, and seemed to expect nothing. So many people's stories are written on the wall, just layers and layers of memories. There were some more "interesting" sections of the wall, like where YOLO was spray painted or the always classy, "99 problems, but a bitch ain't one." To many people this may seem inappropriate, and maybe it is, but the wall is supposed to represent years of culture and I think those attitudes are very fitting to my generation.

We also went to Kampa Park, where we saw some of the weirdest art Prague has to offer. I'll be studying the art we saw there later in my Art & Architecture class, but for now let me suffice to say that I honestly have no idea what would inspire someone to sculpt an anatomically muscular black baby with a barcode instead of a smile for a face. Three of them actually. My professor for the class says the artist doesn't like to talk about his art, so the maybe the giant black babies will always remain a mystery.

Me with the Kampa Park Babies!
Adorable right? 
There is so much to do here, and so much going on, but I still battle with the ups and downs of homesickness. I've never been so caught between wanting to be somewhere so badly but also wanting to return to the safe and familiar. Over the weekend my boyfriend Mason, had to be hospitalized due to an abscess in his throat. The abscess had to be drained and he was doped up with morphine and lots of antibiotics, and now he's waiting until his tonsils are less swollen so he can have them removed. This moment made me extremely homesick because I could do nothing to help from so far away. When I tried to call him, my phone minutes ran out about 30 seconds in, and it just left me sad and feeling helpless. I knew that he was being taken care of, but coming to terms that I couldn't really be there at all for him was really hard! I've heard that the homesickness comes and goes for a while until you fully adjust to your surroundings. I've only been here a week and like I said before it honestly feels so much longer!! So, in the wise words of Mama Judy I need to "be kind to myself to adjust" and remember that "it's often the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride."

No comments:

Post a Comment