- It's stunningly gorgeous. Instead of staring at the barriers of 287 each day as I commute, I get to stare at the Vltava and Prague Castle. Can't really beat that.
- No driving!
- I really do like Czech food. Sausages are quite possibly my favorite food of all time. And cheese. Remind me of this when I need a triple bypass in 20 years.
- Pivo! Especially at fabulous outside cafes on the river or cozy pubs. Makes it taste much better.
- It's cheap! Compared to what I'm used to back at home, it's insaaaaanely cheap.
- It's very walkable. Everything that looks like you're about to spend hours trekking to really takes 5 minutes, so you can run all over this city in no time flat. Which I do often, largely because I'm lost.
- There's always something to do. Granted, I have not taken as much advantage of this as I want to, but am about to have a lot more time on my hands, so will start checking things off the list.
- Mostly everyone has been absolutely lovely as I butcher their language and commit atrocious faux pas and fall in their cobblestones. Tons of interesting people doing interesting things. Huge student population, which is really making me want to go back to school. Probably why I walked away from the expats convention with 9,384,029 flyers about grad school. Question is - for what? Am open to suggestions!
- The electronic devices in this country drive me bananas. Primarily the washing machine and the vacuum. But the dishwasher comes in at a close third, and then its my cell phone. Agh.
- No one stop shopping. I miss being able to go to A&P and get my food and shampoo and batteries and screws and make up and everything else. Here I'm running to the grocery store, the DM, the pharmacy, and then usually Tescos because I can't find what I need anywhere else.
- Not a lot of places take credit cards and everyone always gives major attitude when I give them a bill higher than 500. If no one will take it, why won't the ATM give smaller bills?!
- Sneaky waiters who add extra stuff to your bill. It's in the guide books for a reason. Gotcha, jerk. I may not speak Czech but I can still add.
- It's reeeeeeeeeally frustrating seeing words that you think you should be able to understand because it's all the same letters, but you have no idea what these words mean or what this giant jumble of consonants even sounds like, let alone what it stands for. It's like your eyes get a massage when you find something written in English in the store. Thank you Neutrogena moisturizer. Thank you.
Had a great weekend of running around Prague. Spent Friday having lunch, hitting the pub and then bowling all over town. Saturday we checked out the ExPat convention where we aimed to get as much free stuff as possible (I got a rubber ducky, a pen, some wine and a day at the gym...), then book shopping, lunch and tea (and beer, naturally) at the good ole Globe (which has quickly become our almost daily hotspot), and then finally a movie at the TEFL house. It's at this point where things start going downhill...
Because the TEFL house is out in the boonies of Prague and public transportation is somewhat limited late at night, I ran to catch one of the last buses out of there around 1am. Get back to Andel, head to the tram stop and only have to wait a few minutes until the trusty #14 comes. Amaaaazing! Hop on, grab a seat, and stop paying attention. At some point about six stops later I realize, "Hey - there's a gas station. A gas station. Holy no. There are no gas stations. Oh. My. God. Where am I?!" Get off in the middle of no where and wait for the next tram, regardless of where it's going as long as it's heading back into town. Get on and ride it back. By now it's after 2. And I need to pee. And it's freezing. This is not going well. In my rush to get home, I think to myself, "Aha! I'll get off at Wenceslas Square and take the metro home." So down the stairs I go until I realize that it's night, the Metro is closed, and I am now dead center of a homeless convention in front of a man with his jeans around his ankles and his boxers around his knees who was thankfully too deep into his inspection of *shudder* to notice me. Power walked like I've never power walked before and ran to the next stop to wait for what I hope is the final leg of my trek home. I finally get in and am able to thaw out a little after 3am - over two hours after I started this expedition. You know - there is something to be said for cabs.
Woke up and spent approximately twenty minutes looking at my TEFL book before I felt it was an acceptable time to have a break. Peej and I set off in search of lunch and Tesco. Had an absolutely delicious lunch of Vietnamese spring rolls and pho ga and then shopped til our arms dropped off at Tesco. I am sorry to say that the most exciting purchase since I have arrived here as been the vacuum that I bought today. I have given up all hope of deciphering how to use the one we have or how to find a bag to go in it. Ohhh, it's a glamorous life I lead. ;0)
Final week of TEFL kicks off tomorrow full of projects and job interviews and morrrrrrre teaching practice and papers and all types of horrible stuff, but then it's freeeeeeeedom! Well, freedom until I find out if I got a job and then spend all my time planning real lessons, but yaaaaaaaaaay! Cannot wait.
Peej has whipped up meatloaf and mashed potatoes for family dinner tonight so I'm off to stuff my face. Ciao!