Friday, March 6, 2009

Falling in (and out) of love with you...

So, as you can see from the editing of my last blog, I learned how to add PICTURES! Hooray for me :-)

So. I have been in Prague for 6 weeks and 2 days. It's actually pretty ridiculous to think that I've been here that long, and that I have almost 14 weeks to go. I'm a little over a fourth done with my semester in Europe...and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I feel the need for some lists. So here you go.

There are some great things here, for sure. My favorite things so far:

1. Petřin Hill - Just a gorgeous, quiet place; good for rambling, clambering, and pondering. Reminds me a bit of the way I feel about Turkey Mountain...though Turkey Mountain is more secluded. There's a mini-Eiffel tower and a mirror maze and all kinds of stuff that makes me realize that I am basically still a kid.

2. Vyšehrad - the area around my school, also the oldest area in Prague.

Again, a relatively quiet place. Maybe that's the thing I like most. There's a sweet cemetary, where Dvořak and Smetana (composers) are buried, along with Alfons Mucha (artist) and lots of other famous Czechs. According to Petr, if you want to be buried here, all you have to do is become more famous in CZ than some other person who's buried there.

Also according to Petr and our Modern History text, a lot of Czech legends originated in Vyšehrad, including the legend of Libuše, the Přemysl princess/prophetess who took lovers to her baths then killed them, praying mantis style. But then she married a ploughman and ruled the Czechs for awhile, so you know, whatever. No big deal.

3. My apartment when no one else is home. I NEED MY SPACE PEOPLE!! Sor. I really do though.

4. My teacher was asking us in Czech class the other day, "Co rada v Praze?" (What do you like in Prague?) My response was "Mam rada tramvaj! Mam rada Metro!" (I like the trams! I like the metro!) She was confused, but I seriously mean it: Public transpotation rules. It rules so much. Don't know how I'll get used to cars again when I get back.

5. General awesome things: Going to bars and clubs here is really fun, mostly because that's the only place I get to meet actual Czech people. I love Czech people. They are precious. A lot of the people on my program seem to think that Czechs are grouchy and rude, but I really think it's because they don't get enough sun, so they don't smile very often. But when you actually talk to them, they're awesome. I talked to a Czech guy last weekend who really loved his country, because "It's not East, it's not West, it's not North, it's not South, it's central, and it is unique." Which comes pretty close to how I feel about it.

Always awesome: grocery shopping, fried cheese, castles, cheap beer, learning about Communism, having real free time, learning Czech, red roofed houses, being a "regular" at the Italian place below our apartment and having the waiters wink at you every time you say something to them in Czech, incredibly well-behaved dogs, adorable Czech children so bundled up that they can't move their arms, H&M, playing guitar everyday, and lots more.

Not so awesome things are definitely here though. Namely:

1. Dog crap. EVERYWHERE. You really have to watch where you step. So many Czechs have dogs that the word for "pet" is the same as the word for "dog". (Peš, if you were wondering.) But these dogs, while being freaking ADORABLE and unbelievably obedient, do poop everywhere, and their owners don't usually clean up after them.

2. The terrible weather. I feel like the USAC-student mantra is "This will be SO AWESOME when the weather gets nice!" Because seriously. The weather sucks. It has been sunny approximately three days since I've been here. And I never thought I'd rejoice over a high of 45, but seriously. I'm in dire straits right now. I told Ariel the other night that my requirements for a spring break location are simply "no rain, a beach, and 60s or 70s." I don't care if the only thing that this hyopthetical place has going for it is said beach. I need a beach. I need the sun, and I need it now. I mean, seriously, just look at this:

3. Missing people. Pete, if you read this, I miss you a lot. I could go for a nice long chat on the porch with you right now (in the sun. In about 75 degree weather, please.) I could also go for some QT drinks and SNL in bad way, Rachel. I see what you mean now about missing QT drinks. And I know I usually get Diet Coke, but I NEED A DR. PEPPER F'REALZ. Then can we go on a midnight safari and then go to Pops? And Schultz. Rock Band would basically make my week. Or month. Along with some FreshBerry...Mom, you're invited to the FreshBerry party too. And then you can all give me some really big hugs. I could go for about a thousand hugs right now.

4. I've already mentioned how I hate not having a dryer. I still hate it, in case you were wondering.

It's so strange when things I do here remind me of things I do at home. We have a lot of stairway conversations here in our apartment building, because none of us have living rooms or anything like that. Sometimes I just get reminded of sitting in Rachel's backyard, or on her front porch, or being at Pete and I's house on Lewis Place, or Pete's porch on Florence, or my awesome duplex porch with a bunch of awesome RUF-ers. Porch conversations are the best kind. Here, stair conversations are okay, but they're no porch. Anyway, now I'm just rambling. I love it here, and I love it at home, what can I say. Seriously, being here makes me love home AND love Prague more. It's kind of sweet actually.

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