So, of course, I forgot things! Adapters, notifying my bank, you know just a few unimportant items got passed over in my packing process. Looking back I think it was my overindulgence in making lists that made me believe that I was incredibly prepared for this. Every time I told someone I was going abroad I would inevitably add “oh, I’m so excited” to some portion of the conversation and that is not an untrue statement. I am incredibly excited. However, in the midst of all the excitement and planning I forgot to really think about the fact that I am LIVING IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY. While the people here may look the same there are minute differences that definitely make it clear that this is not home. For instance the obvious, people speak a different language. Czech to the untrained ear i.e. me, sounds a lot like Russian and beyond being incredibly difficult to pronounce is unlike any other language I have studied before. There are also more subtle things though. One example is when I stood on the wrong side of the escalator and got yelled at because that is apparently the side that people walk up. Or learning that it is impolite not to take your shoes off as soon as you enter the house. It’s the small things that really hit you and make you feel uncomfortable but just for a moment until you realize how nice and welcoming all of the people involved in the program are. Two days ago when I arrived my host mom had to work so her neighbor greeted me and let me into the house. My host mom had set up my room and made me some chicken! I was starved from the flight so a welcome with food was just about the nicest thing that anyone could have done for me at that point. I must say I was a little nervous driving to her house because if you look up Prague you’ll mostly find pictures of the interesting historical buildings. Yet, driving to my host house I didn’t see any of them. I almost wondered “am I in the right place?” until the next day when we finally got to see some of that gorgeous historical architecture from a boat cruise along the Vltava river. The view was beautiful just look at the picture I grabbed!
Orientation is keeping the beginning of this week busy but hopefully I’ll have some time to really explore the city this weekend! Today we spent a fair amount of time inside a Charles University building and I myself spent more time than I meant to in a bathroom stall until a custodian KICKED the door down to let me out. Hopefully it’s an experience I’ll never repeat!