Sunday, June 29, 2014

Zizkov pt. 2

Is it possible to do nothing and still have an active abroad experience? Today made me realize the answer is yes. I woke up with the apartment to myself (roommates still in Munich/with parents) hung up my laundry and made myself breakfast. Seiferetova is absolutely starting to feel like home. After a full day of exploring the day before, I unfortunately deemed today homework day. However, there is no need to stay inside for that! I selected the garden of Café Pavlac as the perfect working spot for a warm but cloudy day. I actually really enjoyed working on this project, especially outside, surrounded by Czech conversations, good background music, and the hanging lights swinging in the wind. The closest comparison I can make to this place is a simpler, more garden-y Barista Parlour. I also spent the afternoon finally making a bucket list for Prague. Lesson of the day: Figure stuff out BEFORE leaving. After two weeks here, I realized that with a bunch of excursions coming up, I need to start figuring out what I want to see so I make sure I get there. Some things on the list include: Finding all of Cerny’s artwork, Checking out Meetfactory and the Globe, Doing an Exit Game, Seeing the Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Gallery of Art, etc.  This would have been WAY better to do before leaving, but hindsight is 20/20. 

After this I ran my Vitkov path for over an hour, finding new side trails in the giant hillside along the path. This is the first day I have spent truly just being a person living in Zitkov, doing chores, working in a nearby café, working out in the neighborhood, etc. and it was really nice to feel so at home after just two weeks. That night, I headed to Monastary in Prague 6. This restaurant is at a true monastery and brewery(the oldest ones are all at monasteries) at the top of the city. I tried authentic Smazney Syr and goulash, finally having a real Czech meal, and realized it was much more tasty that I had expected.

My chill day made me think about how I am studying abroad versus what many people do. My situation of having friends from all aspects of my life weave in and out of my abroad experience is anything but normal, but at the same time, it might be the best part of my summer. Life feels much more authentic and less like a vacation or school trip when I am not doing everything with a group, compromising on plans and staying in my comfort zone. To spend the morning with a roommate, have lunch on my own, and again meet old friends in the late afternoon feels much more like “real life”. It gives me time to go to the places I want to see, the availability to find friends for activities when I want a buddy, and to have time on my own without feeling like I’m missing out on a group experience. While I have always enjoyed floating between many, many, types of people, this is the epitome of that part of myself. I honestly could not imagine doing this any other way, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to go abroad in this fashion. Now that I've done it, I would encourage this to literally anyone, there is just nothing in the word like having an experience that is so fully yours, yet filled with friendly faces from time to time.

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