Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Old friends and New!

Old sign for "Lenin" street
I had been meaning to go to the Museum of Communism for my entire time in Prague, but sometimes it is hard to skip out on exploring outside on a beautiful day for a museum that is “heavy on reading”. I am glad I waited, however, because ISA provided us with a trip there today, as well as personal stories of growing up during that time! I REALLY enjoyed the museum, it is absolutely worth the reading. I think the most interesting part was the anti-American propaganda, framing the U.S. as being “out to get” the Czechs. As Martin kindly pointed out, “Meanwhile, Americans were like..wait, where is Czechoslovakia again?”. It is crazy to think of how big of a presense the communists made America seem, when really, Czechoslovakia could not have been further from their minds. Also, I find the Stalin statue that resided in Letna Park to be a huge point of interest. While I had heard of this before, I had no idea how HUGE it was. Seriously, it resembled Mount Rushmore. But with giant bodies attached. I think it is hilarious that in post-Stalin times, they tried to take down the statue without people noticing…who are you kidding haha. The only funnier concept is the fact that the museum of communism is situated above a Mcdonalds (hello capitalism!). After this, Julie and I continued on our quest for healthy food in Prague, trying Rawcha, tucked right behind Namesti Republicky. Here, I enjoyed the best dessert 
legitimately of my entire life, oddly, served on a sticky note...? I certainly will miss the delicious healthy options Prague has to offer! (Seriously, who would have thought?) After lunch, Maxime arrived!!! When I interned in London for a summer, I met Maxime, a French student who was also interning in my office. Since 2011 we have kept in touch, and were also able to meet up in D.C. over Thanksgiving. I was so excited to be able to have the opportunity to meet up again, in a third country! I met Maxime and his brother, Victor, in Petrin and took them on my own walking tour of Prague. Starting in Petrin, we strolled through Kampa Park, to the John Lennon Wall, Charles Bridge, Jewish quarter, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, The State Opera, Namesti Republicky, and back to Old Town Square to climb the clocktower. I was shocked by how easy it was for me to navigate and how much information I could share. It still blows my mind how easy it is to adjust to a random city in just four weeks. After a beautiful view from the top of the astronomical clock, we joined Julie at Maitrea. I was so happy to be surrounded by all of my favorite French speaking vegetarians haha. Especially at my favorite veg restaurant! After dinner, we headed back to Prague 3 to watch the game in the beer garden. Strangely enough, we ran into Tim, a backpacker friend from Budapest, in the park! Heading to the beer garden together, we watched the game and met other interesting backpacker friends of his. While the game was really slow, the night was fun, and I was so happy to be able to see Maxime! 

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