Moving to Prague 2: Revisiting My (Foreign) Childhood
In the second entry in her relocation journal, American student Chelsea Hicks finds herself falling for her new home
Moving to Prague is similar to what I imagine being reincarnated as a child would be like. Everything is so surreal, so new and so exciting that, most of the time, I find myself in a state of absolute awe.
My eyes are constantly darting every which way, taking in sights unseen and marveling at the great heights of the brilliant castles, cathedrals and unknown structures that tower over me and, at 5' 10", I finally feel small again -- a feat I was almost certain had been lost after puberty.
My ears, bombarded by a slew of unfamiliar phrases, searches for syllables that I just might comprehend while my tongue softly sounds out the foreign words I can't wait to pronounce properly. This confusion is all set to the tune of my favorite '90s hits blaring out of every stereo, every car and every speaker in every store, club, bar, restaurant and on every street.
Getting lost at every turn, tripping over myself (mostly cobblestones) daily and generally eating foods unacquainted with my palette, all take me back to the days of my clumsy childhood when I was surprised by and marveled over everything.
In almost every way I feel like a kid again.
I say almost because my childhood never involved acquiring a taste for (excellent) Czech beer, gargantuan dance clubs or the fear of being pickpocketed -- though my parents did warn me against strangers.
As often comes with the territory of being a child, my first few weeks in Prague have been marked by a myriad of intensified emotions.
Joy has attached itself to my frequent bouts of amusement at finding something shocking and breathtaking around every corner, though frustration has also had its way with me; all those times that I try, and fail, not to come off as an American tourist.
Not to mention the frustration of overpaying for food in any remotely touristy part of the city, an area located quite close to my current abode.
Among all of my impressions, feelings and emotions, I find myself being particularly overtaken by a single one, and, as cheesy, and clichéd, as this certainly will be to say, I find myself falling in love with this place.
I've been flirting with Prague for almost three weeks now and find that the city is making quite an impression on me. Although it's not perfect, just as no cities truly are, part of my love affair with Prague is strengthened by the flaws that give it character.
The graffiti marking the walls and steps to the metro. The people, sometimes cold but often kind deep-down. The language I slaughter with my inexperienced speaking tongue. The missing cobblestone that begs me to pay attention to my step. The hills that lead to views no photo can appropriately capture.
This is the Prague I'm getting to know and love.
Video on YouTube
Celebrate Europe Day at Střelecký ostrov by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The day will culminate in a free concert by Eddie Stoilow
Chinese, Americans and Russians prefer Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
The majority of foreigners from several countries live in the Czech capital
Poll: Tensions seem high between Czechs and foreigners by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
The refugee crisis and terrorism are seen to be driving the growth in tension
Summer Time starts March 26 by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
Remember to put you clocks ahead an hour
Prague is 95th most-expensive city by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
The annual chart by the Economist Intelligence Unit confirms that Prague is cheap
Population rises in Prague and the Czech Republic by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
Statistics show immigration was more important than births
The Czech Republic is rising in happiness by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
A report from the UN shows gains in Central and Eastern Europe
Spring makes its way to Prague by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
It is this point in the year where you will begin to see people from all walks of life truly embrace the Prague lifestyle
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