Jeden Měsíc!!! (One Month!)

It has been a crazy journey so far and I can’t believe that tomorrow marks the one month that I’ve been in Prague! This may be sappy and mushy but looking back on the past month, I am so incredibly thankful to be given this opportunity and to have support from my family and friends who cheered me on and continue to cheer me on. Also, a special thanks to the Study Abroad office for helping me get here! Shout out to all the people who are supporting me on my journey! It doesn’t go unappreciated! Hopefully you’re enjoying what I’m posting!

Now onto my adventures!

This week has been filled with the nerve-wracking beginning of classes, concerts around the city and unexpected but delightful events. While I had the start of my classes Monday, which was an intense and busy day of trying to get back in the swing of things, I got the chance to see the Mild-High Club and Youth Lagoon at a cool venue called the MeetFactory. This place is pretty unique because it’s a music hall and bar with an art gallery attached. The building is located in a sea of abandoned and rusted trucks, busses and trains. One of its founders, David Černý, displays his artwork; he is known for his eccentric artwork all over Prague. His work includes sculptures that the locals describe as “Ugly Babies”, which are huge brass babies that can be seen scaling the Zizkov TV tower. The addition of these baby sculptures was an attempt to make the building more attractive (the tower hideously stands out against the pristine picturesque view of Prague.). I got to witness the giant babies and it looks exactly as it sounds; creepy, but definitely cool! Anyways, during the break in-between bands, my friends and I were able to check the art gallery. It was a great experience having an amalgamation of art in music in one building!

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Youth Lagoon at MeetFactory

Later, my friend was going away for the weekend and had already bought a ticket to a live show so we she gave me the ticket for Vök, an Icelandic Indie-electro band, and Never Sol, a native indie Czech artist with accompaniment from the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. The venue for this show was at Palac Akropolis and I feel like this show was more orientated for the locals- I hadn’t heard of either of these music groups, one being from the Czech Republic and the other from Iceland, so it was great to be a part of the local music scene! I was surprised at the contrast between the two groups because Vök had electronic based music, while Never Sol played solely with classical wind and string instruments; it was a interesting and wonderful combination.

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Never Sol with Czech Philharmonic accompaniment at Palac Akropolis 

This weekend my roommate, Tatyana, and I planned on doing things, cool things, like really cool things. We were actually going to get out there and exploring this beautiful city.  Saturday, we planned on going to a fashion market to check out local designers. However, due to my poor navigation skills and lack of direction, we ended up getting endlessly lost. I do admit that yes, I should have looked at the address and studied it a bit more, and yes typed them in google maps but I’m always so hopeful. We got to the general vicinity but didn’t exactly know where it is so we just keep walking on different streets until BAM, we thought maybe we should find some wifi or ask around to really know where this place is. We ended up at this cafe/bookstore/library called Ouky Duky where we regrouped, drank some kava, and braced for the cold again.

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Recharging at Ouky Duky Cafe 

 

Four hours later, we finally made it to the fashion market but by that time, we were cold, tired and hungry. We scanned through the beautiful designs but not long after we felt the urge to go home, and call it a day.

We started off fresh Sunday night, we were excited to go to a Yoga class and start the week off in a calm mindset!! However, again, I was so sure of myself and where we was going, I really wasn’t thinking clearly. I was in charge of the directions again and I failed! By now, I’m realizing I should not be trusted with directions. I kind of just go with the flow but when will I learn!? We asked around and got a partial answers that lead to nowhere so we walked… and walked… but no luck.

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Lost in Prague again… 

Instead of Yoga, because we gave up on looking for it, we wanted to do something at least! So we ditched our yoga plans and went to eat at a French restaurant adorned with cats that was frequented by the locals. (I’ve noticed that the Czech are very affectionate with one another which is a different cultural aspect than in the US. People will kiss on the metro, in the middle of grocery aisles and right next to us while we’re eating like at the restaurant. It’s so interesting how carefree people are about showing their affection and I’m getting used to all the love that surrounds me. My roommate was not as pleased with the excessive affection while we were eating though. But she was pleased with our french galettes-yummy, savory crepes.)

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Enjoying some Galettes! 

After dinner, we went to the Oko Kino (Movie Theater) and bought a ticket for the movie Room. The movie theater is so different in Europe! There is no popcorn and instead of a stand where you get food, the main area is a cafe where you can buy any kind of drink or dessert! It’s a very social atmosphere and it seemed like the place to be on a Sunday night! Even after our movie finished at 12:30 am, there were people enjoying each others company.

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Enjoying some Mint tea before the showing! 

Ultimately, this weekend was full of plans and all of them were broken. But even in those broken plans, we were able to improvise and create even better memories!!

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Map on the wall of my classroom and the view from my classroom “okno” (window)

My thoughts in between my little adventures are focused on class and planning big adventures like traveling to other cities in Europe over the weekends. There are maps on all of my classroom’s walls and sometimes it’s hard to focus on class when the map is reminding me of all the places I have yet to go! It reminds me of the map on the wall of my room- the one that inspired me to take that chance, and explore the unknown that keeps pushing me forward into adventure. Now that it’s been a month, I think back to what I was thinking about when I was on the start of my journey. So much as changed, I’ve learned so much. Next weekend, I travel to Vienna to start my string of being in a different city for 3 weekends in a row. I’m excited to see other parts of Europe!

 

Alyssa, a psychology major with a concentration in psychobiology, is excited to spend the semester in Prague, Czech Republic. In the hopes of adventure, she wants to meet new people, learn a new language, try new foods, and travel whenever she gets the chance. She can’t wait to experience the culture of a different place!

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