Thursday, August 31, 2006

My new home in Prague

Clock in the Old Town Square

View from my bedroom window

My bedroom - bed in the near corner



In the last thrilling installment I left my loyal readers wondering whether I would manage to hook up with the mysterious Steve. Happily, yes - after about 15 mins mooching about the bar on my own, occasionally peering in the direction of a young gentleman who was possibly my unknown friend, he came over and it emerged it was in fact Steve. (I had thought he wasn't looking around nearly enough for someone expecting to meet a total stranger - turns out he was attempting to look nonchalant - and he couldn't quite see the small polka dots on my top.) But anyway, we managed it in the end and had a nice evening chatting and having a few drinks in a couple of bars. I stayed out far too late, getting to bed about 12 am, which did not make it at all pleasant to get up 4 hours later to catch the airport bus, feeling a bit seedy from lack of sleep and too many vodkas with Steve. But c'est la vie, I felt a bit better as the morning wore on.

Then it was off to Prague. Some difficulties meeting up with the taxi driver - I hung about the arrivals gate for about half an hour and then gave up and went to find a phone to ring the school. Just after I had asked at the info desk and was making my way to the phone, I finally came across him so we were off. The conversation in the cab was rather limited (driver: "metro" (pointing), me: "ah"; driver: 'skola' (school), me: "oh") but I did enjoy that there was a czech version of 'I don't know how to love him' from 'Jesus Christ Superstar' on the radio heh heh.

My new home is on the 13th floor of a block of flats out in the 'burbs, about a minute's walk from the school and 5 mins from the metro, where there are various shops and a supermarket (excellente). The lift up to the flat is rather dodgy - it basically has a door on it like a cupboard door and it's really slow and kinda scary, so it's the stairs unless I really can't be bothered. The flat itself is pretty cool - 3 bedrooms, kitchen/dining room, hallway, toilet and bathroom and my room is absolutely freaking huge! I have a bed, desk, armchair and chest of drawers and still a ton of floor space. There's a decent view out of the windows although nothing fantastic since we're just in a normal residential area. It's reasonably noisy since we're by a relatively main road - traffic and construction noise in the day (seems to be a lot of construction going on in Prague) but not too bad.

My flatmate arrived home after lunch and another girl who is going to be on the course came back to the flat with her and the three of us went out in the afternoon to the city centre and wandered around - Old Town Square, the Charles Bridge etc. which was nice. It was good to be with people who had been here a few days and know their way around.

On the way back home we went to the supermarket. Shopping is a serious challenge when you don't know what things cost or even what they are in many cases! It probably took about twice as long, figuring out things like "is that washing powder for cold washes? warm washes? colours? whites? Is that full-fat or skim milk?" etc. etc. etc. And I'm definitely perfecting my blank stare when people ask me questions. I guess it would be easier to say "nerozumim" (I don't understand) but obviously that would out me as a tourist far faster than my look of terror when the checkout operator talks to me! It seems to be pretty cheap though - I just worked out that my grocery bill was about 500 czech crowns or $35 NZ and although I probably didn't get everything I'll need, that covered basics like mince, chicken, pasta, bread, milk, butter, eggs, veges etc. so heaps cheaper than England I'm sure. I think I spent way too much in the first couple of weeks, but now I'm living here I plan to be a lot more careful with how much I spend.

It's kinda sinking in now how much more difficult life is when you don't speak the language - even simple things take forever and you can't really ask people for help if you're lost or whatever (well, I could, but don't know that I'd understand the answer). But that's all part of the challenge, so we'll see how I get on. My sister is arriving tomorrow so I'll have to do some scoping out of the place in readiness for showing her around.

3 comments:

  1. only just got a look at your lovely bedroom , wasn't sure it was yours though , the roses wrappers were absent , guess who , lorra luv xxx

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  2. Hi,

    I mosied on over here from the incomparable Ella Coquine blog and I'm absolutely loving yours. So much so that I'm starting from the beginning. Excuse me for all the anachronistic comments I am bound to make.

    I decided to comment on this post because I went to Prague by myself a few years ago and it took me back to all those lost in translation moments I so fondly and loathsomely remember. I can't wait to read more of your travels and adventures.

    Jenna

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jenna,

      Welcome, I'm so flattered that you like the blog well enough to start from the beginning! I love Ella's blog too, it was great meeting her. Anachronistic comments very welcome, it's all so long ago now that it's nice for me to rediscover some old posts as well. Hope you liked Prague.

      Just had a look at your blog too - definitely go to the Cinque Terre (you can read about my trip there when you get to Sept 2009). I'm going to be 30 in a couple of months, eek!

      Gwan

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