Friday, April 20, 2007

Last night in Praha

Scott, Laurie and Sonja at Akvarium

Scott, me and Laur

So it's 1 am and I've just arrived back 'home' from my last night in Prague. Unfortunately I didn't get to hang out with everyone today, but I had drinks with Carolyn, Laurie, Scott & Sonja and I saw Greg earlier today, so that's almost everyone on my Prague list.

One of the weird things of being back here is being able to see how things have changed, maybe better than the people who have stayed here all along. One of the major things I've observed is that my old CELTA friends hang out together, particularly in big groups, much less often than before. I get the impression that they all see each other less frequently, and it tends to be in ones or twos, rather than all going out together in a group like before I left. Friday nights at Radost, for example, was a bit of an institution when I was here, but I think that really doesn't happen so much any more. I suppose it's natural - everyone has made new friends from work, flatmates, and just randomly, and of course for them they've just settled into the routines of everyday life, rather than being on holiday 'let's go drinking every night' mode like I've been while I've been here. I'm quite pleased that a couple of people have said to me that it's been good my being here because I've encouraged a few people to come out and catch up not only with me, but with the rest of the old gang.

Can't help but wonder what things would have been like if I'd stayed. I'm perpetually trying to figure out whether I wound up with a less-than-ideal teaching job or whether it was just that I couldn't hack it. From talking to my Prague mates, I suppose it seems to be a little bit of both. The consensus seems to be that teaching one on one (like most of my Prague friends do) is a bit easier than teaching classes (which I was doing exclusively) - but I still can't shake the feeling that everyone else has coped a bit better than me in pretty well equally trying situations. Teaching English is neither easy nor (definitely) spectacularly remunerative - not in Europe, at any rate.

So, what have I been doing with myself in the past few days? Not a lot, really. I did come over with some grand plans to see a bit of the countryside surrounding Prague, but it really hasn't materialised. The whole point of coming here and my focus while I've been here has been catching up with my friends, not doing the whole tourist thing, and to that end it's been mostly late nights and sleep-ins, and not much time (or, indeed, much motivation) for doing the typical tourist sights in the day. I've pretty much seen it all (well, the major spots) in Prague, in any case. I do feel that I've been able to spend a good amount of time catching up with most people, but on the other hand, the time has just flown by and I can't believe it's time to go home again tomorrow.

When I was planning the trip, 10 days seemed such a long time - after all, most 'city breaks' are maybe 3 days, and something like a week in a place seems like an eternity. But these past few days have just vanished so quickly, and I'm really sad to be leaving again so soon. All my friends here are like 'stay in Prague!' and I reallly wish I could. Of all the places I've been since I've been in Europe, it's definitely here that I feel most at home, that I've been most happy, and that I've made the most friends. I love that I can just walk around any area of central Prague without ever needing to look at a map, that people can refer to obscure little bars or parks off the tourist map, and I'll know what they're talking about. Prague is really a place that I've got to know so much better than your average stag party weekender, and I miss it a lot.

Today Greg and I were up at Prague Castle, and I walked through Mala Strana (one of my favourite Prague suburbs) and on to Charles Bridge on the way home. On Charles Bridge I touched the statue of Jan Nepomuk, which is meant to ensure that you come back to Prague one day. It's rubbed shiny with the wishes of millions of people, and I hope it works for me. After all, it did last time...


  1. um, so why can't you stay in prague? stuff france!!
    I have a couple of letters here for you....
    Jess x

  2. No jobs. Other than teaching or call centre and I'm not that desperate


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