After getting very few hours of sleep my first night in Prague, I decided to try to get to know the area I was living in by going for a run. It was about 8:30 in the morning, I put on a pair of long running leggings, long sleeve pullover, but nothing could prepare me for the cold that hit me when I stepped out. I am from California, born and raised. Although the San Francisco bay area can get pretty cold, living and going to school in SoCal for the last three years has completely made any cold weather unbearable to me. My run quickly turned into a walk for 3 reasons. 1. I could no longer feel my face 2. The streets were really busy with pedestrians walking to work and 3. I was not going the direction I thought I was going and I didn’t realize it until I was at the shopping center. I was planning on going there anyways and since I was freezing and awkwardly surrounded by people I quickly abandoned the idea of going for a run.
I went into a place called My, which included a Tesco, it’s pretty much 6 or 7 stories of just about everything you can possibly need. Since I knew I needed to come here, I had tried to mentally prepare myself for any human language- barriered interaction I could possibly have. During my sleepless night, I taught myself more than 10 key phrases in Czech such as good morning (dobré ráno), please (prosím) and thank you (dekuji vam) All the preparation in the world couldn’t have given me the courage to speak any of these to the lady at the register though. Especially after the nightmare of a time it took me to figure out how to find towels (the highest floor) and where to pay (on that floor). If you try to go downstairs with your items, the buzzer will go off and what better way to learn something like this than to have the buzzer actually go off on you. I looked up in fright, thinking a security guard would accuse me of stealing. Luckily as far as I could tell, I had gone unnoticed. I eventually figured it out by myself, one small inglorious victory in a very long and adventurous day. A day that included a trip across the charles bridge, to the parliament, the prague castle, and a hike up many flights of stairs that led us to the beautiful view in the photo attached. I’d say it was a very successful first day in Prague.