Thursday, March 4, 2010

PRAGUE!!!! Thursday February 25

Monday afternoon (Feb22) Jill and I were talking after class about plans for when we would go where...and we realized there was no time in march or april for Prague (which was somewhere Jill had a really REALLY wanted to visit.) i won't lie...not opposed to the idea of Prague at all! Main dance/ballet scene, music galore...classics, concertos. probs some new stuff too. I would also hate to not be a good friend..
we realized that this weekend would be the only open, possible time to go.

after a week of flight searching, parental negotiating, hostel perusing, price checking..Jill and I were on our way!!!! departed home in Rome at 6:30...and off to the bus station. changed bus company from intended and hopped on a different one...
...along with a large group of Americans from Notre Dame who were also bound for Prague.
excitement to find people who spoke our language faded within, well, minutes.
halfway to the airport Jill and I looked at each other and realized that " culture shock" going back into the U.S. is going to be pretty intense. possibly awful. They were loud, they were rude and loud, they were annoying. How can students from one of the most prestigious colleges be so lacking in basic brain function?! The ENTIER time in the bus, in line for the plane, the drifted conversation we could hear IN the plane, and on the bus we got on once there..they main topic was drinking. How to get drunk the fastest. Where to get drunk. How long they would be drunk for. What they would (not) be able to do...while drunk. Single minded purpose. They were more concerned on going out the first night of arrival, then they were on finding their hotel.
May they remember their time in Prague oh so very fondly. blessings.
(sorry for the rant).

Anyways. in the airport..the gates to board the flights (ours was taking off at 9:50pm....21:50. landing two hours arrival just before 12 or 00) The terminal where we waited was basically a warehouse with benches and signs with flight information.
the cheap airlines (way Wizzair!) we got on a bus from the "gate" which drove us to the plane around the corner that we hurried to board (so to get two seats together)...kind of exciting, went up those steep stair things up to the doors in the plane.

Once we landed, we grabbed the last map avaliable, (which was in French) got some Kc out of the atm (about 18 kc per USD) then hurried out to try and catch the bus. A nice lady helped us figure out how to get the bus tickets. and after some shuffling of euros for kc with the other US kids (since u needed coins to get the ticket) we boarded the last bus from the airport for the night.
Got off at a sketch bus station, consulted map, and Jill and I strode away confidently. 15 minutes later...realized we had hiked in the opposite direction we needed to go. (it was then about 1am)
Following the main road (which was well lit, with cars, and an occasional taxi to reassure us that if all else failed there would be a route available) Back tracked, and kept on walking. and walking 45 plus minutes later, following what began to look like a freeway, and under a sketch bridge..we found the glowing, welcoming sign of Hostel Elf.
Went into the gate from the road, which led to a narrow passage with a concrete stairwell between a tall building on one side and a hill with a fence on the other. Graffiti decorated the building's wall in colorful shapes and designes. up the stairs, and behind the building, on the wooden porch; and into the hostel. Hostel Elf was pretty chill. Except for the whole 2am bit..which has us a bit on high alert.. we were greeted by a very nice guy who registered us (and from the corner a cloud of smoke with the sounds people talked quietly and the strains of a harmonica). Brightly lit halls, painted yellows and dessert colored oranges and dusty reds. We were the only two in the dormatory style room. With a flamingo painted on one wall, and a cool bird and design on the other...we tiredly locked the door and curled up under the clean sheets and blankets (that matched the walls and had funky african designs).
We debated about how many details we should tell parents *cough* dad or Dr. Szabo..who encouraged using a taxi (for the ridiculous price). But never did the little conscious in my brain start screaming and frantically fleeing the scene. Nor did i for one moment let down my guard or high level of being alert (which was impressive for the two hours of sleep i got the night before).

New tradition: At the beginning of the trip..and before sleeping Jill and I snagged the others hand and gave a quick shout out to Jesus. It was rad. We'd just send a prayer-out-loud for protection, strength, safety and blessings. With molto grazie (much thanks) for taking us so far.
Digging it. Living it.

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