1. Czech people don’t move.
Just the other day Summer and I were walking to school when a big Czech businessman walked directly into Summer. She tried to move out of his way, but he just yelled something nasty to her in Czech. Just walking across the street, in the Metro or in the Tesco (a HUGE department store like Mervyn’s but with a grocery at the bottom) I get slammed into a couple of times. It’s hard enough in the states, but here they just really don’t care.
2. The beds are small.
This whole country seems to have been furnished by Ikea, but back when Ikea first started and everything was boxy and made from that blonde, beech wood. Anyone who is used to sleeping in a big bed will have an issue. And not just a little less space, how about a little less space and just a comforter – no sheets. But, on the up side – I have been told by a couple of classmates that the beds do sleep two quite comfortably. I’m not naming names, but no, it’s not me.
3.Wait for the cross signal.
In the first class I taught I had my students write a few sentences about cars. Almost every one of them wrote about how dangerous cars are, and how they don’t want to drive. I have always been a little anal about J Walking, but I think it was just preparing me for life in Prague. It’s no joke here folks. Those little Skoda’s move quick! The cars are fast and they don’t slow for pedestrians crossing against the light. I heard one person say, “Yes, in America you have guns. Here, we have cars.” Nuff said.
3. Vegetarians, Beware!
Yeah, when you order a salad at most restaurants in Prague you won’t be getting any lettuce. Some of the places in the Center will have an American style salad, but everywhere else will be a bunch of vegetables in some sort of dressing. Actually, it’s really hard to find good lettuce even at the market. The Minestrone soup I had tonight was made with chicken stalk and there is meat everywhere. I’m not complaining mind you – just letting you know.
Pivo means beer, and beer here is dirt-cheap. Tonight I paid 25 crowns for a Budvar – that’s about fifty cents to you.
5. Speaking of Pivo…
There are a lot of drunk people in Prague – all the time. My flat mate Christina can’t take the Metro without having some drunken Czech guy fall over on her. This happens at most any time of day. Just something to look forward to.
6. Wacky animals.
Ever since I arrived here I have seen a vast array of animals. I have seen at least 60 dogs, both big dogs and little dogs. They are everywhere. The squirrels here are very auburn colored and have gigantic fluffy tails. Ben and Dan (who live upstairs from me) have a rabbit named Oscu that resides (in a cage) just outside their front door. Oscu is really cute but has the longest claws I have ever seen on an animal. I am a little frightened of Oscu.
Oh, and I saw a rat today on the way to school.
7. Washing clothes
I have already explained how difficult it was to wash clothes in London, but Prague is worse. It is the same tiny washer, but no dryer. No dryer! The first couple of times I made the mistake of putting too much detergent in and winding up with some crunchy clothes. The towels feel like sand paper, and I won’t even get in to how my undies felt. I think I have a handle on it now, but it was sketchy there for a minute.
8. You have crazy dreams in Prague
I am not the only one…Since I got here I have had some wacky dreams. The best one was with Oprah, Bon Jovi and a small village in Africa. We were building them a school and a water well and in the dream I understood the African language. Seriously. Oh and a lot of strange sex dreams…
As you can see in the picture, the Czech’s like the bread. And so do I! It’s everywhere: at the metro, in huge bins at the store, at the Tobak – everywhere! And it’s so good! I am eating my weight in bread.