Archive for May, 2012

Come what may.

Seven days, seven days. I’m one week out from my return to the States and I feel like I’ve returned to a whole new world (cue the Aladdin song). Well, ok, no not really a “whole new world” that’s an over exaggeration but just like I expected the world went on without me while I was gone and things changed. The one-lane road by my house that was always congested with traffic now boasts two lanes, a new Wal-Mart was built 5 minutes away while I was gone, and my parents sublet parts of our house to new tenants I’d never met. Luckily, I’ve been too busy trying to find a job and getting re-acquainted with life on this side of the world to really dwell on these things. However, today was a slow rainy day, a day in which I stayed indoors and had hours and hours on which to ponder on what I’ve already dubbed “my old life”. I know the trick to getting used to my pace of life at home will be to stay busy and continue doing the things I did before I left. I have to find a job for the summer (or longer), deliver many gifts to friends and family, and try not to start every sentence with “when I was in Prague…” the latter may take a while to get used too.

The eagle has landed.

Last night at around 9 o’clock at night I landed at Dulles International Airport, officially marking the end of my study abroad adventure. My last weekend in Prague was uneventful in a good way. I walked to all of the sites I cared to see and did some shopping too. I’m glad I waited until the very end of my trip to see the sites because I could appreciate everything with “experienced” eyes and laugh at all the Russian Matryoshka dolls (will post picture if you have no idea what I mean) inside the souvenir shops. Fyi, they have nothing to do with Prague or the Czech Republic. A wave of nostalgia hit me hard the night before leaving as I packed and cleaned up in the room, I had to pack all the gifts I bought for friends and family and in doing so I relived the memories of my trips, nights out, and too much drinking. This trip became more than I could imagine, without a doubt, I know I learned more outside of the classroom than in it, I got used to making mistakes, saying the wrong thing, and having to navigate cities without any knowledge of the language. After close to five months in Prague, I left with an understanding of basic phrases “hello” “yes/no” “thank you” and the most frequently used word in my vocabulary “sorry”. I can read and understand the menu (usually) and I can count (sort of). Since I only took two weeks of intensive Czech at the beginning of the program all of the “useless” stuff has been forgotten now. I made it by with just the essential knowledge necessary for my everyday needs, for everything else Google translator would have to do. I will surely miss that crazy language though.

By the time I got home yesterday I was running on about 4 hours of sleep and was going on 24 hours of being awake. I was tired and homesick for Prague…and I just keep thinking about how I will deal with the reverse culture shock. I’m a mega worrywart and even though I’ve been home less than 24 hours  “real life” has really started to sink in and I’m in a panic! Does UMW have a “post study abroad” self help group? I think I might need to start one.

Na shledanou Praha. (Goodbye Prague)


The List

I think everyone who studies abroad has a “list” of things that they’re going to do, food they’re going to eat, and places they’re going to visit once they land home. I know I do, I can almost smell the sweet American air, I’m two weeks away from giving my mom and dad a long awaited hug and kiss, two weeks away from pinching my three-year-old nephew’s chubby little cheeks, and two weeks away from being reunited with my boyfriend. In my head, I have an unofficial list of things I can’t wait to do when I get home, at the same time I’m trying to remember to enjoy what little time I have left in Prague. In any case, I figured I would make my imaginary list real by posting it on this blog, this way when I get home I have even more motivation to do these things, simple as they may be. So here goes…..

1. Have a great big American steak with mashed potatoes, salad, and an ice cold coke

2. Walk around Target maybe shop a bit too.

3. Listen to Pandora! It’s not available in Europe.

4. Rent a Redbox movie (also not available in Europe)

5. Go to Cap Ale for $2 Burger Night with my friends

6. Have my first legal drink in the States, maybe at Happy Hour

7. Visit the sites in Washington, DC…I’ve lived in the area all my life and never gone to see all the monuments.

8. On the same note, visit Ben’s Chilli Bowl, another DC landmark I have neglected.

9. Take my nephew to the playground

10. Enjoy my mom’s homemade cooking…and her time (:

11. Have a day dedicated to bonding with my sister

12. Go to a summer concert

13. Relax and be happy!