It’s my last week living in Prague, but I’m squeezing every last second out of it.
Here are some things I’ve been a part of this week:
My amazing program (American Institute of Foreign Study) put together a really fun Czech dessert baking day. We made walnut crescent cookies covered in powdered sugar (they melt in your mouth), sugar and gingerbread cookies, and even a braided Christmas Cake called Stredovnice. We worked in this great industrial kitchen that my program director rented out of the Palac Kultury, or Palace of Culture in Vyšehrad. It’s a kind of functionalist convention building that used to be a “state-of-the-art” meeting place for Communist officials as a display of wealth and progress.
I got a chance to play floorball with my Czech buddy Lukas and his friends. A sport that’s most popular in countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, it was cool to play as I’ve never had the chance before. It was a TON of fun, although I got lost for a bit in a dark, graffitied neighborhood on the way to the Charles University PE faculty. Yay adventures!
I visited the Nizbor Glass Factory and saw some awesome glass blowing! We got a brief rundown on the history and process of glassblowing and then she simply lead us into the furnace work room where we stood for a good ten minutes watching in silence. There was something so hypnotizing about watching these people heat and work with these glowing balls of crystal. Afterwards we watched other craftspeople cutting their molded glass with diamond blades. And the “gift shop” at the end was a kind of exhibition of its own (I hesitate to call it a gift shop because the quality and brilliance of the glasswork was so impressive).
I got the amazing chance to see Charles Bridge at dawn and then took a hike up Petrin Hill.
I have no words to describe it, so I will have to link a photo of me and my sleepy-eyed friends to try and capture the experience (it will fail).
And thousands of more tiny little things: My last movie night with friends. Watching the ballet The Nutcracker. A three-hour yoga session. A cheesy dorm Christmas party. Staying up really late with friends. Watched an incredible rendition of Macbeth at the Prague Shakespeare Company. Cafes upon cafes upon cafes and on and on and on…
Winding down my last time spent here has left me with lots of different thoughts. The awareness that I am leaving drives me closer to the friends I’ve made here, but it also makes the “leaving sickness” stronger.
I keep going new places, but have to say good bye as I leave for the first time.
I keep meeting/connecting with new people, but can we be friends for only a few minutes?
Yet the excitement to get back home and begin life again is rearing its enormous head. I can feel it among my friends too.
This building pressure of being between two waves.
Something important is about to happen. Like feeling a show about to start or falling. Like having a great dream five minutes before waking up.
Whatever is coming, I’m ready.