It’s my final day in Prague and I can’t even begin to comprehend that I will be in the states in less than 36 hours. Where did the last four months go? No seriously, where did they go?!
Thankfully, I have been processing this transition for a while mentally and emotionally because people have scared me into it saying, “The culture shock is 10 times worse going home- good luck!” Followed by a rather evil and menacing laugh. Okay, so maybe that last part was just in mind, but still, they made me a little nervous. So I have been “processing,” if you will, my transition in the hopes that I won’t be hit so hard by this supposed massive shock.
And I think I’ve reached a healthy place. I have had a great, amazing, phenomenal, educational, life changing, and adventurous four months full of great food, great beer, and even greater people. BUT I am ready to go home. I can’t wait to see my family- if it weren’t for my family I would be quite keen on staying in Europe, but considering I’m rather fond of them, I would like to go home and see them. I also reallllllly want a blizzard from DQ. An oreo one to be exact. Prague has a KFC, McDonald’s, and Subway on nearly every corner but where are the Dairy Queens?! In America, that’s where. They don’t exist in Europe and don’t even try to compare a McFlurry with a blizzard. They aren’t even on the same level.
These past few weeks I’ve begun to be nostalgic for Prague- and I haven’t even left yet. It’s a problem. I am not an emotional person at all; my sisters even call me a tootsie pop- hard on the outside but soft on the inside. But I have this weird streak of being overly sentimental. ‘Last time’ instances are never good for me. High school graduation was horrible, my last night in my freshman dorm was horrible, I even dislike “saying goodbye” to hotels after spending a week’s vacation in them. It’s one of my quirks and I’ve grown to deal with it but these past few weeks have been full of ‘last time’ instances’: last time crossing the Charles Bridge, last time taking the 5 across the river and seeing all of Prague, last time running through the park, last time watching the Astronomical Clock go, last time walking down Wenceslas Square…..
One ‘last time’ that I am looking forward to however, is my last time having to be responsible for the Czech language…. I’m done! And better yet, I got an ‘A’ in the class. Which is saying quite a bit considering how unbelievably and ridiculously hard the language is. Luckily my teacher, Zdenka, was amazing- the most chic and sophisticated women I have ever met. I want to be just like her someday minus the chain-smoking, of course, and the whole speaking Czech thing too- the first is preventable, the second is near impossible. Let me give you an example of how amazing Zdenka is- when she was returning our final exams she explained, “You will find two grades on your exam, the first one is your grade for the actual exam, the second is your final grade and it is in heart.” You better believe that final will be going up on the fridge at home.
My premature nostalgia however hasn’t held me back form fully enjoying Prague my last few weeks. Despite two papers and five exams during finals week, I managed to still enjoy the beautiful city….
I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting my last four months. I’m looking forward to looking back on this blog in 5, 10, 25, 50 years and reading about my 20-year-old self and my fabulous time abroad. With one more post reflecting on my experience and my transition back to the states, this isn’t quite goodbye but I want to thank you all (mom and hopefully a few others?!) for reading about my adventures. You have forced me to put my experience into words. Thank you.