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Shoes on Stones

In The Art of Travel, 7. Free topic, Prague by NatashaLeave a Comment

Inspired by Shoes My brown flats are ¼ size too big, and they get sweaty. The tops are suede, with peekaboo latticework. They’re fall shoes, but I am fashion blind. While my thighs shiver from the cold of Prague February, the bottoms of my feet slide around on the bottom of these flats. I can’t tell if the bottoms of …

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A Man Worthy of a Square

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Prague by NatashaLeave a Comment

I read Open Letters, a compilation of letters and essays written by Czechoslovakia’s first post-Communist president, Vaclav Havel. This man is a genius, and I don’t say that lightly. Our professors here, whether they knew him personally or admired him from the vantage of another front of the revolution, speak very highly of him. Havel seems to be one of …

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The Small Moments

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Prague by EricaLeave a Comment

For John Banville, who wrote the novel, Prague Pictures: A Portrait of the City, his numerous visits to the Czech Republic left him with an array of different memories- many of which are quite similar to my own. In chapter 3 of the novel, Banville writes about a time he went over to the house of a woman named Katerina with …

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Foreign in Prague

In The Art of Travel, 4. Politics, Prague by EricaLeave a Comment

Before even coming to Prague to study abroad, I, as well as everyone else who was planning to come study here, had to go through an extremely strict, as well as stressful, student visa application process. While my friends, who were studying abroad to London, did not require a student visa and only had to worry about what clothes they …

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Communist Resurgence

In The Art of Travel, 4. Politics, Prague by Sean OhLeave a Comment

Once under the totalitarian regime of Soviet Communism, the Czech Republic, like its many neighbors, still harbors the legacy of pain and oppression that has not only stunted growth on several occasions, but has also brought about a backwards mentality that has been growing increasingly prominent in recent years. To fully understand the current political situation in the Czech Republic, …

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Prague, the Poem

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Prague by NatashaLeave a Comment

“What a stupid platitude, always to glorify the lie and say that poetry lives on illusions!” -Flaubert Prague is a poem. Its buildings line the cobblestone streets in a quietly proud parade, backs straight and looking toward the sky. The lighting in Prague is almost always ideal, soft and grey and serving at once as stark contrast and soft highlight …

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When English Failed me

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Prague by Sean OhLeave a Comment

During my solo adventure to Poland, I found myself agreeing over and over with Dave Berry’s quote, “Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.” I have traveled abroad before, to South Korea, …

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Strč Prst Skrz Krk

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Prague by Erica1 Comment

Strč Prst Skrz Krk. This Czech phrase, which quite literally translates to “stick a finger through the throat,” is one that is made up entirely of consonants- no vowels in sight. This difficult to pronounce and confusing phrase basically sums up how I feel about the Czech language: confusing and difficult to pronounce. During the first week of orientation here in …

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The Trdelnik Trap

In The Art of Travel, 2. Getting oriented, Prague by Erica1 Comment

The streets are riddled with trdelniks. What is a trdelnik, you ask? Well, according to Wikipedia (the only time I will rely on this site as a “reputable” source), a trdelnik is “a kind of spit cake” and is “made from rolled dough… grilled and topped with a sugar and walnut mix.” All over the Old Town Square, and nearly every tourist …