Hey y’all! Or should I say dobry’ den! I’m currently a Sophomore studying abroad in the beautiful (and inexpensive) city of Prague. I like to think of myself as an adventurous person, but this is actually the first time I’ve been to Europe so I’m super excited to be here. It’s part of the reason why I picked Prague over the other European cities, because traveling from Prague is just so convenient. And no, I actually did not pick Prague for the cheap beer. To be completely honest, I’m not too fond of the taste of beer, and one of the things I miss most is New York’s FREE tap water. The rumors are true – beer is indeed cheaper than water.
I’ve lived in Queens for more than half my life, so it’s definitely a huge change from living in New York to living in a quaint city like Prague. In Prague, there are quiet hours from 10 PM to 8 AM. I used to be comfortable walking home in New York at 3 AM, and now I can barely walk home at 8 PM without getting nervous. Maybe if it didn’t turn dark at 5 PM, I would feel more comfortable. My freaking out and being so tense probably makes me stand out even more than I already do amongst the sea of Czechs.
I was always pretty quick in adapting to change and I never got homesick much, but there’s just something about Prague that makes it so difficult. Maybe it was a result of my dorm being 40 minutes away from all of my close friends, or maybe it was because I wasn’t used to the lack of Asians, or maybe it was because everything I tried to say would get lost in translation. But isn’t that the point of study abroad? Isn’t that what I was prepared to do? To step outside of my comfort zone and to learn more about who I am. It all sounds extremely cliché, but sometimes life just works that way.
Unlike some of the other abroad sites, orientation at NYU Prague is a solid week long. That means more opportunities to explore before you have to start stressing about homework and schoolwork. In my case, that means more lost adventures and desperately trying to find my way home. I was never that big on following rigid itineraries or tour groups; I preferred walking and turning wherever I wanted. However, that often leads me into dark alleyways at 10:00 PM as I’m trying to find the Charles Bridge. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve asked “Where are we” every single day this past week. But if I’m able to write a blog post, that means I’m alive, so everything is fine, right?
Wrong. On Friday, I lost my phone. I know you’re probably thinking, “Already? You’ve been here for a week.” Just my luck, huh? Everyone warns you about it, but in the end, there’s only so much you can do. Apparently, one out of three students abroad will have their phones stolen. It’s an insane statistic that you might not want to believe, but at this rate, I’m finding it highly plausible. What I miss most about having my phone, however, is being able to facetime my family back home. I’ve resorted to sending them emails, and there’s just something so impersonal about sending emails. It also doesn’t help that when I asked the NYU Prague faculty where they got their iPhones, they responded with, “America.” Hopefully, this event isn’t a precursor of the rest of the semester.