Astronomical Clock, Becherovka, Breakfast Buffet, Charles Bridge, Class, Culture, Czech Republic, Food, Friends, Go-kart, Immigration, Lemonade, Little Hanoi of Prague, Můstek Metro Stop, Politics, Powder Tower, Prague, Student, Study Abroad, Traditional Czech Goose, Travel, Vacation
Today started out with hotel breakfast again we were the only people there since it was a Monday morning. I had my usual assortment of crepes with Nutella, egg and the mini baguettes. Then I promptly went back to sleep for an hour or so since I was a little sleepy from being out late the night before.
The day got started when my grandma and I took the metro out to the Můstek stop and we basically just wandered into all of the tourist trap souvenir shops looking for gifts to bring home, post cards and a magnet for my grandma and a keychain for myself that I had to search for. I eventually found it, and a few other things that were small but worth the search.
We saw the powder tower again, the Charles bridge, the astronomical clock and some remnants of Easter decorations with less of the crowds. From there I met up with Pipa and his friends to go go-karting. As I expected I was the slowest but it was still fun, no exciting or unfortunate crashes to report!
Next on my agenda was racing to Pipa’s class since we would have been late otherwise. I got to sit in on research paper class which I thought was quite interesting. They looked at some past research paper submissions that didn’t quite make the best marks in order to critique them for what was good and bad. I thought it was fun doing so. In my US schooling I hadn’t ever had to write a paper that was that long so I was comparing it to what I had done before. I’ve mostly done smaller research papers for a class each semester in small bursts I suppose you could say in comparison to what a senior thesis would be but they call it their bachelor thesis.
From class we went to pick up a friend of Pipa’s and then on the way we detoured through SAPA aka Little Hanoi of Prague. It was really quite striking the difference once you drove through the archway. The buildings looked different, the shops were Vietnamese, they had their own advertisements; it was almost like being in a different world separate from Prague itself. As Pipa said it was more or less like being in Vietnam since he’s been there he can compare the two.
Also during the car ride we had some really interesting discussions of immigration, what is culture in relation to Czech and American as well as what are stereotypical Czechs or Americans. It was really pretty cool to be able to talk so candidly about these topics, it directly related to my last class I took Intercultural Leadership. We also got onto the subject of politics and established that we would be on more or less opposite sides of the political spectrum. That made for some good discussion and from all of that I feel I have a better understanding of why people particularly in Europe may not be so enthralled with the wave of immigration that’s upon them. Being from the states it’s a whole different ball game though, we are after all a country made from immigrants.
On that note we went to a great dinner of goose with dumplings, potatoes, crispy onions and red cabbage. It was pretty amazing but no way could I have eaten it all!! This restaurant was in the beautiful municipal building right across from the Czech bank. On another note a little random but also the place where Czech 17 year olds went for their traditional dance classes in some cases! I had a non alcoholic beer with dinner which wasn’t bad but still wasn’t my favorite, I’m slowly working at trying all the beers one at a time. At the end of dinner my grandma and I were given a shot of Becherovka a Herb liqueur. The taste, not my favorite but the aftertaste wasn’t unpleasant! I had my shot and then the 90% left over from my grandmas after she tried a little of it.