By: Brittony Girton
My first impressions of Prague, well it was dark. I arrived on a Friday night after the sun had set. After flying from Seattle to London then finally to Prague, I was rather jet-lag and had not slept in about 18 hours. Trying to sleep on the airplane does not count as actual rest. I always envy those people who can actually sleep sitting up straight in their seat while not to fall on their neighbor. So I arrived tired, jet-lagged, disoriented, in the dark, and I only just knew which way is up. We are off to a good start.
The TEFL Worldwide school reserved a taxi ride to take me to the student housing which was awesome! Being that the airport is outside of the city, way outside, this was particularly nice. No way would I have gotten there on my own. It took me several days to figure out where that airport is and how I got from said airport to the housing, especially since it’s far enough out of town to not appear on most maps of Prague. I blame jet lag for my general confusion.
The taxi driver seemed to be in a perpetual bad mood and not knowing any Czech, I formulated several possible topics that the Taxi desk receptionist was having with my Taxi driver. Most of those possibilities were not positive and left me to wonder does my driver hate me already. Which also brings up another question. Why is it that when you hear a new language is often sounds like the person is angry? But you get past that.
Now I know it a bit of a cliché, but those taxi drivers are a little crazy. He drove way to fast and I had to work to not have my stomach try to exit through my mouth. It would be quite disappointing if I was to die in a taxi only an hour after arriving in Prague. But I didn’t, and the taxi did get me to the hotel to pick up my keys to my flat.
Another saving grace was a lovely woman who was waiting for me at the hotel with a packet for me. I gave my rent to the hotel, they gave me the keys, and my new guide took me up to my new home with the taxi. It was a relief to have someone speaking Czech to the taxi driver and to help me up the stairs to my flat, giving me advice along the way. Everyone has one or two greeters who helped us get our keys and find our housing. If you arrive for the TEFL course I very much recommend having the school arrange the taxi and the greeter. It saves you time and stress of getting to the housing.
Depending on what housing you want, it is possible to have a single apartment, or have ones with roommates. I opted to have a shared flat and I am very glad I did because I arrived to new friends. Of course two of my new friends were horrible sick, and knowing that the TEFL course does not advise taking a day off due to illness, the reaction from the ones of us who were healthy was “No touch!”
The apartment that I stayed in had four rooms and by the end of that Friday evening we were all here. The first greetings involved us fumbling around trying to get our bearings. In a new country, no one knows where we are, well we were in Prague, but on first arrival your not even sure if up and down are the same, and everyone tends to be happy to know that they speak English. Typical question like “Where are you from?” get passed around, and the more complicated question like “Why did you leave your life at home and come to Prague?” are best left to ask the next day.
Tomorrow we will worry about getting food, finding the store, rediscovering which way is north, and contemplate why it is that the toilet and bathroom are separated. But at that time all that mattered was that I had arrived. I was in Prague to begin a new adventure.
The Villa! Our new home no the hill.