With this being my first time leaving the United States, I didn’t know what to expect of the Czech Republic. I watched several videos and did my research, but at the end of the day, there is nothing quite like being here and experiencing things for yourself. In my short time of being here, I have had the opportunity to explore and fully immerse myself here in Prague. From doing the simpler task such as grocery shopping and commuting to work, to experience the food and nightlife here, everyday Prague feels more and more like home.
When I initially landed in Prague, I was extremely uncomfortable. I initially feared that being so far from home was the wrong decision. Being the only black American in my program only added to this uneasiness as all forms of comfort and familiarity from home were no longer available. As my time in Prague continued to progress, I was able to move past these feelings of loneliness. I was able to connect with Americans in both my program and my workplace, and while we don’t share the commonality of skin color, we were able to find other things to relate on. I am grateful for these friendships as they eased my transition into the Czech culture. While I am here, I hope to befriend some Czech students as I feel they will allow me to explore Czech culture from a more in-depth perspective.
One of the things about Prague that surprised me the most is how inexpensive most things are in Prague. For less than $10 USD, you are able to get a decent/great meal and a beer. This completely shook me as I live in a college town in the states with limited options and much higher prices. I am surprised every day when we go into an Albert’s and get a week’s worth of groceries for around $40 USD. I also find it interesting that Czech people don’t mass shop for food, rather buy what they need for the next few days. I could imagine that cuts down the amount of food wasted by a large amount. A lot of the stores here are staffed with older Czech citizens who don’t speak as much (or any English) but a lot are more than willing to help, especially when you greet them with a simple “dobré den”(Good Day!). There have definitely been situations here where a person I had to communicate with didn’t speak English and I had to determine a creative workaround. While this is initially frustrating at the moment, I look back on it just an experience to grow my communication skills.