ON MOVING, LESSONS LEARNT & OTHER THOUGHTS // Prague, Czech Republic

Can you believe that on this day two months ago I was wandering around Munich in my first day of Europe? It only just hit me when I was walking back from the shops yesterday that it has been two whole months of being on this side of the world. Two months. 61 days. One sixth of a year. Which ever way I think about it, it still seems surreal.

The other day I briefly mentioned that I was moving out of the wonderful hell hole that was Hvezda dormitory. Without going into all the boring details of it, I present to you my new, temporary room. I say temporary as on the first of November I will be moving once again, but to a better room in the same building. Please ignore the mess, it is hard to be motivated to put everything in a proper place when you know you will be moving in a week!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAs you can see, it is quite old, and the furniture is as well. But I am happy here never the less. It is so much quieter, the neighbourhood is prettier, and I am a lot closer to the city.

Also, here is a random selfie as proof that I am still alive.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe rest of these photos are from my expedition yesterday afternoon around my new part of town. Unfortunately, there is still not a great deal around here, being largely residential. There is certainly no shortage of “potraviny” (minimarts/milk bars). However, I can forgive all for the proximity of my flat to Vyšehrad citadel. I have been there before, but even so since moving I have already been up there another three times. It is such a wonderful place to walk and take in views of the city.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI have now started five out of my six classes at university. The system is here is certainly quite different from my beloved Melbourne University, and is honestly making me appreciate it a bit more. While I wouldn’t say Charles University is a bad university, it has made me better understand why Melbourne University is one of the top 50 in the world.

While all my classes seem interesting, I often feel like the content is a lot slower and less stimulating than back home. One does have to take into consideration though that the teachers are often Czech, or Turkish in one of my classes – so English is not their first language. Furthermore, most of the other exchange students are from European countries and are not native English speakers as well. In some classes I am often the only native English speaker, and even so I think people can’t understand my Australian accent half the time! So this does result in content delivery accommodating for this. I was talking to Dad about this yesterday, and he made the point that exchange is not so much about what I am learning in the classroom here, but rather what I am learning from interacting with so many different cultures, visiting numerous historical sights, and being exposed to different cities.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES(My new flat is one of the first buildings on the left of the street in the main view of the above photo. This photo was taken from Vyšehrad!)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThat’s not to say all my courses are easy though! My Czech language course is far from it, particular for someone who has never learnt another language before! I am the only native English speaker in the class, so everyone can speak at least two languages already. My Australian accent once again hinders me in my terrible pronunciation of Czech!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn other news, the weather has certainly taken a drastically colder turn here. I used to be content wandering around with a jacket or a thick cardigan, but now it is time to layer up and pull on my winter coat nearly everyday. And Prague isn’t even at it’s coldest! It is getting to about a maximum of 12-14 degrees a day at the moment, but google revealed to me that I can expect a crisp top of 2 degrees in December. God help me.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd on another completely different note, I went to an Indian and Pakistan film festival with a friend the other day. I have never seen many foreign films, so I found the experience quite enlightening. We saw a “Lollywood” (Pakistan) film called Zinda Bhaag, which was a drama film depicting life within Pakistan. It has inspired me to attempt to watch more films from other cultures, as not only the content is new to me, but also the way in which the films are made is slightly different to your usual Hollywood gig.

– Reanna.

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