I write this entry near the end of my first full day in Prague. Apologies that it has been so long, but it’s been an eventful couple of days–and the internet access here is not very good.
The flights went fairly well, for my first international trip. I did not sleep much on the Atlanta-Paris flight, due to a combination of flight anxiety and one of the most turbulent flights I have ever experienced. On the positive side, I managed to finally see Argo, which I have been meaning to do for quite some time now (nothing better to prepare for Study Abroad than a move about Americans living under siege in a hostile foreign country!)
I also happened to sit behind two girls who, coincidentally, were also traveling to Prague via Paris for Study Abroad (though they were in a different program). They also had the same flight as me, so we swiftly became airport-buddies–a decision that would very quickly reap its rewards.
You see, my layover in Paris was originally scheduled to be only an hour. Fortunately, we arrived about twenty minutes early–this is the only reason that I made it to Prague on time. Our daring trio found three different customs lines that we had to cross, two of which had more than a forty minute wait each. It would have been physically impossible to make it through in time. However, our group was able to find airport staff, and our begging and pleading (and reasonable explanation of the issue, mostly) was able to get us through the lines quickly. We may have cut ahead of people. No regrets.
The last leg of my flight, from Paris to Prague, left on time and was relatively uneventful. It was smooth, and I was even able to sleep most of the way.
This should have been a sign that something was wrong.
The other shoe dropped when I was unable to find my luggage at baggage claim. I searched for it (along with the rest of my Power Trio) but it did not show up. Eventually I had to go make a complaint with the baggage claim people and leave without my suitcase before the ride had arranged left me at the airport.
I arrived at the Pension alone, a man with nothing but a carry-on bag and a bad case of oncoming jetlag. In order to combat the latter, I unpacked the former and headed out with one of my roommates to get dinner (and one of the best beers I have ever had.) After a pretty satisfying meal (albeit one that would have been better if I knew Czech for “medium-well”) we headed back, just in time for the rest of our roommates to arrive. We promptly headed out for a few drinks at a local sports bar. Having our fill, we headed back to the Pension–to run into other newly arrived students heading out for more drinks, at an allegedly better bar. Not wanting to turn down such an invitation, we went out once again.
This was, of course, all part of a clever plan to combat jet-lag…by drinking enough beer to make myself sleepy, I would force myself to go to sleep around 10 or 11 pm, which would normally have felt like early afternoon to me. Sadly, this plan did not succeed, and I have had a blistering tiredness-induced headache most of today. However, my luggage did indeed arrive the next day, so things are going pretty well.
Later, I will go into more detail about ordering food in a restaurant where I don’t speak the language, our first day of classes, exploring Prague, and dealing with an internet connection that can only be described as “combatative.”
Ahoj, readers, and děkuji.