I get the opportunity for a free topic blog this week and since everyone else is covering our trip to Auschwitz, I want to do something a little different. I want to share with you all my observations and thoughts on Europe so far.
Let me get the rough part out of the way first. You spend essentially the entire trip with some form of limitation. You take a day-trip to Poland and you don’t have any of their currency. You go to a nice Italian restaurant but they do not understand what you want to order because they do not speak English. You try to find a nice outing for a beautiful day in May but all of the attractions and courses are only offered in Czech. You start running low on money and you can’t make any while you’re here. Your laptop hard drive crashes and you have to type blogs on your phone. You want some time to think, to rest, to relax but there’s always someone around. And sometimes you want a beer in the morning, but you have church in 40 minutes.
Now, that’s the downside, here are all of the upsides. If you start missing Qdoba or Chipotle (or Moe’s, but who misses Moe’s?), there’s a $4 burrito place right next to the classroom. If you miss your family and friends, there are always places to go to FaceTime them and instantly be reunited. If you want to go to some random country just because, just book a ticket and go. If you want to play sports or go for a run, there is an assortment of parks, courts, courses just a few tram stops away. If you want to go to a water park, play laser tag, or dance the night away, put $20 in your pocket and you will not be disappointed. If you’re bored, there’s 23 new family members here with you that are always up to play cards, grab a drink, chat, or have an all guys slumber party in Abe’s room.
And that’s just Olomouc. A small, cozy town halfway across the globe.
After spending two months and two days here, you start to realize that maybe it isn’t so different here. Yeah, the coffees are smaller and the beer is cheaper, but you forget about that after a while. At first, everything is so immensely different that you aren’t quite sure which way is up, sideways, or yesterday. You’re entirely foreign. As time goes on, however, those large differences become smaller and smaller until they just become the norm. People still drink coffee here, people still eat hamburgers here, people still show love here. Granted, they still don’t say “excuse me” or “ope” like I ranted about in a previous blog, but nonetheless, they do what they do, and we start to do what they do too.
Oh, you thought I was going to just have one deep, meaningful post about my wonderful time in Europe? Na-na-na-na-na-na-na (that’s Batman). Bloopers. I once ran into a door because most entrances here are push doors here, EXCEPT FOR THE ONE I TRIED TO PUSH BUT IT WAS A PULL. I fake run into signs often and everyone knows I’m faking, except for one girl that thought I was serious the entire time. She still thinks I’m a clutzy person, probably. Snails are a delicacy here too, so Abe stepped on one and crushed it “by accident.” One person bought chicken nuggets here shaped like dinosaurs. Na-na-na-na-na-na (Batman), these were fish nuggets. Learn Czech, it helps. They put a sweet sauce on McChickens here. It’s not ketchup. What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta (or the cheapest “noodles” available at Globus). If enough people get bronchitis or pneumonia, you aren’t expected to do to well in Czech class the next day. If a girl doesn’t know how to swing dance, don’t dip her. She won’t like it, she’ll say “DON’T DO THAT” and will run away. And if you go to Club 19, you will be thunderstruck. We’re all a little thunderstruck here: bright, loud, and a little struck by how much we’ve come to love this place.
And again, that’s just Olomouc.
– houston arens