30 Things I’ll miss when I leave Prague

My departure date is quickly approaching and it seems like everything I do reminds me of something I’m going to miss when I’m home. I’ve spent roughly half of my adult life (ha. as if.) living in this city, and I feel like I’ve grown up in it, like a branch that has been grafted into a tree. Will adult life even function the same way in a country without guláš? I think not.

So to cope with the impending dread of leaving my little nest here and returning to the Great Unknown (read: the future), I’ve made a list of all the things I’ll miss about Prague.

Wait. Mary. Stop. This sounds like a hooooorrible coping mechanism.


So, we’ve been a little emotional lately… Let’s get back to that list, shall we?

  1. Public transportation. Otherwise referred to as a guilt-free excuse to leisure read.
  2. Cobblestones.  Also grey-brick sidewalks and dirt paths through the forest.
  3. Thick hot chocolate. It’s actually really like melted chocolate. You could use it as dip. Or cement. Delicious, dark cement.
  4. Donuts for 12 cents. Or really, just all food being extremely, unbelievably cheap.
  5. Swans. Everywhere. All the time. And feeding them on the river banks is one of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. IMG_3985
  6. Beer. There is no point in drinking American brews now. My standards have been raised. Also, it’s cheaper than water.
  7. Pretty money. Like, why is American currency just green? Are we the only country that doesn’t have fancy colors on our bills?
  8. Dumplings. Potato dumplings, bread dumplings, fruit dumplings, stuffed dumplings.
  9. Train rumbles. There are few areas of the city where you can’t hear the gentle hum of a train chugging along its tracks or see it’s speeding on its merry way
  10. People dressing like they care. European fashion is real.
  11. Picking my own food. Spring and summer are resplendent with forest berries and mushrooms and everyone in Prague has some kind of garden with fruits and vegetables to share all season. Fresh. IMG_2238
  12. The Charles’ Bridge. Because it’s a thing of beauty.
  13. Street performers. And for that matter, sausage and pancake vendors.
  14. Fried cheese. Can we please, pleeease make this a thing in America already? 20140605_181837
  15. The Vltava. Pity those who don’t live next to a river.
  16. Trdelník. Dough, roasted over coals, coated in cinnamon and sugar.
  17. Czech holidays. Especially the crazy ones, like the day the devils come and drag children out of their classrooms or the day they burn the witches to beckon spring forward.
  18. Randomly hearing fireworks all the time. Because they’re legal here. And people like to party.
  19. Being just a day away from everywhere else in Europe. They don’t call it the Heart of Europe for nothing.
  20. Czech humor. Dry, sarcastic, and unapologetically honest.
  21. Sitting down to eat. You don’t walk and eat here. You eat. You enjoy. The bond between human and food is respected here.
  22. The social acceptableness of eating alone. It’s done. It’s normal. No questions asked.
  23. The community. Prague is too small not to run into people you know on the metro on a frequent basis.
  24. The seasons. Prague looks magical in all of them. IMG_2659
  25. Wild Boar. Not that I’ve seen any yet. I’ve smelled several and heard one. And their tracks are visible all summer along forest paths. I guess I’ll just miss the possibility of seeing one.
  26. Chocolate. They sell chocolate here in huge bars with nuts, fruits, cream fillings and gummy candies. It’s out of this world.
  27. Crazy hair. I see someone on the bus with a mullet at least once a week.
  28. Having a pub or grocery store on every corner. They may all be exactly the same, but as long as they’re serving Staropramen or selling rohlíky then I make no complaints.
  29. Tartar sauce. I’m not sure if I can go back to ketchup after two years on the sauce. We’ll see.
  30. The sky. All summer long. IMG_0506

The truth about seventh graders

Edison1Let’s talk about seventh graders. I want to do this while it’s fresh on my mind. It’s fresh because I just spent the morning with about fifteen tweenagers as a chaperone on their school outing and was immediately taken back to the days when girls and boys still hung out in two different groups, the colored bands on your braces were a big deal and the most popular kid in class was whoever had gum.

Childhood has its ups and downs, much like the astro-jump my students nearly tore a hole in today.

Ah, I’m getting ahead of myself.

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