Thursday, 12 September 2013

8 days to go ... What's on my mind?

    
    8 days to go before moving to Prague… I know the fact, but I am not really realizing it for the moment. It is only when I will be over there, unpacking, or in the first lecture that it is going to hit me. At present going on Erasmus seems to be only one of my many vague plans in the back of my head that is never going to see the light of the day. It is: it just hasn’t happen yet, I just haven’t made it real yet. This exchange that I been planning for months is about to become real in just a matter of days.




    What I do realize now is that this going to be a big step for me: I have already lived 2 years outside the family nest, abroad, in a student hall and then with friends; but this is going to be the first time ever that I am going to be living alone. This adds quite a bit of stress to this move. There are obviously some advantages to living alone: no need to state them, I’ll let you come up with them. However, I am a bit nervous about it: imagining all those worst-case scenarios, all that can possibly go wrong being a girl living alone in a studio in a foreign country. I will admit that I am scared of fire alarms: the sound of them gets me panicky, so I can just imagine myself freaking out in the middle of the night, crawling into a corner, rocking back and forth just because an alarm when off somewhere in the neighbourhood and having nobody to tell me that I’m just overreacting. I have a few friends that were living alone and they seem to have managed just fine, so I should be ok. I am a bit nervous now, but I know it’s going to fine once I’ve moved in and then I won’t worry any more.  





     Growing up, whenever I was about to start a new school year, move to a new place or when I started university, I always made resolutions. I guess that everyone does that when they undergo an important change in their life, right? I always made wonderful plans about how hardworking I was going to be, how disciplined I was going to be, how healthy, how friendly, how sportive, how …. Those resolutions never really last, do they? While anticipating my new life in the Czech Republic I was making all these ambitious and great plans for myself, and then I realized that there is no point making all these promises to myself if I will not keep any of them. So I came to the following conclusion. There are a lot of things that I want to do during my year abroad and I really want to make the most of it. However, there will be so little time: I am only going to be there for a few months and I will be busy with college so I will not be able to do everything. Therefore, I came up with this golden rule and my unique resolution for the year: “everyday on my Erasmus I’ll make the most of the day”. So no matter how lazy I feel or hangover, I’ll push myself to do something so I will come back with the feeling that I took advantage of my year abroad as much as I possibly could and enjoyed this year.



    Will I learn any Czech? That’s something I’ve been wondering about. I am not planning on taking lessons, but I would still like to pick up the basics for practical reasons and because I think it is always cool to learn to a new language. I have lived in Belgium a grand total of 13 years and I find it disgraceful that I only speak one of the 3 national languages. In all that time I haven’t picked up any Flemish or German, I can understand a little bit but can’t speak them. In a way as I am an expat there, living in Brussels where most people speak French and I was in schools were Flemish was non-compulsory, I’m sort-of excused. Once I was talking to Belgian, a native Flemish-speaker, who told me that what he finds frustrating about French-speaking Belgians is not so much that on average they don’t speak Flemish well but more the fact that on average they do not really seem to make the effort to speak Flemish. That made me realize that no matter how poorly you speak a language, people will always appreciate if you make the effort to try to speak their language. Coming back to Czech: knowing another slave language, Polish, I think I should be able to pick up a bit of Czech without too much problems. I just think that learning a bit of Czech can add a whole new dimension to my experience in Prague, as I would be able to get to know Czech people as well as foreigners. Plus it might be appreciated by locals that I’m not constantly imposing English. I’m curious to see how much Czech I will actually pick up after a year. We’ll see in June. 

These were my thoughts that I wanted to share,

Bye for now!

Helena