Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The first week in Pragadise

The first week in Prague brought about countless amount of events worth posting on the blog. 99% of them were either positive or very positive and were mainly linked with the people I met here. Nevertheless, after the first two days in a hotel I was forced to move to Charles University dormitories in Hostivar. Theoretically, I was still only 10km away from the city centre, Anno Domini 2013. In practice I felt that I just found a solid prove against Albert Einstein’s theory that time travel is impossible. It’s possible. Just come to Prague and take the tram 26, direction Hostivar.

The architect of this finesse, rectangular, unidentified object must have been a big fan of the style described by George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Communism can be touched, felt, smelled and experienced here on every step. The building also was very well thought through as it has eight floors with the lift only serving the first seven. Obviously, I got a room on the top floor.  The interior designer, on the other hand, clearly admired Alfred Hitchcock as entering the main lobby of the dorm is like an earthquake and the tension only rises from then on. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by a receptionist in her mid 60s who did not speak any English (why would she? It’s not like this is a dorm ONLY for exchange students). On the way to my room I passed under a once-upon-a-time white, leaking roof and finally got into the elevator, which looked like it remembered the events of Prague Spring of 1968. My penthouse is probably not more than 10m2 large with the windows so efficient, that you can hear the trams leaving from a stop 500m away. The perfect spot for a public transport freak. Fortunately, I am not the only one who does not quite appreciate living in a place that could at most serve as a museum of communism and together with two other friends we are planning to move out ASAP. The flat-hunt begun earlier this week.

Except for Hostivar, Prague is simply amazing. In my very modest opinion it’s one of the most beautiful and underrated European cities. Beats Paris by a mile!  Even more impressive when you realize that when the monumental residencies in the centre were built, Prague was not a capital of a continental superpower but a third city of Austria-Hungary.

All in all, the first week made me realize that it is true what they say about Erasmus. You cannot dislike it. Well, unless you are over-sensitive about the state of your dorms but fuck it, I won’t let Hostivar affect my judgement!