Christmas,  Life Abroad,  Prague

happy new year!

wishing health & happiness to my friends and family in 2013!  

i know 2012 has been an incredible one for me…. let’s see…… 

became a barista trainer, became buddies with the seattle hobos who hang out downtown at 5am, bought a one way ticket to europe, went to disneyland, stayed in an executive suite in the seattle hyatt for next to nothing, high fived jason biggs at a SIFF party, quit my job of almost four years, move out of a neighborhood i’ve lived in for over four years, spent august in warm & sunny michigan, waitressed in a 19th century dining room in the scottish highlands, worked on a farm vaccinating sheep, went island hopping along the western scottish coast, sang latin hymns in the crypt of the famous rosslyn chapel, spent four weeks in some of my favorite cities in the world, went “back to school” to become an EFL teacher, got locked in a building and had to jump through the window to get out, and moved into a nice flat in the most beautiful part of prague

last year was awesome. and i would just like to take a moment to give a shout-out to my TEFL school, TEFL Worldwide Prague to anyone considering taking a TEFL course and teaching abroad.  it was four weeks of hard work but the course load was extremely manageable.  i learned so incredibly much and feel quite confident that i can teach lessons straight away to foreign language learners of all ages.  also contributing to an awesome year was my work stays around scotland.  i can’t recommend work stays and helpx-ing enough– our favorite experiences came from doing this and sometimes i wonder to myself, “whyyy am i not still helpx-ing right now?”  i guess it’s because i’m trying to give this whole getting a job and living in one place thing a shot, but one of these days i’ll be getting back on the road again.

new year’s eve in prague has a reputation as a great place to be for the holiday but also a dangerous place if you go to the wrong areas of the city.  fireworks are completely legal to buy here, and you could just run on down to the mini-market or grocery store and pick yourself up as much as you want.  we’ve also heard rumors of old town square being just a mess with crazy drunk czechs setting off unheard of amounts of fireworks in every direction and hundreds of people getting injured every year.  so, it was my priority to avoid this and alex’s priority to avoid any and all crowds.

SO, we took our mini bottles of bohemia sekt and hustled on down to this area called kampa island almost directly under charles  bridge to watch the big show. i thought everyone would be watching from charles bridge, and i thought right. (my roommate told us people were packed shoulder to shoulder with idiots hitting them with firework debris, etc).  prague’s firework show did not disappoint, and the amateur (but still decent and fun to watch) fireworks continued for at least the next hour.  most epic setting i’ve ever witnessed.


then, we returned to the flat and finally finished our christmas puzzle.  i usually leave out that part when i tell people what i did to celebrate new years’ but i’m only sharing because of this ultra nerdy photo taken afterwards for alex’s mom.


new year’s day in prague seemed pretty quiet.  most things are closed, so despite the temperature in the high thirties, we took a big new years walk.


climbed to the top of letná park hill which has excellent views over the city…. but also this strange pavilion where a statue of stalin once sat.  the views are so beautiful, but everything else so strange– the metronome, the line holding countless pairs of shoes, the graffiti, the broken glass, empty liquor bottles, and fireworks remnants all over the place.  still, it’s a pretty special place.


view of malastranská from castle hill


last trdelnik of the year!  (delicious hot czech christmas pastry)

and yesterday happens to mark four months of being in europe!  wow, that is a good chunk of time and one third of the year 2012.  i’m proud.  onward!