Ahoj (Hello) Prague,
It’s been a year since I stepped out of the taxi and opened the front door of the apartment I would call home for the next four months. I remember how difficult it was to get used to walking on your cobblestones. The toes of my shoes kept getting stuck between each crack.
After dropping my bags off, my roommate and I walked down the street in awe at the intricate details of your buildings. I stumbled over your cobblestones more than I’d like to admit.
“Pick up your feet, pick up your feet,” I thought to myself as a walked next to my roommate I had not met a mere 5 minutes before.
Prague, it’s hard to express into words what you meant to me during those four months away from home. You taught me how easy it is to fall in love with traveling and with cities I had never been to.
Maybe most importantly, you taught me what it means to truly miss something. There hasn’t been a time or a place in my life that I ache to go back to more than this whirlwind adventure you put me through. I could write a never-ending list of what I miss about you, but in the interest of time (and in the interest of preserving my own tears), I’ll name a few of my favorite things I miss every day.
I miss the way your cobblestones gave me shin splints on my morning runs, an ache I soon cured when I discovered a strip of flat surface I could run on along the Vltava River. The tour boat owners stared me down as I weaved in and out of tourists, but I didn’t care.
I miss your trams and the numerous amount of times I flew forward in surprise when the drivers came to sudden stops. I miss the way the elderly would nod and smile at me when I offered them my seat. I’d mumble “prosim” under my breath, still unsure as to if this was the correct word for “you’re welcome.”
Prague, I miss your coffee shops and the delight I felt when my roommate agreed to go on the hunt for some of the best you had to offer. I had flat whites and cortados, lattes and cappuccinos, all while struggling to decode the menus and convert the prices.
And how can I even begin to describe your nightlife? How I miss staying out until 5am dancing and talking with my friends and roommates. We couldn’t wait until Friday nights when we would dance on stage to the Go-Gos at your 80s/90s bar, Lucerna. It was amazing to see people of all ages from all over Europe in one place at the same time genuinely having fun.
I miss your famous Charles Bridge and the way it gets so crowded with tourists during the day that I thought I would never make it to the other side. I fell in love with your bridge even more when I walked across it at 6am after a long night out. As the sun rose, I touched the St. John of Nepomuk statue that promises good luck and a future return to you.
Prague, I miss your FOOD. I miss all of it – every single course, snack, drink, you name it. From $1 beers to street cart sausages and fried cheeses, everything you offered was welcomed by my tastebuds. Don’t even get me started on your Trdelníks, the pastries filled with Nutella that I could smell baking in your crowded tourist sections.
I miss how you acted as the backdrop for the friendships I formed during those four short months. I’m proud to tell you that I still keep in touch with many of them. You’re brought up in almost every conversation, and you’re the thread that has permanently tied us together. I am beyond grateful for that.
But most of all, I miss the person that you helped me to become while I was with you, so happy and full of a sense of adventure that I have yet to relive. I was more alive strolling through your streets than I’ve ever been, so much so that I wished I could just transport all of the people I cared about back home right to you. Maybe then they would understand why I talk about you so much.
So until that day comes when St. John of Nepomuk does his saintly thing and brings me back overseas, Ill wait patiently and let my mind wander, as it ever so often does, back to you.