Finally, I’m done with this English teaching course and have enough time to catch up a little. Paris was fantastic. I fell in love with it. Prague was like waking up inside a fairy tale movie. I’ve just moved from the schools flat on Zborovska to my own place near the Charles bridge.
Now, already June, the full aromatic flavor of this dream is unfolding. I was really busy this past month. Lots of studying and the hardest part was planning a lesson and having it go the way it’s supposed to.
It was good for me to do this course, and I learned a lot by trial and error. We were actually in front of and teaching Czech students the third day of the course. I am not naturally inclined to do this sort of thing and did not take to it, at first. I got better, but still a little wary of going into great detail on some of the finer points of grammar. I passed the course, but by no means aced it.
The people who run it are great though. We have pub night on Thursday, which for all practical purposes is the beginning of the weekend.
The 4 other women I took the course with are wonderful people. We shared a flat just over the bridge from the school. Annette from Australia, at 57, decided to leave the outback for the first time and set out traveling. She’s very motherly toward us all, and also great fun to go out to dinner, shows and pubs with. I love her accent.
Jen, I call the white dwarf, comes from the isle of Lesbos and is American, also bravely setting out into the world after a divorce. Roz from Liverpool and her husband Chris, who has already visited twice, will be living here for the summer and going to Barcelona in the fall as well. Kristen is a dead ringer for my little sister Theresa, and also happens to be from California- definitely the brightest star of the bunch language-wise and travel savvy.
Although life is very enjoyable and at times feels laid back, there is an energy here that is tangible, just walking through ancient cobblestone streets. Castles I haven’t been to yet off in the distance, as I cross the Charles Bridge feeling the essence of Prague through the eyes of the gargoyles, saints and Myrters that line the stony passageway across the river. It is nothing like St. Augustine, which is so touristy as to be rendered separated from its past completely. Here it is as if the past is the present, with castles and fairy tales and gypsies walking and performing in the street. Music is everywhere.
At Staromestka square, concert worthy performances take place street musical style to advertise a show that night. Vendors selling fresh fruit and post cards behind the church surround outdoor cafe tables. On the stroke of every hour, fairytale characters dance round the Astronomical clock, and the church bells ring. Tonight, this current festival (Bohemian something or other) will be the thing to do. There’s always something going on, usually many things at once. I finally have time now to see the city a bit.
I spent the month of TEFL schooling getting acquainted with touristic spots and the local’s only Czech bar/cafe where you can order a cup of coffee and use wi-fi for hours down the street from the flat I share with the other girls on the course. I made friends with one of the Tutors (classic). He had been in Prague for 3 years and took me to a hotel rooftop bar near the Wenceslas Sq. where you can see the whole city at sunset.
Another favorite is the “real” Gypsy bar- Duende- where someone’s attic was emptied on the walls with colorful mosaic tiled floors and a dolls head on the coat hanger by the door. Chris and Roz found the place and brought me there. Now, Roz and I have become sort of regulars. It’s here I get a strange backward- forward feeling that tells me I’ll either have a lot of experience in this place or may have been here before. Maybe both.
I can already tell I was definitely meant to do this, maybe not necessarily teaching English, but traveling. It’s great to enjoy life, and stay busy but something entirely different to have something as basic as buying shampoo be a novelty. I will be at a tech rehearsal for a festival I am doing some work with on Sunday, and will be running lights for the whole week. Luckily it is a very simple dance show and they already have a light designer and venue staff (indoors). It’s mostly for making contacts, cause they aren’t paying much. Should be fun.
I already have two lines on some work teaching. Private lesson with a student whose tutor will be out of town and some work at the school (Oxford TEFL). Note the student is a good looking man Czech with muscles and a good job at some huge Tech company, he learns very fast…. It’s beautiful outside so I am going to leave this cafe and walk around for awhile.