Sunday, November 15, 2009

blog 47: Devon’s new digital clock

Trash pick up here is pretty simple. You bag up your own trash and take it downstairs and outside every few buildings there is a dumpster which the city empties weekly. When people move out or do a big house clean they will often just set out the things they don’t want any more along with their trash beside the dumpster. So sometimes you can find hidden treasures, but mostly it’s just trash. You can often times find homeless people digging through the dumpsters like it’s their job.

With that being said, the other day (it was actually a few weeks ago now…) my friend Devon was walking home to his flat two blocks away from mine. As he was passing my lovely building (Premyslovska 32 hollerrrr) he saw a collection of things next to our dumpster. One thing caught his eye, one of the most coveted appliances in Prague, and it was cast out, free for the taking: a microwave. Microwaves are extremely rare here. You can find them in the households of the wealthy, or in businesses. Otherwise, they are not a common household appliance and are expensive to buy. So those of us making 20,000kc or less a month cannot afford such luxuries as microwaves.

So, Devon was so excited to have found such a treasure! He lugged the heavy appliance the two blocks home and triumphantly walked in to show his roommates. He hoisted it up onto the kitchen counter top and plugged it in. The clock started flashing 12:00! Success, it worked! So he grabbed some food to put inside and test it out. To his dismay he found out the microwave portion did not work. It’s at this point in the story where I questioned why he even thought a microwave he found ON THE STREET would work, but hey, you gotta try. So Dev moved the microwave into his room so as to not clutter up their small enough kitchen, where it sits stationary on his floor. At least he got a new digital clock out of it!

Love love love from Prague!

PS ONE MONTH FROM TODAY I leave to head home for the holidays!! Whoooo!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

blog 46: the ten minute commute.

As i was closing up the school tonight, i stepped out into the cold mist. The weather has been in the 40s and rainy everyday this week and will continue to be so until saturday. i was thinking how nice it would be to have my warm car parked outside the school so i could just hop into georgie and drive home. in prague however, as in most cities, having a car is not likely. with the city being packed as it is, and with a great public transportation system, having a car is not only unnecessary but frivilous. (try telling that to the soccer moms that pick up their kids in their BMW X5s and their Lexus RX10s- mom and dad take note, thats the next car i want...)

As my last student piled into his mom's SUV she offered me a ride home. I politely declined, reasoning that I lived quite far away and it would be unnecessary for her to go out of her way to take me home. As i walked to the tram stop I was thinking, it is a 35-40 minute commute for me to get home, but that's a tram ride, not a car ride. The tram stops every five feet to pick up new passengers and stalls for 1-3 minutes waiting for people to exit/enter. In reality, i really live only 5km away, 11 minutes by car!

I think it is so funny people are always yearning to live "in the city" wherever that may be. Whichever city they live closest to, or those that work in the city always seem to desire to live in the city rather than having that commute each morning/evening. Living an hour outside of the city (like so many of those Chicago, Atlanta, New York suburbs) seems like such a long way to travel and so many desire city living to avoid this. However, you could live in any of these cities and easily have an hour commute using public transportation. And those who live in the city desire having their own private transportation like so many who commute do. The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

Luckily, i love my 35 minute commute where i can unwind from my (oh so stressful...ha) day and watch as the city blurs past me. Although i wouldnt mind a lexus... :)

love love love from prague!