Date: Sept 17
Location: Vinohrady/Praha 2/Apartment
Listening to: Almost Famous Director’s Cut!
So, I was supposed to go to Budapest this weekend.
The bus agency lost our reservations, and by the time we figured it out, they didn’t have enough seats.
Then, I realized Dresden, Germany was a 2-hour train ride away, and a really pretty, walkable city.
But nobody wanted to go with me/ most of my friends already had plans, were out of town, or were planning on seeing Above & Beyond, an electronic dance music group, Saturday night. I considered going to Dresden by myself, but realized that as I don’t speak Czech or German, and I didn’t realllly know what I’d be doing there, and I hadn’t let my study abroad program know in advance, it probably wasn’t the best idea.
Then my Polish friend suggested going to Karlsteijn, King Charles IV (the guy who was responsible for everything cool in Prague)’s summer castle, and hiking in the cliffs/caves/lakes around that area, on Sunday. Sounded like fun to me!
….but then I tagged along with the guys upstairs to the Above & Beyond show and it was…. amazing. It’s not just a dance party or ‘rave’ or club night, it’s an audio-visual experience, they type things on the screen projected behind them, they tell stories about the songs, there are visualizations and video clips and lasers and strobe lights… and it was awesome… and I didn’t get home till 3am… and my knee was hurting pretty badly. (Readers of this blog may remember, or may follow this link to see how my knee kept me back in Japan, too, on Hiei-San.) So, hiking was out of the question, and I spent most of the day Sunday recuperating.
Now, it’s Monday, and I did a lot of busywork today; some homework for class, some laundry (because we don’t have a dryer, laundry has to be planned out pretty far in advance, I actually told my roommate this morning “Hey, if your stuff is done, could you take it out of the washer, because I need to wash my jeans and have them dry in time for class tomorrow”) and general household stuff. I’m working on planning some future excursions a little more in advance, so they don’t end up like this weekend.
I’ve had some weird pangs of homesickness; like every 20-something in a relationship, I miss my significant other. (Tomorrow is our six-month anniversary of dating, which may not seem like much, but what can I say, I miss him.) I keep getting depressed and wondering why I’m here, thinking I’m wasting my time sitting around when I should be adventuring, thinking I should have gone somewhere else. But here’s the strange thing, revelations come in weird places, at the Above & Beyond show (seriously, check them out, you can start with this song, even if you don’t like electronic dance music, the music video is kind of strange but it’s a beautiful song) they typed something up on their projector that really hit me.
“Life is made of small moments like these.”
I don’t need to conquer Europe, I’m not Napoleon. I don’t need to see every castle. I don’t even need to see every neighboring country. What I do need to do, and what I’m going to focus on from now on, is truly seeing the small moments. I need to have conversations with locals or kids from other European countries. A girl I’ll probably work with in my Human Resources class is from Belarus- I honestly can’t name the capital of Belarus, the language they speak there, a famous person from there. Japan made me realize how important it is to be a world citizen, but I need to act on it here. I need to see things, even the small moments. And I will. And I’ll take pictures. And you’ll hear all about it.
EDIT: Here’s another Above & Beyond song/video that’s a little less strange, courtesy of a facebook friend.