Our last week spent in the place we called home for 3 months. Olomouc became a place of release; of revival. It’s not an area of anxiety, but rather a step back from the rush of the world around us. The sleepy city opened late and closed early. It seemed to draw from a sense of humbleness. They don’t thrive on the latest technologies or upmost convenience, but rather a simple way of life. It was an adjustment, but a comfort.
A majority of our class left for the weekend, but I stayed and spent my remaining time enjoying the things that became routine. The weather argued with a soft rain, but I took a trek to the top of a local church for a birds eye view of the city center, and later on to Holy Hill for one last view of the entire city itself. Some may refer to Olomouc as boring and titling it a “city” may not be entirely accurate, but I will be forever grateful for it’s allowance of easy exploration. The zoo was next on my list of things to do, and though it’s no where close to our Henry Doorly, it’s location in the middle of the forest makes up for it. The sun finally came out to greet with open arms and we later took advantage of dinner at our favorite place, Cafe Bistro. We spent most the next day doing our last loads of laundry (yay!) and studying for finals.
Though studying isn’t something we wish to waste our time doing, I’ll actually miss our classes. We attended lectures 3-6 Monday through Wednesday, 3-8 on Thursdays, and 10-1 on Fridays. Most of our time consisted of lectures from guest speakers over topics such as Communism, The Holocaust, or country relations. I’ll admit, I fell asleep in almost every single lecture for sake of repeated material, but unfortunately Czech language was a different story; participation was fully expected. We absolutely dreaded this class and though there were times I enjoyed it, the fast pace and public speaking elements had me conflicted. On the other hand, I can now successfully converse with strangers, count to 100, order an entire meal, and ask/give directions in Czech. This has saved some frustration on more than one occasion here. It’s been fun being able to speak their language and have them respond with a smile and words you can actually understand. It kind of feels like having a secret handshake. I’ll let you in on some (hint: speak really fast!)
Greet someone - Ahoj! (A-hoi) or Dobry Den! (doh-bree den)
Say goodbye - Cau! (chow) or Na Shledanou! (nah skleh-da-now)
1 - Jedna (yehd-na)
2 - Dva (dehva)
3. - Tři (trzee)
4 - Čtyři (chtree-zree)
5 - Pět (pyet)
6 - Šest (shest)
7 - Sedm (seh-doom)
8 - Osm (ah-soom)
9 - Devět (deh-vee-et)
10 - Deset (deh-set)
Just a few things I’ll miss: Taking a tram to class. Mornings/afternoons/evenings at Cross Cafe - their white hot chocolate is to die for. Late night kebabs and fried cheese from the guys at the street food counter. Hearing “Dobry den!” whenever I enter a business. Dancing at Belmundo club. Cute little dogs everywhere. The loud Italians in our dorms. Coca Cola in glass bottles. $4 meals - and then dessert every single time because we can afford it. Walks to class. Pub crawls. The architecture (swooooon!). Cobblestone streets. Gelato! Hearing cool accents. Traveling by train. I could keep going but for sake of the length of this post, I’ll stop. Next week we take a trip as a class to Bohemia, and then finally go our separate ways. The bittersweet feelings are kicking in.