And so it’s come: my last day in Prague.
Tomorrow I embark on a trip to Austria and a summer of travel, starting with five-weeks at summer camp in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, but today I’m spending a few last hours in the city that’s been my home for nearly two years.
This week has been mad. Days spent teaching and running errands like the classic headless chicken. Nights spent as aggressively relaxing with the friends I won’t see again for ages. It’s been a week haunted by the phrase, “This may be the last time I….” And it may be the last time I drink a creamy, amber Velvet with Fred at Traficka 67; or demolish a rack of ribs with Gavin at that richly appointed pub with an indoor grill. Who can say when Sinaed and I will judge another burger between games of rummy or Jon and I’ll startle ourselves running through a homeless encampment camouflaged off a running trail. Will there be another sunrise on Charles Bridge? Alone with the morning light and iconic statues. Will Stefan and I visit the towering the sandstone precipices of Czech Switzerland or take another hike through the medieval forests of Kokořín? And what about the beer? Will I be able to enjoy it anywhere else or will my mother rejoice at my new found snobbery preventing my indulgence?
There are things I haven’t had time to do and more that I did but never wrote about: my two rafting trips in Cesky Krumlov, my trips to Plzen, the Krokonos Mountains and Slovakia; the beer festivals, art festivals, and music festivals (such as the free united islands festival that’s send me off today); the food, the strange overlappings of culture or the fact that all the men seem to be wearing purses this summer.
Yet every coin has two sides. My sadness and disappointment about leaving is shadowed by excitement and nervousness about going. There are many new adventures ahead. It’s time to face them.