Wow wow wow
Trip Start Feb 10, 2011
9Trip End Jul 01, 2011
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That is all I can say. So far I feel like I have 99% culture shock with 1% real life.
I still don't have internet, so I am trying to figure out what time it is. I think I’ve been asleep for at least eight hours, but honestly I have no clue. I don’t know where my roommate is…I went to bed sometime in the early afternoon and I think she felt like she was bothering me so she left. Actually, a train would not have woken me up. I fell alseep sitting straight up on a crowded bus on the way to school. Getting here was HARD. There’s just no other way to put it. One car, three planes, two busses and a taxi totalling over 26 hours with no sleep, not fun. The best part of the trip was the plane from Neward to Dusseldorf, which was also the longest part so that is nice. I rode an airbus for the first time which was HUUUGe. It really doesn’t feel like you’re in a plane. Also, there was no one sitting next to me which was really nice. I have never seen such an attentive flight staff in my whole life…it felt like every fifteen minutes a well dressed chipper German speaking flight attendant would come around, offering little cups of alchohol, juice, pretty decent food or head phones. Despite all of the comforts of the airbus, I still couldn’t sleep. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just can’t sleep on planes! I was too nervous about the second part of my journey I guess. I watched a couple hours of The Office which was amazing. I am also wathcing it now by the way….I’m really lonely because I have absolutely no way of getting in contact with another human being that I know right now, so at least I can half watch something A. familiar and comforting and B. in English.
Dusseldorf has a really really nice airport, that was ten times easier to navigate than Newark or Hartsfield-Jackson. I had to get on a bus for my final plane to Prague, and I noticed a girl about my age who looked as exhausted as I felt with an American passport. I quickly found out her name is Lindsey, and she was going the same place I was. I was very relieved to have someone to share the burden of international travel with, as was she. The hardest part about it is your brain has to be on every single second; from keeping track of all your luggage and important documents to figuring out and hurrying to where you have to be, to really basic things like finding a bathroom or getting enough water.
Luckily, all my luggage got safely to Prague with no problems, which was the number one thing I was worried about. Unfortunatley one of Lindsey’s wheels was completely broken off in transit, so I tried to help her out by carrying one of her other bags. I would have had a hard time carrying all my luggage by myself on a good day, so you can imagine my deyhadrated, exhausted self trying to manage all of it. Now I understand why everyone said to PACK LIGHT! Finding the bus stationg was extremely complicated. Ironically, the people who worked for the Student Agency were the most rude and least helpful. The only way we found it was by asking complete strrangers on the street, who were extremely nice. We ended up having to wait outside for a good 45 minutes, and let me tell you it was COLD. Luckily I had my hat, gloves, scarf etc in easy reach, and I would have put on all six months worth of clothing if possible. The bus eventually came, and it was super crowded. There was no where to really put your stuff, so I had to hold my violin and carry on on my lap. It was so packed I couldn’t really take off all my heavy duty outerwear, and the person next to me did not smell great. This over-heating mixed with bad smells and severe exhaustion led to a very sick Annalee. Luckily, God had told me to bring my barf bag from the plane. Seriously. It was such a miracle. Oh, also there was the most stop and go traffic in the world. I realized ten minutes into this bus ride that it was just something I had to get through. I was in a terrible mood, and there was just no way I was going to enjoy myself until I was in a bed. This probably affected my first impression of Prague, so I hope to go back soon. But also, I pretty much wanted to die the entire bus ride, so I shouldn’t take that out on the city. We had to switch busses, and I got out of the bus and laid on the sidewalk.
In retrospect, this is disgusting, but at the time I was shaking uncontrollabley and just couldn’t stand any more. I tried to find a bathroom, but apperantly you have to pay to get in to all of the bathrooms in the Czech Republic. I didn’t have any coins, so it didn’t work out. The second bus was better, because it was mostly driving on long stretches of highway so I didn’t get much of a chance to get car sick again. This is when I repeatedly fell asleep sitting straight up, which was a new experience. Every time I woke up I felt extremely naseuous, so I just tried to avoid being awake. Yay I just got to talk to Justin and Michael and my dad for a second. My roommate came back and let me use her computer. She is extremely nice and helpful. We tried forever to get my internet to work to no avail. Oh well. I feel way better after talking to some familiar faces. Hopefully I will get internet soon .