May 18, 92

Well, I'm finally here! But so far I don't like it - it's so big and nobody has been friendly. It sure is a great place to be a tourist and to party though!

I had signed up for a student work abroad program and I was told that everything would be arranged for me. That someone would pick me up at the train station and bring me to my flat. So I got there and phoned my contact to find out where he was and he said just to walk to his office and told me that I could stay in a hotel until I could find a flat. The hotel he suggested was astronomically priced and I couldn't do that even for one night!

I phoned a contact number of someone that my parents gave me, a brother of someone they know. I expected a welcome at least and was hoping for an invitation, but the reply after I said who I was was, "Well, I can't do anything for you. You can call if you get in trouble I guess." So much for that.

So I went to the place where they were supposed to be helping me and they did find me a flat. However, the place they got me is 20 DM per night! I can't believe it is so expensive!! It is way out of town and very tiny. At least it is beside the metro (the very last station!). They insisted this was the very cheapest I could find here. I phoned the hostels and one costs 10 DM per night and the other two were 90 k and 120 k (about $5). I will move there after I am settled in if I don't find anything else. One of the girls that I will be working with said that she will help me find a place to let and that it is possible for 20 DM per month.

I managed to get someone to show me a bank and a grocery store. Now that was something else! You get a little cart and you drive around like it's a race grabbing everything you can. Then there are long line ups to buy each item. I bought bread, cheese, yoghurt and juice for about 100 k. I expected to have nice bread like there was in Germany but it was stale.

Today I managed to get almost fresh bread, at least it's not crunchy, but the cheese is awful. I hate standing in these long line ups. The beer is cheaper to buy here than the water and it's good!

But I certainly never imagined that a city could be so amazing. I can't wait to play tourist. Praha is truly majestic.

These are all pictures from the town square. There is a lot of restoration work going on as well. I can't believe the detail in the buildings. The astrological clock is amazing.

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