As I stepped off the plane at the Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague, about the only thing I was sure of was that I was very, very tired. It was about two in the afternoon on Monday and due to my unfortunate inability to sleep on the plane, I had been up since 9 am the day before which when you take away the the time difference meant I had been up for abut 23 hours straight. It was in this dazed state that I decided to tackle my first challenge of the summer, the public transportation system.
I had decided before I gotten to Prague that instead of taking a taxi home from the airport, it would be an important cultural ice breaker to take the public transportation system instead. This would challenge me to learn metro (which I will be taking to work every day) and think on my feet but would also be a confidence booster, knowing that I could travel and navigate a city and transport system totally foreign to me. Unfortunately I had not weighed in the possibility of me tackling this challenge after being awake for about 23 hours.
My journey from the airport started off smooth enough, I got on my first bus and transitioned on the train easy enough, and then switched to my third and final vehicle of travel, the tram. While my directions told me I should take the #1 tram, it unfortunately did not tell me which direction to take it but I didn’t notice that it even went two directions. This led me to the outskirts of the city about 15 stops from where I was supposed to end up. To make matters worse, many tram sops in Prague have two different official names so as I made my way back the way I came I still wasn’t confident that I was going the right direction. This doubt led me to get off the tram on two different occasions before being convinced that I was going in the right direction. What was supposed to be a 30 minute trip home from the airport turned into a 3 hour odyssey.
Fortunately enough, that hiccup has turned out to be the most stressful moment of my summer to this point. I have enjoyed exploring the city and learning about a part of the world that I honestly had not given much thought about before I decided to spend the summer here. The week was capped by a great meeting with my supervisor for the summer which included a rundown of exactly what I will be doing this summer as well as sitting in on a meeting discussing a possible product extension. I am very excited to start work come Monday and can’t wait to see what else the summer will hold.