terça-feira, 3 de outubro de 2017

1 Year After

1 year ago, I was arriving in the city that I was going to call home for the next semester. Prague, the capital of Czech Republic surprised me every single day, in every single moment.  I've never thought that I was going to love Prague as much as I did, but every corner, every person and every place were magic and made me fall in love with the city of my dreams.

Since the beggining, I've met lots and lots of people. From portuguese to italian, passing through estonian, french and greek. Some of them were more close to me, other not that much, but all the people that I met were fantastic. Those people, the ones that I really met, spent great times with me. Some of them only one night - the best, for sure -, others a trip, but they were all special. Mariana, Luís, Inês, Catarina and Charles were my bestfriends - the Praha Family - adding Pascale, my british girl and Rita, the Porto girl. Marie, Filipe, Ine, Solange, Aspa, Diana, Cláudia, Lorenzo, Andrea, António, Madalena, Gui, Vânia, Diogo, Gera, Carol, Moelas, Morais, Sofia, António, Erika, Miki, Ineva, Joana, Tiago, Joana and Marion are the names of the people that were my fellows in this adventure. I couldn't be more grateful to them for making this experience a way better.

Being in the capital of one of the most centered countries of Europe made me think about how easy I could go to new places and discover cities and countries that were so far away from me. Due this term in Czech Republic, I've joined more five countries to my "collection": Czech Republic itself, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - even if I haven't put my feet in the floor.
I've visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, I've cried for seeing the Schoonbrun Palace, I've walked around Budapest from 8AM until 10PM, I've put my hands in the Berlin Wall and I've been three times in Munich only to go or return from Portugal. This trips and moments are going to remain in my mind forever just because I've made them in Erasmus and close to people that I really like.
Auschwitz-Birkenau (Dez2016) | Vienna (Jan2017) | Berlin (Nov2016) | Budapest (Nov2016)
Prague | Munich (Dez16)

During the whole semester I could visit Prague from on side to the other and despite of what people think, Prague has a lot to see and to do. It's true that I haven't enjoyed much of the city as I thought I was going to do and there was lots and lots of things that I haven't seen or visited, but in the winter, the city is really cold and I tottaly prefered to be inside a pub or a coffeshop having chill times with my friends or resting after a party hard night. In spite, I've seen the most important things and monuments of the city and others that are not that much. Adding to this, I had experiences that I think I'm not going to have again: I went to a ballet/opera night in the Narodni Divadlo and it was amazing, I've seen the sunrise in the Charles Bridge and the sunset "over the Castle on the hill" - literally -. This type of moments made me 'live' like an czech and my Erasmus a little bit richer.

Narodni Divadlo (Jan2017)

Since the second night, I went out almost everyday. I know, I've spent lots of money, but I was there not only to 'study' and travelling, but also to party and make new friends. I've met lot of fantastic people in the night - some of them I can't remember the names - and I've passed through many clubs in Prague: from Chapeau Rouge - my favourite - to P.M., with a stop in Duplex, Karlovy Lazne or Retro Music Hall.
I've been in many pubs but the one where I had lots of funny times was Vzorkovna, or the Doggy Bar. If you go there, you're going to see my name, my hometown name and my caligraphy in the walls representing the fantastic nights I spent there.
 In Prague, I've started to drink beer and tried loads of different beers. They were all fantastic but Branik is going to remain in my mind forever. The one that was always with me.

Being an Erasmus Student made me think how the immigrant people feel when they are so far away from home and family. 
On Christmas, when I entered on the plane that was bringing me to Portugal, I hear "Boa Noite. Bem vindo a bordo" from a TAP Portugal flight assistant and my reaction was "Woow, estão a falar em português" and I started crying with the patriotic fellow coming out. It was a stupid and an embarassing moment, but I missed so much home and my home language that I couldn't stop.
While I was in Portugal, I was that kind of immigrant that mixes the two languages,  portuguese and the english in my case, and it was really hard to say a sentence only in portuguese. Today, I notice that the difficult is the same. I always use english words to fill the gap of "not knowing" portuguese. Perks of being bilingual.

I went to Prague with 18 - I know, exactly one week after I would turn 19, but I was 18 anyway - and being so far away from my parents made me handle with responsabilities that were a little different from Bragança - paying my room, going shopping of groceries and manage my own money to live with a little bit of quality. There, I did what I wanted, when I wanted and no one had to have an oppinion about what I was going to do. 
Being far away from home and the people that know me was on of the most fantastic things of this experience. I could be me with no filter. I could do everything I want without the thought of someone was judging me. I could say everything that "no one" was going to understand me. There, I was not preocupated what the others were going to say: it was just me, the real João - and it was really good.

And to end this huge text about my experience, I've created my brand image - the 'jumping pictures'. With this type of pictures, I could show to my family, friends and social media followers the place were I have been to with a little bit of funny mixed. In all the pictures that I have posted, there was so many tries in the backgroud. It was really funny to take them. Adding to this brand image, I created, on Instagram, the hashtag #JoaoSPragadise and then the #JoaoSaVoltadoMundo, and #JoaosnaRepCheca, and much more, depending where I was. Due to this fantastic idea, I can, after a little click, have a selection of my pictures in each place I was. It's amazing.

"Erasmus is not one year in your life. It's your life in one year"

Dekuju moje mesto. Dekuju Praha.

*Fotografias/Montagem da minha autoria. Não utilizar sem autorização prévia*
*Texto escrito maioritariamente em inglês visto ter sido a minha "primeira língua" em Erasmus - Peço desde já desculpa caso encontrem erros*

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