Prague is love. Prague is everything you want it to be. Everything that you remembered it to be.
There have been welcome changes in the past decade, but it’s the familiar things that you find comfort in. The sound of the old trams. The little grocery shops owned by Vietnamese immigrants called Večerka. The red street signs. The tree-lined alleys of Vinohrady and Žižkov district. For the first time in your life, you live in a neighborhood you’ve always wanted to live in. The Old Town and Little Town that you frequent the most. Your childhood park Kampa where you spent countless of afternoons and evenings riding your bike, roller-skating, or doing headstands on the grass. At least, at the age of eight you were capable of them and no weekly yoga lessons were required.
It’s the combination of the cold air and hot coffee in mid-September that reminds you why you have missed Europe so much. The crisp air and the leaves. It’s all changing colors now, and you haven’t seen the autumn show in years. You try to find beauty in almost everything. You are encapsulated by history, the way you haven’t been a while. Every street houses a building where once someone prominent has lived or died. The cobblestone streets remember the old days when horse carriages were a way of transport rather than touristic indulgence. Then, of course, the Charles Bridge. More than sixty decades old, and still standing. Millions of people walk through it, there and back again. You marvel at the beauty and history, even though you’ve walked through that part of town so many times. The charm of Europe will never cease.
You walk past Café Slavia and think of all the famous, prominent individuals who sat there, drank coffee, smoked and made the city into what it is today. Even your own parents have their history there. You walk through the streets, the tiny ones that you don’t even remember and then the most famous ones, and you take it all in. It feels good to be back. You spent the majority of your life here, and no one can really take it away from you.
Perhaps you blew your life apart four months ago and took everyone with you, but now the dust is settling, and a beautiful, strong phoenix is rising from the rubbles of your old life. You have to believe in that, in order to keep going, but at the end of the day, it isn’t that hard.
Because Prague is everything you want it to be.