prague, one year later

Újezd, Malostranské Náměstí.
Újezd, Malostranské Náměstí.

I have been living in Prague for a full year now. The word I prefer is based — I often say to people that I am based in Prague; that I live in Prague at the moment. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know with a shaky certainty that I will one day leave this city again. And this has allowed me, prompted me in fact, to enjoy the city more than I would if I felt stuck in it.

Somewhere in the past twelve months, I fell in love with Prague. With its seasons, neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, parks, and oh, the gorgeous Prague Castle. Every time I am on a tram on the Most Legií, I look up from my book to look at it. To look at the Prague Castle and admire it. I am usually the only person to do so and it reminds me of a conversation I had with a taxi driver once.

At the start of the year, I was on my way to the airport and the cab driver who drove me took the scenic route with a view at the Castle; and just as we were passing it by in the distance, he turned his head and said: “What a beautiful thing. Except people don’t appreciate it here enough. Tourists come to see the Castle and marvel at it — they pay money to see it! — but we as locals don’t appreciate it enough. We ignore it just because we see it every day.”

Prague Castle.

His words stuck with me not only he was right but because I recognized myself and felt ashamed. I decided to live with more intent. The past year has been about that: seeing the beautiful things every day, taking the time to stop and take a breath, take in my surroundings. Because Prague (and my life here) is everything I want it to be.