I leave home in 17 hours and it’s hilarious how unprepared I am.
I still have to go buy a suitcase. I still have to pack everything into said suitcase. But most importantly, I still have yet to update and revamp my iTunes/iPod for the 8 hour flight! It’s 11 pm, I leave at 4 pm tomorrow. I’m not stressing yet (but I am anxious that about the fact that I’m not actually anxious. Odd).
But see, I have (most of) what I plan on packing already (in piles) on my bed, awaiting purchase of suitcase. I’ve already cut through my wardrobe, mercilessly rejecting anything bulky or not easily combinable. I bought all the cute travel-sized toiletries and put them in a quart-sized-zip-top-clear-plastic-bag per TSA’s requirements. I know what I’ll be wearing on the flight for maximum comfort. I called my banks and let them know I’ll be in Europe, lest they lock access to my accounts. I bought the converters, the adapters, the luggage locks. I showed mom how to use FaceTime. I’ve looked at the Frankfurt airport map to make sure I’ll be able to find my connecting flight’s terminal. Heck, I even know how I will pass the hours above the Atlantic! I’m good. I’m so good that I’ve even been listening to Czech news broadcasts to get a feel for the notoriously difficult language. Mluvíte česky?
Not to boast or anything (of course not..), I simply know what needs to get done and I do just that. My family is getting anxious for me and my trip while I just enjoy the last hours of my vacation. But don’t worry, I fully expect whatever sense of haute I have now to be totally and completely demolished when I land in Czech land. Where basic familiarity of the English language is not a given. Where cold demeanors and unfriendly interactions are common on streets. Where restaurant waiters openly scowl at you and aren’t anywhere near as helpful as lovely American waiters. Of course, I’ve only heard all this through the blog world, I have no idea how strongly to brace for the culture shock that I anticipate. But isn’t that the challenge.
What did throw me for a loop was saying goodbye to my little brother. The little twerp is now the tallest Sedlar sibling at 6’5” (I, however, remain the shortest at a measly 5’11”). What used to be the cutest little smiley blond kid is now a shockingly mature senior (!) in high school. He has an incredible sense of humor that I admire and has been fantastic company throughout my life. We hugged good-bye tonight, a real actual hug, and I realized how much I would miss him.
Aside from this, my preparations are going smoothly despite the impeding suitcase purchase, and the lack of a good winter jacket (one that isn’t white and decorated with a lovely muddy-winter-boot-print) which might severely hinder my desire to explore Iceland.
Still, I don’t actually think I’m grasping the fact that I’ll be living in Prague in a few short days.
– anna sedlářová