Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving in Prague






If you had told us a year ago that for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday I would be leaving my current residence in Sweden to visit my Dad at his current residence in Prague, he would have said, “Prague? Is that a city or a country?” and I would have said, “Sweden? Which one of the Scandinavian countries is that again?” Aside from our former geographical ignorance, what a difference a year makes.

Unexpectedly but enthusiastically, I write this blog entry from the ever-growing and ever-stunning city of Prague in the Czech Republic where I have spent the weekend of the American holiday of Thanksgiving with my Dad, John, who moved here in July to teach English after “retiring,” which we all knew my Dad could never really do.

Prague’s allure is found in it’s history, most evident through the architecture in the areas of Mala Strana and Stare Mesto (Old Town) where lies Prague Castle, Charles Bridge above the Vltava River, Old Town Hall, Tyn Church and Old Town Square with a memorial to one of Prague’s favorite sons, Jan Hus, a Protestant reformer 100 years before it was trendy. Most of my time was spent in these areas with occasional wanderings through Nove Mesto (New Town) and a day-excursion down to the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov. Experiencing this gem of Eastern Europe, it’s food, it’s beer and it’s people has been the best Thanksgiving I could have had (aside from surrounded by family).

Dad, I admire your sense of adventure and curiosity during your “retirement.” May we all have your energy and excitement when our working years conclude. Thanks for a spectacular weekend in your brand new city. See you in a month!

A word about tourists:
There’s a bunch of them in Prague, and admittedly I was usually no exception. However, sitting in Old Town Square watching the hoards, I was struck by some of the positive qualities of tourists. The wide-eyed awe, the openness to new things, the childlike enthusiasm for the next picture, street exploration or unique possibility (and this is found in all tourists, not just expressive Americans who, I acknowledge, are very entertaining to watch), these are all things that we tend to forget in our “normal” lives. The tourists today reminded me of why I love my work with students, who also share these life-giving characteristics. Perhaps my purpose in writing this commentary on tourists is not necessarily to encourage travel (most people reading this either already do or would travel if circumstances were different), but to shed light on some forgotten qualities of tourists, who as a whole usually carry a negative connotation. So, the next chance you get, sit back and people watch, especially the tourists.

If you’re still reading, I thank you. The pictures included are:
1. Old Town Square-Our Lady of Tyn Church with the Jan Hus Memorial.
2. “Thanksgiving Dinner” with Dad and our friend, Sam from Wales.
3. Prague Castle with Charles Bridge and Vltava River.
4. Dad and I sharing in an old Czech tradition together.
5. Cesky Krumlov from above the castle.

And finally, next week I return to Linköping, where I have tickets to see LHC take on Malmö at the Cloetta Center. Watch for my first Sweden sports-related blog entry next week.

“Nascledanou” from Praha.

8 comments:

Todd said...

Two comments based on the picture of your "Thanksgiving" Dinner

1. Do the Prague-ians believe in anything but fried food and beer?

2. From the look on Dad's face, I'm still not sure he could tell you if Prague is a city or a country.

Just my observations...

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful to talk to you at Apple Cup ... and where did you go at Thanksgiving? Oh ya, how were the bars? And the women you went with? Hmmmm .... Anyways, we miss you a ton and wish you were here. Seattle/Olympia is a winter wonderland ... a few inches of snow and the drivers panic. Made for a fun drive to work this morning!

Sofia Tanaka said...

Hej!

ville bara säga att jag har dig under bevakning. Väntar fortfarande på ditt första blogginlägg på svenska. Bra att du i alla fall försökte förra gången! Inte ett ord fel - nästan.

Plötsligt förstår jag att det måste vara svårt att lära sig svenska när alla vill prata engelska hela tiden. Vi svenskar blir så glada när VI får träna oss på engelska. Och eftersom det inte finns något bättre sätt än att prata med en trevlig amerikan så snackar vi glatt på...

Ha det bra, Sean!
/Sofia Tanaka

Dan said...

Great to see that things are going well. I googled your name because I wanted to stay in touch. What an exciting life you are living! Washington Student Leadership is going great.

Anonymous said...

Sean,
It was so great to see you at Shan's wedding in Boston and I've been checking out your blog faithfully since then--it's so fun to see what your are up to! Sounds like you are really enjoying your European adventure.

Enjoy this special time of year and let me know where to send your holiday card.

Taylor

Sorrowgirl said...

Hoppas ni har det bra. Ni ser ut att ha trevligt på korten =)

Prague Hotels said...

Yes, Prague is beautiful and especially in holidays. All people are glad and smiling, you can feel joy everywhere and Prague becomes even more amazing.

lodging in prague said...

Everything in Prague is enjoyable because this place is really wonderful and amazing...