And by eagle I mean Ching Chong-aka my mom! She got here this afternoon after about traveling 22 hours. Her phone had died when she left the airport so there was no way of telling me she had arrived and was on her way. Naturally I began to worry watching the time get past the time I figured she should’ve already gotten to my apartment. So I get a gut feeling to head for downstairs and go outside to look for her. At my apartment there is a buzzer system however there are no names/numbers at the main door, therefore you can’t tell what apartment you’re calling. But I figured out I can pick up my phone and listen to see if anyone is at the door. I happen to pick it up and hear my moms frantic voice asking the a couple of students in my building; “Excuse me! Do you speak English? Do you know Ashley? Is she here?”. So I ran down the stairs to get her, apparently the cab driver brought her to my building and she couldn’t believe from the outside it was apartments. So they drove on until he convinced her it was the correct place. So there’s my mom who has never traveled outside the states just so lost and in shock from how different the Czech Republic was. It was quite comical. Anyways, today was the commencement ceremony for my school so we cleaned her up and went to the lunch. It was so funny to watch her take in this new world, I’ve just become so accustomed to. Around every corner it was “Oh, ah, oh my gosh… Ash!”. It was cute. We’ll be in Prague through the weekend so I’ll be able to take her around to my favorite spots, then were off to Italy for Christmas! I cannot wait Italy is my FAVORITE place to travel. I’m also looking forward to showing her around there too. It feels so surreal that my mom is here. Having a piece of my world in this place I have experienced completely on my own feels strange. But more importantly it feels so good to have that piece of home/familiarity here.
Contrary to popular belief I do actually have class, Europe isn’t one big vacation. So far I have completed 6 finals and I am down to my last one. Yep that would mean I was enrolled in a grand total of 7 classes. I just wanted to say good luck to all my fellow students out there – You Can Do It! Here are some of my favorite final memes.
One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting (in the mail) Christmas cards! You know the ones your mom usually forced in to taking back in the summer. It is always something I look forward to receiving, and I’m sad I’m not home to see who sent what this year. I have noticed that over the years that less and less people are actually evening doing those anymore. If they are it’s no long sent via your local mail service but email. (BORING) I could just check-in with you on your constantly updated social media page. For me I like the being able to have something tangible its more meaningful to me. It’s also fun to break out the ones from years past and see the changes among the different families. But I recently came across this video that has to be the greatest holiday mood booster ever! Being a film student I know this video took a lot of work to put together, and it is just so stinking cute! I’m okay if this is the direction “holiday cards” are going in, I’m not okay with they completely disappearing. Just because we can instantly update our friends and family via social medias I think its important to send out those family holiday cards. They really mean more to people then you would think. But this year this family gets the cake for best Christmas “card”! Check it out for yourself:
Came across this outside a cafe near the castle – way to advertiseI decided to take a break from studying for finals and pay the Prague Castle a visit. The weather was great so I walked, got a coffee, took a few pictures and explored some side streets. The castle is about a 15 minuet walk from my apartment, I know life’s rough. This was actually the first time that I had been to the castle since I arrived here. This will be my final week here I figured I better get my ass up there to see it. I hadn’t been up there yet because at the time my class had a tour I was actually really sick, but I can officially say I’ve been to it. I didn’t go inside because I am waiting for my mom who is flying in at the end of the week, so we can see it for the first time together! I’m really looking forward to showing her around Prague. Hope you all are enjoying this Sunday – take the time to visit a place you’ve been telling yourself you are going to.
If you happen to be reading this you already know I’m on the good list (at least I hope so). I can’t remember the last time I actually made a list, but what the heck. Here are just a few of the things on my mind that would be great gifts. Not just for me but any 20-something girl:
The weather today was actually pleasant, I decided to skip taking the tram and walk to class. It has been freezing here in Prague so it was nice to be able to go out and walk around without looking like Ralphy’s little brother in A Christmas Story. What can I say, us SoCal girls aren’t made for weather below 60. Anwyas I can’t believe the semester is coming to an abrupt end. Funny how life works that way; you start to get used to something and then it’s time for change. Though I am looking forward to getting back to my real life. I’m still learning and discovering things and places here in the city. In fact last night, like today, was fairly warm so I was out walking home and passed by this tea/hookah place right around the corner from my building. They were closed at the time so I told myself I want to go there. There’s been many times where I’ve heard and said that but it gets put off, and never ends up happening but this time I really meant it. I was shooting a scene for my acting class and decided to take my director who had never been to a hookah cafe, or shisha (that’s what they call it here). I love sharing things I enjoy with other people, there’s always some excitement about watching someone experience something new for the first time. The atmosphere was great reminded me of my favorite lounge back in Cali. The owner came over introduced herself, chatted for a bit-she by far is the nicest person I’ve come across here. It’s a shame there’s only a week and some change left.
Have you ever noticed that one song can store a dozen memories or associations of something you once lived? The other day I was out and about in Prague (which is fuh-freezing by the way) with some friends; we went to my favorite soup place-Polévkårna and we got to talking about music. Music is certainly something I cannot live without. Being here in Prague has created a greater bond between me and music. There’s something about the quietness in the city, people here aren’t extroverted like in the states. You don’t get smiles from others on the tram, people are just in their own bubbles minding their own. Anyways we got to reminiscing about our first memories of music and what songs were the ones that stuck out and where we were, how old we were, who we were with. Looking back at my childhood I associate jams to spending time with my dad. He had this huge boom box we called the “Ghetto Blaster” and we would take it to the pool, the river, the beach you name it. The two songs I can first remember were Bob Marley’s Buffalo Solider and TLC’s Waterfalls. TLC recently preformed this year on the AMA’s which marked 20 years since their first AMA debut. When I was younger we would have these dance parties in the living room, just jamming out to music videos on the big screen. We also had a wooden coffee table I remember making my stage. It’s funny how something so simple was so fun and able to bring us together. I must have been no older then three. It had been a while since I remembered those times, it felt like it was yesterday. It was nice. What is the first song you remember?
That I am. While in Vienna I went to a photo exhibition at the Kunst Haus Wien museum featuring Michel Comte. A famous photographer known for portraits of celebrities, high fashion spreads, nudes and advertisements. The exhibition featured his work from the past 30 years, which included portraits of movie stars like the handsome George Clooney, Sophia Loren, to the wild musician Iggy Pop. Along with his volunteer work, where he has gone and photographed people and places such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Tibet and Bosnia in collaboration with the Red Cross and Terre des Hommes. I always find some sort of inner inspiration and peace going to different galleries. Its a beautiful thing; a camera, because you get to see from the perspective of others – and I really enjoyed his perspective. The exhibition is through February, I highly recommend it if you’re planning on visiting Vienna. And if by chance Michel Comte is reading this, you can take my picture any day! 😉
…a lyric made famous by Billy Joel in his song Vienna, never really made sense, until this past weekend. The cafe culture is really big in Vienna, in fact it’s expected that you’re probably going to there at least an hour or two. Coming from the California where everyone is constantly moving to avoid wasting time, I’ve really had to slow down and dig for patients. Which has been nice, but as it is my attention span can be short and when the espresso kicks in I’m ready. But in Vienna, like Italy, its part of the culture to go to a cafe and “rent” a table and hold a conversation with a person; who actually sits in front of you. Gee, what a concept. To think people actually still communicate face-to-face. Okay, all sarcasm aside that is one of my favorite things about Europe. Grab a cup of Joe and enjoy some more pictures from my weekend in Vienna. Continue reading →
…goes a long way. Today I received a couple cards from my family back home and it made me very happy. One of my cards was from my mom, who sent me the cutest picture of our friends little nugget Rozlyn. The picture below was from her first birthday party which I wasn’t able to attend cause I am obviously here in Europe. But from the pictures it was the cutest party – the kind you envy on pinterest. The other card was from my best betch who sent me some Cali sunshine and some giggles! Being abroad and away from the people you know and love really puts certain relationships into perspective. Today in one of my classes we were reflecting on the areas in which we’ve grown since starting this experience; being more aware of a new culture and perspectives, learning about yourself, etc. Something that I shared is that when you are preparing to go abroad all these people are so excited for you, they tell you all these wonderful things you’re going to gain from doing this, but what I’ve learned is that no one tells you about the things you loose. You really are able to see who is there for you and what relationships may be fictitious. This journey has certainly been a roller coaster so getting things cards meant a lot!