Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Getting Over Culture Clash Anxiety and Living the Czech Dream

Hello Readerz:)

Yesterday I got to live the Czech dream (Český sen). Or at least it is the Czech dream as imagined by my closest group of Czech friends. I travelled by train, tram and bus to the outskirts of the city of Ostrava, where we all went to art school together and where my friends live. We brought along provisions and sleeping bags and the four of us camped out in my friend's family garden plot*.

So! What is the Czech dream? It consists of these elements:

- Sitting around a fire
- Singing favourite folk songs (which all of us had learned in Czech primary school) while someone (Barbora) plays guitar
- Roasting 'špekačky' (I just looked this up and the word literally translates into "little fatty"), which are the Czech equivalent of hot dogs, served with plenty of mustard and eaten with Czech rye bread
- Sharing a bottle of Moravian wine
- Talking about deep stuff
- Talking about non-deep stuff 

In the morning we walked to the store to buy instant coffee and tea. Then we sat around the garden table in the morning light and enjoyed our eclectic and abundant breakfast.  

Yesterday on my blog I wrote about the difficulties that come along with culture clash. I talked about how it can catch you as an unpleasant surprise. But today I got to celebrate the fruits of slogging through difficult culture clashes--a special time with my dear friends. Most of that time was spent over food and laughter. Some of it was in serious conversation and some in remembering. 

I have to admit that I was not looking forward to meeting these friends earlier in the day, precisely because of a fear of those culture clashes. I thought, "Will we still have stuff to talk about even though we all live such completely different lives now?"
But I stopped and realised this: These friends will love me and care about me despite the ways that our two cultures are different. 

Lucy Rose 

*In the Czech Republic people who live in apartments sometimes own a plot of land which they cultivate and hang out in on the weekends. Often the garden plot will have a tiny hut with a sink, a table and maybe a toilet. Ali does have a toilet, but we preferred the raspberry bushes. Fewer spiders. No, we do not eat the raspberries.

Here is Part I of a post about the entry process for my art school.
Here is Part II.
Here is a post about my final project for art school. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes yes yes! You captured this perfectly. I'm glad we have some "Czech Dream" memories of our own. Vylety!