From the book Culture Shock: Czech  Republic, regarding the stages of being an expat in Prague: “euphoria in the first month or two, to a rather sudden low period during the third month or so, to a gradual reawakening to your new country, with a strong sense of confidence and energy.”

Having been here for exactly 12 weeks as of today, I can confirm, as a member of the three-month category, that I am experiencing a “rather sudden low period,” as you might have guessed from my previous post about how much I miss London (and Chicago.)  I’m frustrated by so many things, very few of which I can do anything about.  Although I finally submitted all the paperwork for my visa, I have not heard anything back about it, not even an e-mail confirming that the embassy received the paperwork.  I’ve been sick for almost two weeks now, and when I’m sick in a new place, it always makes me want to go home.  I accidentally locked the SIM card on my phone, and when I went to get it fixed today, I found out that since my phone is through my office, I need to get the “password” that allows T-Mobile to just unlock it.  It’s been a series of unfortunate events, all of which are small, but combine to something that seems to loom much larger over my time in Prague at the moment.

There are certainly things to be grateful for–I am very glad not to be sitting at home, unemployed.  (I know my mother is happy with this as well.)  I’m lucky that I didn’t take the job in Manila, which is currently under 4 feet of tropical rainwater.   And I know, poor little girl living in Europe for a year.  But none of that changes the fact that I desperately miss going to the drugstore and knowing what the boxes of medicine say.  I miss going to the animal shelter, which I have tried my best to do here, only to be told that volunteers are “liabilities”.  I want to see my friends and my family and my dogs. My job is boring and routine, and does nothing to give me a sense of purpose.  I debated whether or not to post about this, because I don’t know that anyone really wants to hear my complaints about living here, but I decided that part of the reason for keeping this blog was to tell about my experiences, and right now, this is it.  The experience at the moment is not ideal.

I’m working on moving on to the “gradual reawakening” period.  I found a film theory class that I can take, and I’m so relieved to have something like that, something that I can develop and look forward to and get something out of, that I can’t even express it properly.  I think the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make since graduating is not having something I care about to structure my time around; at least now I can feel like I’m working toward something, even though I’m just going to be auditing.

To compensate for all the whining I’ve done here, here is a picture of my friends Holly and Joao’s puppy, Lucky.  Because Lucky is still so small, they often carry him in a messenger bag, with just his head poking out.