So once again this post will be divided into two parts because I really didn’t see the point of making two separate posts about a similar topic, also if I keep up making so many things about Christmas then it’ll stop being a blog about my exchange and it’ll become a blog a lot czech Christmas, not that that’s a bad thing though, Czech Christmas is pretty great. So jumping right into things, the first part will be about my rotary Christmas meeting that was here in Prague and the second part will be about my class’s Christmas party that was of course also in Prague;)
Rotary Christmas meeting
So this meeting was all about Christmas in the Czech Republic, we did a gift exchange, a sweets competition and some other Christmas traditions.
We all arrived at the hotel at around three and we got to our rooms and got organized and everything. This was really easy for me because it was in Prague I didn’t have to travel at all, which was kind of nice, but I do with I had gotten a chance to see another Czech or Slovak city. Once everyone was here and we had hung out a bit we all went to dinner at a nearby restaurant, it was really nice to see all my friends again, and I got to talk with many of them during dinner. After dinner we headed back to the hotel for the dreaded language test. I was pretty nervous because I did horribly on my first language test, but that was back in September, almost four months before the time of the test, five months before I’m actually writing this darn blog post though. So the language test was composed of two parts, the written and the speaking. On the written part they basically were checking to see if we knew the basic verb conjugations for the most common verbs and then we had to write ten sentences on our favourite day in the Czech Republic(baking and decorating gingerbread with my family). The speaking test was basically where Mr. Barak, the chairman of rotary your exchange here asked us a bunch of questions, most of them were pretty simple like do you like it here, how is your host family, what’s you’re favourite czech food and a bunch of other simple questions, there were some harder ones but he only asked the kids that were the best in czech those questions. We got back our results on Saturday(or Sunday? I can’t remember), and I got a one on the speaking and a two on the writing. Now Mom and Dad, before you freak out that I failed the test, he czech marking system is different than the one back home, one is the best and five is the worst, so I did fine, no need to worry thank you very much. After the language test we all went to sleep because we were all very tired.
On Saturday we woke up, had breakfast and then left for a walking tour of Prague. We started at the Prague castle, in St. Vitus’s cathedral and went down to the bridge and then on to old town square with a stop along the way to the church of baby Jesus. St Vitus’ cathedral was so amazing, I had never been in it before and I’m so glad I got the chance now. I wasn’t really looking forward to the tour because as I live here I already have learnt a lot about the buildings and the history of lots of things but I did learn a few things, one of which being that before the streets had names and the houses had numbers the way everyone had to address letters was (for example) to the house of the white swan. Which meant that the letter carrier had to find the house with the carving or painting of a white swan above the door and deliver the letter there, it wa so terry interesting and on some houses in the old parts of Prague you can still see the signs above the doorway. After learning about that we walked down the the church of the infant Jesus, it’s a church dedicated to the statue of baby Jesus they have inside and they dress him up and it’s a really important part of Prague, and it’s apparently quite famous around the world too. After that we walked on towards the other side of the river and crossed the Charles bridge, I didn’t really like this part because it’s always soooooo full of tourists and it’s so hard to just walk in a straight line. I’ve also crossed it a few times and the novelty has worn off, it was still fun to take photos with my friends though, but after the photos I tried to speedwalk across the bridge without much success. After the bridge we walked to the Palladium shopping Center for lunch and shopping. By this time it was about two in the afternoon and we all had had breakfast at seven thirty, so we were all starving. We all had inch in the food court and then lots of people did some shopping, I wasn’t really interesting in that because a) I live here and I can go to palladium and any other shopping mall whenever I want to and b) I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep and eat, wich I did, well the eating part at least. After palladium we walked over it the old town square and spend time at the Christmas market there. The one in Old town square is the biggest and most impressive in Prague, but that also meant that it was packed with tourists, I walked around a bit but everyone was shoulder to shoulder like sardines and it wasn’t very pleasant. I found that the smaller Christmas markets had fewer people and they had s much more enjoyable atmosphere because of that.
Once we were back at the hotel we had dinner and then sang a few carols in czech. This was very fun for everyone, I think all of us inbounds said most of the words incorrectly but it was still a great time and a good laugh. After the carols we had a quick presentation about the travel rules, nothin we hadn’t heard before but it was still good to have a refresher.
Once the presentation was done we went back into the main room to try a czech tradition, putting candles in walnuts and floating them on water to tell your future or your fortune. It was fun and apparently I should stick close to my friends this year, which I was planning on doing anyways but it’s still nice to get confirmation that my choice is a good one from a walnut;). Once the walnuts were all burnt or sunk we started the gift exchange, the idea was to have it be sort of like a secret Santa but a gift that’s suitable for everyone, and then to assign each gift a number and then everyone picks a number from the hat and is given a gift. Overall it worked well, I got a little notebook that has cute owls on it so yay? It was super fun though becassue at the same time as the gift exchange we were also eating Christmas sweets. Some of it was czech and some of it was also from various home countries, but it was all delicious. After all the gifts had been exchanged and the food all eaten, well almost all there was too much to eat so there was some leftovers, we all headed to bed.
The next morning, on Sunday, everyone headed home on the train or on a bus and I headed by tram back home. Overall it was a much nicer trip than a train, for that reason I’m glad the meeting was in Prague instead of some other city.
The whole meeting was amazing and I had a wonderful time talking with everyone!
My class’s Christmas party
The Friday before the Christmas break started we had our class Christmas party, it was really fun and I had a great time with my class.
On that Friday school started at 8:45 instead of the normal 8:00, but did I know that nooooo. So I showed up to a completely empty school and I kinda panicked and then I texted my friend who let me know that school was starting later that day, I then checked the school website for my schedule and found out that if I had been smart the night before I would have checked it and found out that it was starting later. So that was a great start to the day, luckily the rest of the day was much better, and my friends and I had a good laugh about me showing up early once school had actually started.
In class we played a bunch of games and just overall hung out and talked. A bunch of people brought assortments of cukrovi(read my previous Christmas posts if you don’t know what those are) and I got to try a bunch of different types. They were all really yummy. After a while we did the gift exchange and that was really fun. Here in the Czech Republic it’s a bit different because here you buy gifts for all of your friend group(for me that was every girl in my class) instead of just your best friends like in Canada. I like both ways of doing things but I have to say that one is much easier than the other on my wallet.
After the gift exchange we all had lunch and then walked through Prague to a cafe where we had hot chocolate together. I had such a great day with my classmates and I made many great memories. I don’t have any photos of the class party but I do have one of the crishtmas tree, sorry there’s not more.
So that’s everything for this post! I hope you enjoyed it, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment down below, I’ll do my best to answer it quickly.
i hope you enjoyed this post and check back in the next couple of weeks for another one!
Bye for now,