Images by Amy Parry
[Amy Parry | Contributing Writer]
A few weeks ago Amy Parry shared her experience of becoming an intern in the Czech Republic, what it was like to work there and how she had overcome personal fears in order to teach her colleagues English. This week, Amy lets us in on what it’s like to live in another country and how she’s been getting on.
Before we came to the Czech Republic the plan was to stay in a hotel room for the first few weeks until an apartment became available. We landed at Prague airport and from the airport our transfer took us to Pardubice, a small city not far from Prague. We arrived at Austria Pension which is known as a hotel above a Mexican restaurant called La Cabana where our room was situated and apartment is now.
Living in a hotel room made living here very difficult because we had no washing machine, no kettle to make a cup of tea, no fridge and no kitchen to cook food, this meant that we had to eat out for dinner every night which was fun for the first ten days because to us it felt like we were on holiday, but after two weeks, surprisingly we were sick of eating out.
We had tried near enough every restaurant in town and all we wanted to do was come home from work, cook something to eat and chill. After a few days of nagging reception we were told we could move into our apartment in a few days because the man who was staying in ours was finally moving out!
A few days past and it turned out that the bugger wasn’t moving out for another week, so we moved into a temporary apartment until he decided to pack up his stuff and move. Just two days after we moved into our temporary apartment we were asked to move into our permanent apartment, FINALLY!
After moving twice I did not want to move again, and we were so relieved that after three weeks of being here we were able to move into our apartment and settle in properly. I missed things that I never thought I’d ever miss like a washing machine, a fridge, even a frying pan, silly things your parents would miss. The one thing I did not miss was doing a food shop however. Funnily enough they have a Tesco out here but when I say every little helps I mean every little helps, it’s a small Tesco with essentials and luckily I have a boyfriend that can cook because unfortunately they don’t have microwave meals.
Only a few people in Pardubice speak English, mainly people who work in bars and restaurants which is good but people who work in small shops not so much. On our first day in Pardubice we wanted to get some essentials like an iron and an ironing board so we went into a local shop that sold electronics. We found an iron but couldn’t find an ironing board so we had to ask the lady behind the counter, she couldn’t understand what we were saying and we couldn’t understand her. So we decided to use our drama techniques and act out an iron and an ironing board by pretending to do some ironing and after five minutes of giggles she understood.
The language barrier has been difficult but not as difficult as I imagined, all of my colleagues and most of the people in the company speak English which is brilliant however when I am sitting in the office and they are all speaking to one another in Czech and giggling I sometimes wonder what they may be talking about but when they are telling one another jokes they always make the effort to translate them into English for me.
All my colleagues are very friendly and eager to speak to me because it gives them an opportunity to practice their English. They have all helped me develop over the last view weeks and I have learnt a lot from them all. I couldn’t ask for better colleagues!
In The Czech Republic as part of their tradition they celebrate name days, each Czech name has an allocated day of year in which they celebrate their name. My name in Czech is Emma which is celebrated in April and because I leave in September they asked me to choose a name to celebrate whilst I’m here, I chose the name Lada because in Czech they have a traditional famous fairy tale about a Princess called Princess Lada.
This was celebrated last Friday (7th August) where I was given a beautiful flower arrangement and each one of my colleagues said a few words about me and wished me luck and all the best for the future. This was a very thoughtful gesture and I was so grateful that they allowed me to take part in one of their traditions and here’s to many more Czech traditions!
Watch this space for more updates about Amy’s experience, and if you have any questions or want to find out more about internship opportunities, tweet us at @TridentMediaUK!