. . . posts on faith and life
It could be said that the majority of what I experienced as “culture shock” had very little to do with moving from the United States of America to the Czech Republic and more to do with moving from suburban sprawl to a big city. Wait a minute, you make interject. You moved to Prague from Fresno, the fifth largest city in California, the most populated state by far! (Here is where those from Fresno take a moment to chuckle) I am not talking about the kind of city where a car is a must, not a luxury. I am not talking about the “cities” where the majority of the infrastructure developed alongside of the automobile. I am not talking about the type of city where things mostly grew “out” and not “up”. (You really MUST read Fast Food Nation…it is FASCINATING!) No, I am talking about a city that was developed pre-automobile, pre-fast food, pre-America, well…just about pre-anything when you consider how old this place is!
When I say city, for you American folk, think New York. San Francisco. Boston. Where the public transportation system actually is used by most people. Where walking is an every day occurence. Where the weather really does influence which pair of shoes you choose to wear. Where owning a winter hat is not an option for you or your children. Where grocery shopping takes on a whole new meaning because it likely takes place every other day. Say goodbye to carloads of wal-mart bags and months supplies of three different kinds of cereal. You simply can’t carry it all!
And carry it you will. Unless you decide to forgo wisdom, pile up your shopping cart, and have to call your husband to get someone to watch the children while he comes to help you get this stuff home! Ok, this only happened to me once.
So, as I approach our one year anniversary I am amazed at how city life has become part of who I am. How breathing it in every day it has become a natural part of my existence. I no longer want a car. Truth be known, I am kind of proud that I have not driven an inch since we moved here (although in true hypocritical fashion I sure am glad Jon has and I sure do appreciate my friends that give me rides occasionally!). I am glad Lillian is not that familiar with car seats. Prague has become a delightful adventure. Maybe it is the Spring weather, but I am so thankful for this place we call home now. I am aware that this city and all of its treasures will leave non-erasable marks on my daughters’ development in every way. I would not erase them if I could.
This DOES NOT mean I no longer get homesick!!!! We will catch lightening bugs, smell the magnolia flowers, and drink honeysuckle this summer in Tennessee!