Now I work. Sometimes it’s a bummer – since work is work. But! Go unemployed for a while and any job is appreciated. At least this one still is. I go from place to place in Prague and teach English to Czech professionals. I quite enjoy it. I’m at least 10 years younger than most of my students, if not several decades younger. I am certain they think I’m a lot older than I am. I don’t mind it – story of my life I suppose – but now I get paid to look and act more mature than I am. It feels odd at times…almost as if I’m waiting for someone to call me out on my relative lack of experience and age. But hey, I know teachers that are much older than me and not very good. If you’re good at what you do, you’re good at what you do. Age is irrelevant if your bright enough.
Each day and each afternoon I have different students to teach on a weekly cycle. Which means I get to travel to somewhere different for every class. Which I don’t mind. The travel in Prague is fast and easy and it ensures variety in the daily routine. As well, it’s a perfect way to become more familiar with the layout of a new city. I really can’t complain. On top of this, I have a thing about riding in metros.
Growing up in a city that had only buses as a main form of transport, and attending Uni in a city that had kind of a lame underground system, I still get a kick out of riding the trains. There’s an anonymity to these journeys that I really enjoy. Thousands of people going one way or another at any given time, some dressed up, some barely dressed, everyone sort of unofficially sizing up or checking out everyone else on the train without saying so much as a single word. The people watching is amazing on a Prague Metro. Add to that the fact that some of the stations are beautifully mosaiced and it makes for a very happy panda.
Sometimes it’s a bummer. Work is work. But sometimes it delivers. To wit, on Thursday morning I take a tram a little before 7 in the morning and go to meet my student at her office. The office is very close to the Charles Bridge – the most tourist-centric place in an extraordinarily tourist-heavy city. Except, at 7 in the morning, it is dead quiet. There is an eerie peace to the Bridge. It is completely empty and uncharacteristically silent. By 10 am it will be a mob scene. There’s something kind of wonderful about getting to walk by this solitude once a week. Work can be shit, but when you see the Bridge as it should be seen and can stare at the Prague Castle behind it on your way to work, that little voice somewhere in the back of the cranium just sort of says, Hey, this is pretty fucking cool right here.