I woke up dead early, like a kid at Easter. Excited about starting my new job rather than getting a chocolate egg or a fiver off my granny. That’s a first then. It’s not a 9 – 5 either, I was told to come in for 2pm, and so instead of getting up at the crack of dawn, I laid in bed for a bit; half sleeping and half day dreaming, which is a little bit like sleep dreaming, only with added awake-ness.
I checked out Google maps to see my journey and was pleasantly surprised to see that I have a choice of about five different routes. Aside from walking the whole way, I could either get two tubes, two trams, tube then tram or tram then tube. Amazing. I do love a good change of scenery on my route to work. I believe it’s what keeps me looking so youthful. And for those laughing at the back, during my three-day training course in London, a girl asked how old I was. I told her I was 39. “29?” she exclaimed. “I thought you were much younger than that.” I repeated myself smugly, and hers and the rest of the classes’ breaths, were well and truly taken away. Beer one, oil of Ulay, nil.
I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get there and check out the surrounding area before I started and grab a bit of lunch. I’ve been banging on about how easy it is to get around so I don’t want that to come back and bite me on the arse today of all days. I decided against getting lost on the tram and opted for the double tube. Over ground stations, be it bus or tram, confuse the shit out of me in unfamiliar territory. The exit of tubes stations do too I’ve realized today. Google maps had told me to head North East but that could be anywhere if you haven’t been there before. It was too early for the stars to come out and there was a complete lack of stones with moss on, and so my natural compass was null and void. With the wind at a minimum and no birds migrating, my chances of detecting North East were diminishing by the second, and so with Bear Grylls’ voice in my head , I pushed on. I decided to cross the massive bridge that spanned this massive canyon, where cars, trains and trams ran riot. I got about one hundred and twelve metres across and spotted a petrol station that I recognized from my first visit to VICE, deep in the abyss below. I doubled back and found the path that led me downhill towards the madness of the traffic.
I wasn’t nervous about starting work. I was a little apprehensive (terrified) about carrying the lap top around with me though. It’s insured but you can’t really compensate all the personal belongings on the hard drive with a ‘bit of money’. With that in mind, on finding my walk back to the tube after work consists of a wooded park and a dark subway, I realized I’m going to have to get tooled up.
I got to the office with an hour to spare and so had a look around. There’s not much there. A couple of shops, a couple of restaurants that looked closed and a pub that sold beer for like a quid; everything you need really. There was a park too. With a little hut that sold things; food things and coffee. I was served by a chap that communicated with me with a calculator. It was like the future. I was like “HOW MUCH IS A COFFEE PLEASE?” And he just got the calculator out and typed in “30”. I wish I’d asked him a question that didn’t involve a number or the word “5318008’ as the answer.
I ended up going to work half an hour early. I couldn’t help myself. I was buzzing and wanted to get started. The guys and gal there are all cool. We’d be on first name terms but I can’t remember their names. I was given the brief in two different languages. The slides were in Czech and the guys voice in English. Perfect. And so my first day had begun and it was amazing. I was even told that I could have a beer if I wanted. They are trying to push it on me. Occasionally the boss would talk to everyone in Czech. It’s funny when people communicate with each other and you have no idea what they are saying. Sometimes he sounded like he was telling them off and sometimes it sounded like he was praying.
Work flew by and before I knew it I’d done my first day at last. I loved it too. It really was an ace day and I’m looking forward to going back. I’ve got such a cool list of jobs to do. I may even work from home tomorrow as the office is shut due to it being Czech Republic day. What a nerd.
I left the office on a high and walked up the massive hill towards the tube. It’s going to keep me fit this commute, which is an added bonus. I got the tube to Wenceslas Square (Oblong) to meet Lukas and the girls for our party night. It turned out to be a pool party but not the type you need your Speedos for. There were a load of other interns there; some from London and some from Wolverhampton. Some had just arrived in Prague and some had been here since June. The place was cool. You get a piece of paper when you go in and every time you get a beer the guy behind the bar writes down what you’ve had and you ‘settle up’ on leaving. I won all my games and so declared myself champion.
We left the pool hall and everyone wanted to go on to a nightclub. Being slightly worried (terrified) of losing the laptop I decided against dipping my toes into the nightlife of Prague, and decided to head home. It had just gone midnight and so the tubes had stopped running and due to the beers I’d consumed, I couldn’t remember what tram numbers go past my place. My training kicked in and I headed left. After a short while I stumbled upon a metro station, which people were entering. I remembered my Czech teacher saying that the last tubes leave at midnight and as I was in the centre of town I had a chance of catching it as it made it’s final journey East. And caught it I did. A huge piece of good fortune, a fitting end to an excellent day.
And thanks for all the positive comments so far. Been fun updating this blog for me, I hope you’re enjoying it too.