It started out with an 8 am wakeup call to go on the group fieldtrip to see the Prague Castle. We took a tram and a bus to get there, and walked through the old city to “The largest ancient castle in the world” (Lonely Planet via Guinness Book of World Records). On the castle grounds, we explored the St. Vitus Cathedral, the Convent of St. George, and the Old Royal Palace.
After sightseeing, immediate roommate, Ashley and I broke for lunch and went on a search for a Czech hair straightener. It took us four attempts but we finally made it to a mall kiosk that seemed more like a cool oasis. Glowing with satisfaction, we headed back to our apartment for naps and showers, and then it was on to the next event—Ghana vs. US World Cup-watching in the middle of Old Town Square. In the square, there were giant projectors set up amidst delicious street food and beer stands. Everyone sat in the square as we sought out other US fans and cheered as hard as we could. It was an unfortunate outcome but the cultural experience was a win in itself. There couldn’t have been a more eclectic bunch of people to exchange stories, cheers, and tears with, and it is something I will certainly remember for a long time to come.
After the loss, there wasn’t very much time to mourn, for it was less than an hour until midnight and my twentieth birthday. A local showed us to a bar area where we began the night. We started with around twenty birthday groupies and after three drinking venues, it was down to a mere four at the biggest nightclub in central Europe, Karlovy Lázně, complete with five stories of dancing madness.
We crawled home in the wee hours of the morning and it was a perfect start to my big day. At around noon the next day, I woke up to a shopping trip with Ashley, and later a homemade dinner from the rest of my roommates. We sat down for a movie in the living room as more friends shuffled in, and the final surprise came in the form of birthday singing and a delicious chocolate cake.
Had all of you been there, it really would have been perfect, but since you couldn’t be, I really couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was yet another great birthday for Landis.