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  • Writer's pictureThat Happy Human

1. Up above the world !

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

Day 1, 20th July 2019

The day has finally come, to fly high !

After working on a Friday night until 2 am, I reached the Mumbai International Airport at 7 AM. The flight to Dubai was at 10.10 AM. I checked-in and got myself comfortable in the lounge after almost no sleep cab journey from Pune. Had a full breakfast and then slept like a baby in the plane. Three hours down and I was in Dubai. With the layover of 4 hours at this huge airport, I managed to meet a friend over coffee. She was on her way to Paris. We both exchanged our excitement for our respective trips. After she left, I checked out for the stuff to be collected on my way back from duty free, lol.

Dubai felt much like India with people talking in Hindi, the appearance, food, but this being one of the biggest airports, there were many travelers. So, it was a mixture. I still felt comfortable and at home. Soon it was time to board my next flight to Prague. I got into the plane and DAMN !! Everything changed. There were perhaps 95% Europeans on that plane and suddenly I felt I’m in an altogether different place. Now I finally started feeling being outside my comfort zone. Nervous yet excited, panicked yet calm, I began to observe everyone around. I was getting used to this feeling I’ll be living with for the next three weeks. I’d made up my mind to be as open and as welcoming towards whatever this trip is going to throw at me.

I watched “Eat,Pray,Love “, enjoying the Turkish food on the plane and slept. I opened my eyes when the stewardess came to ask if I’d have tea/coffee/wine/ beer. I went with beer (because I was prepping myself for all the European beer coming my way ) and who wouldn’t like a beer with a view from atop . Sipping the beer, I watched the clouds passing by.

After almost 20 hours of journey, I landed at the Prague Airport, around 8 PM local time. Well, I should have been tired of course, but

Oh the feeling of finally being in Europe”.

I was living my dream, a solo Europe Trip. So many kinds of people, different ethnicity, different languages. I could feel the change in the air. With deep breathes , I let the feeling sink in. After the immigration formalities I got out of the airport.

My friend ,Kunal (who was supposed to receive me) couldn’t make it at the airport but he was kind enough to book me a cab from airport to his place.Finding the cab without internet access was a challenge as I couldn’t reach my friend or the driver through calls or texts. Fortunately, I spotted my cab within 10 minutes,the driver waived at me. And guess what ? He starts speaking in Czech. OMG !!! To my surprise the driver wasn’t well versed in English and I was like WOW ! The first cab ride is going to be interesting. I used to think English is quite a known language around the world but let me tell you it’s NOT ! People don’t talk in English as much as we Indians do.

Well, I had just landed in Europe,I ought to have a picture outside the airport ,right ?

But how do I ask the driver who doesn’t understand my language? I’d say gestures helped me the most in this trip.I just pointed to my camera and requested through sign language “Please click my picture” and he understood ,with a wide smile on his face.

On our 40 minutes ride to Kunal’s place,we managed to understand each other through gestures and broken English. The driver continued talking and I was looking around at all the green scenic views which I had only seen in movies till now. Having lived in crowded cities all my life, it was surprising to see almost no people on the roads. The driver explained how the river flows through the city and the history of the place. It was difficult to understand everything, and I was tired too. I nodded to most of the things he shared but I really appreciated him telling me things about the place. We arrived at the destination, he wished me luck for my journey, and I bid him a goodbye.

And ,then I got to see Kunal and his Wife Priya, my hosts for 2 nights in Prague. They were a newly married couple then and have a very well decorated house. Kunal has been in Prague for a few years, Priya had landed in Prague just a week ago. So, she was new there too and we planned to explore the city together the next day.

I had landed at Prague quite late on a Saturday. I took a shower while the couple cooked amazing Indian meal for us. A good hearty meal after the long journey made me sleep as soon as I hit the bed.

However, I was as excited as a kid . Just couldn’t wait for my next day to begin. I was going to see the fairy tale city of the world, Yay!

Overall, Day 1 was pretty exhausting yet amazing!

Learning from the day: You don’t need to speak the same language to talk to someone. People understand the language of love and kindness. 😊

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