Photos by Irena Chiang, (Vanderbilt University) Student Correspondent for Photography in Prague, Spring 2018
The movement for cat cafes has spread across the world, and my curiosity (to know what they were like)… killed the cat, until satisfaction brought it back! This gal is, according to the owner, the queen of the cafe, RARELY letting customers pet her, much less hold her! It was really quite an honor. Though I didn’t think of myself as a cat person, my roommate, missing her cat, told me that I would warm up to them. And I certainly did–they can be quite charming!
I found my favorite souvenir shop in Prague! It’s a small store by the Malostranska stop with cool graphic tshirts, posters, mugs, postcards, and anything you could possibly want with “Praha” on it. It is reasonably priced and definitely far from the norm of souvenir designs like those you’d find in Old Town Square.
Obviously the first bit of nice (as in, above 30 degree F weather) called for exploration of the parks in Praha 7’s Letna neighborhood–what I’ve heard to be the greenest part of Prague! This is the view of the city from Letna park. As it warms up, I’ve heard the beer garden, blooming flowers, and greenery all add to the appeal!
One of the most fun things about studying abroad is sharing my new city with friends who visit from other cities which they are studying abroad in–my friend Jiyu, who is studying abroad in Stockholm, got to experience the Easter markets that had just opened, and also mulled wine (which she loved!)
After spring break, I reunited with one of my roommates and took advantage of these cool Czech table activities (activities engaging in Prague or Czech culture led by a Czech buddy) and went to see an opera (Rusalka) at the National Theater. There were English subtitles so we could understand what was happening, which was really helpful, and the theater itself was so beautiful. And, of course, the view from the roof was incredible!
Through some friends, I found a babysitting job not too far from my apartment, and it’s always a sweet and relaxing time hanging out with the baby (not pictured) and Odin (pictured). It was a great way to get more immersed within the culture and understand lifestyles of families that reside in Prague permanently, after being surrounded mostly by American students.
Towards the end of March, more began to happen around the city as it warmed up, including the opening of a small carnival/amusement park. I stumbled upon it one day as I was testing out this film camera I borrowed from CET (the result being this photograph). I later found out I could only walk through it for free because it had just opened; they would soon begin to charge money!
Sometimes you just need some alone time, and that’s okay! There’s a great creperie really close to apartment, and for lunch I decided to treat myself and try some of that Czech spinach-and-cheese (spenat a syr) crepe with homemade orange juice and a good book.
Sometimes our photography projects were as mundane and technical as shooting an architectural structure. Regardless, I still learned so much about how to capture certain images using different techniques and cameras, even with these smaller, less creative projects.