Ready or not...

Ready or not, here comes Erasmus!

Way too tired to wake up so early, me and my roommate dragged ourselves to the second-hand shop – still in pyjamas – where we managed to find couple plates and cups and a frying pan (which will hopefully be used soon to bake pancakes) and crawled back to bed. Though not able to sleep, just laying around in laziness felt good enough.
Time for the city game! 

While heading to the centre, I met some more ‘tugas’ and saw the city properly for the first time. We were splatted in groups and along with mine, Legends, I started discovering Brno. Walked around, learned about a couple city legends, went to useful places, danced banana dance in a park – I proudly taught them! – and got to know my teammates. Since one of the game tasks was to shop for Czech food and drink for ourselves, we finished the game with a nice picnic and then went for the gathering.

There was a nice vibe there, I even tried a sip of beer – just because I’m in Czech Republic - and vodka to warm up. Both drinks tasted like someone mixed them with water but luckily I never needed alcohol to have fun so I just enjoyed the atmosphere (and almost won a fooseball game!) For dinner, a huge group gathered out of nowhere and we all went to a medieval themed restaurant with typical Czech food. I was afraid to order anything because nothing seemed like something I’d enjoy eating and finally decided on a goulash soup. It was surprisingly delicious and comforting. I never thought eating a beef soup with potatoes surrounded by people I’d just met would make me feel so good but it genuinely did make me happy.
Not only the food was good but so was getting to know all the people who were sitting with me. I finally felt at ease to talk to everyone. Considering that along with finding a restaurant where they serve fresh fish for a really reasonable price, I think I might me able to survive here – with a satisfied stomach and a smile, I mean.


E depois do adeus...

Left early in the morning, didn’t say goodbye again to avoid making it harder on everyone. Including me.
After nearly having to pay a fee for excess of luggage, my father accompanied me till security control. That was my last goodbye. And then I felt ridiculously overwhelmed. It all started to feel too real. It’s not a plan anymore, it’s happening. And I just wished I could switch such feeling off and go back to when I felt so excited that I couldn’t wait to leave.
When I arrived to Czech Republic it felt like one more travel. Airport, bus, new places, different people, other food. It’s something I’ve been getting happily familiar with. I had a surprisingly pleasant journey: the bus where we travelled had screens with movies, music, games…, they gave us free hot drinks, newspaper and even candy! All was going great and I felt gradually more positive about the whole thing.

Later on, we finally arrived to Brno seeing all the places I’d seen in photos and heard about right there seemed surreal. Reality had yet to settle in. “I am not being able to deal with this”, I said. Luckily, I was never alone and had really nice people by my side – my awesome roommate and buddies - and finally there was Vinarska, my new home. The relieve started – to start off, the city was not nearly as cold as I thought it would be; then we have a nice room, with more than enough space for all our stuff, the bathroom is way better than the ones I’d seen in pictures, with balcony, an area with closets and a kitchenette which is a huge improvement comparing to my home faculty dorms. Even the mattress is better, I lied down and conclude it’s not going to ruin my back, it’s comfortable enough. Low expectations lead to higher satisfaction, I guess.
Yet, I felt like I couldn’t just settle in straight away. Maybe it was because I was hungry or (most likely) because I wasn’t ready to deal with it.

We went for dinner and had a delicious meal – I had a cheesestake (toasted baguette with melted cheese and small crispy grilled beef slices) with cheddar fries and Kofola (Czech cola) in a very cool place in good company. Tired but smiling, we called it the day and headed back to our new home and I thought “Thank you for treating me so well, Czech Republic, don’t let me down” and told myself “Don’t let yourself let you down, girl, you can do this”.


Time to say goodbye

Foi o dia da despedida. O dia em que me caiu a ficha e todos os meus receios me assolaram.
“Car is parked, bags are packed… but what kind of heart doesn’t look back?”
Logo pela manhã, guardei as últimas coisas na mala e carregamos o carro rumo ao Porto. Disse até já ao único lugar onde me sinto em casa.
Á minha espera estava uma mini-festa com decorações e brownies e tudo, e muitas gargalhadas e carinho. Com a bandeira portuguesa, um galo de Barcelos, a minha semente e mensagens fofinhas na carteira, disse até já aos amigos.
Depois foi hora da família. Parecia que cada minuto que passava era subaproveitado, que eram segundos em vez de minutos, e eu sem saber como tirar o melhor proveito de cada um deles. Um jantar de família, um belo arroz de marisco – ai comida portuguesa, que falta me vais fazer – não pareceu suficiente. O tempo continuava a passar depressa de mais. Não queria ter de dar aquele beijo de despedida à mãe ou largar o abraço da minha irmã. Quis chorar com o meu irmão quando os dois percebemos que tinha chegado a hora de partir. Mas esperei até ele adormecer.
“Será que posso adiar o voo?
 O que é que me passou pela cabeça para me sujeitar de bom grado a ficar longe dos meus, do que é meu, do que conheço?
Eu já nem sei porque é que quero ir de Erasmus.
Nem sei se quero.

Não cheguei a responder-me. As lágrimas embalaram-me no sono.