Friday, April 9, 2021

Off to a Good Start

Tomorrow I take the Czech citizenship and B1 language exams.  Finally!  Fingers crossed that all goes well.  I'm not worried at all about the citizenship test.  The language exam however is another story.  

I'm still amazed, and pleasantly surprised, that the exam wasn't cancelled a third time given that the current state of emergency, including the curfew and the ban on movement between districts doesn't expire until Sunday night.  

On Thursday morning I had my first PCR test and received an e-mail later that afternoon that I'm negative.  This was my first COVID-19 test and I did it at a private laboratory.  I'm sure that I could have gotten a free antigen test but the PCR test was more convenient.  I paid 1750 Kč ($84) for the test.  I need to show the test results on Saturday morning in order to take my exams.

My train to Prague was uneventful.  Well, except for the length of the trip.  On 6 April, work began on the rail lines at Česká Třebová which adds 30 minutes to all trains between the two largest Czech cities.  For the next two years the 2,5 hour fast train between Brno and Prague now takes three hours.  We need some of those high-speed trains like they have in Taiwan.  At least I was comfortable.  My Student Agency RegioJet wasn't overly packed.  I had a business class cabin all to myself.

I found a great deal on for a hotel that is close to where I'll take my exam.  A room at the Mosaic House Design Hotel, in Prague 2, for two nights was only €80.  Wow!  

Due to the current restrictions I had to provide them with an official confirmation about my exams in order to make a reservation as hotels are only open for business travel.  Tourists aren't allowed to rent rooms.

When I checked in today they told me that they upgraded me to a room with a terrace.  What a nice surprise because I have a view of the castle and the TV tower.  There was also a welcome bottle of Prosecco on ice waiting for me.  

I think I've got a new favourite hotel in Prague.  It's basically across the street from U Fleků.  This is my first time in Prague since Pride 2019.  So far the trip is off to a good start.  If only I wasn't here for exams.  Hopefully they will go well.

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