Posted by: rkrueger1 | June 2, 2010

London/Prague

LONDON

My journey thus far has been far from ordinary. Spending five nights in Crowthorne, a town an hour outside of london, I learned much about the people’s cultures, lifestyles, and habits. It is fascinating how different our cultures are regarding everyday rituals. For most, the average day consists of a small breakfast, tea and coffee at work, then off to the local pub. From what I’ve been told, the pubs are meeting grounds for the townspeople to knock back a few beers and gossip. I have come to appreciate the different rituals.

Most of my time was spent in London, roaming aimlessly throughout the charismatic city. I found it more intriguing not having a set plan for each day, but rather living in the moment. The most enjoyment involved spending time in pubs, watching the city buzz. Observing others helps me piece together who I want and don’t want to be. I certainly do not want to be the white or blue-collar man who mindlessly runs through the Underground, a similar system to the NYC subway system, because he is late for work. My goal is to be the man who speaks to others, is willing to learn, and is highly respected. Until recently I always backlashed at criticism with anger. I have now learned to analyze external thoughts and re-evaluate myself. 

After a week of observing, touring, and club hopping, my expedition took a new turn with my arrival in Prague on Sunday, May 23rd. My current residence resides at Komenskeho Kolej, a small college dormitory that is rented to various organizations over the summer.

Address: Parlerova 6, Prague 6 Czech Republic

PRAGUE

Navigating the historic streets was easier than expected. Handing the taxi driver an index card with the address of my residence, I arrived promptly. Trams are a primary form of transportation. The tram tracks coast through the roads, covering a large area of the country. An interesting observation is that all passengers traveling on the tram follow the same code of ethics, respect for elders. The elderly have priority for seats and the younger person, adult or child, must give MUST give up the seat. I find this observation intriguing and virtuous.

First two weeks at Skanska (Monday-Wednesday)

On Monday, May 24th I began work at Skanska. Skanska is a leading international infrastructure company, operating in four business streams – Construction and three development streams; Residential Development, Commercial Development and Infrastructure Development. My internship position is within the Human Resources department (HR). For the first two weeks I was to learn how the HR department operates, including its communications with other departments. Skaska recently reorganized its organizational structure, with the goal of combining its previous 27 separate entities into one Skanska with 5 divisions. The communication and budgeting process between the HR department and these divisions will now require its own restructuring. My goal was to provide valuable feedback from my research.

Thursday May 27 – Sunday May 30th

On Thursday I had my Accounting Information Systems Course for two hours and then I was free until Sunday. I spent most of my time roaming the streets of Old Town, a historic part of Prague. The architecture and buildings are remarkable. Prague has been through many phases in its past, including its Communism era. I took time to visit the Museum of Communism, where I learned of the Czech Republics struggle until its independence in 1993. The Prague Castle provided the most valuable learning experience yet. It stands on the highest point, overlooking the city. The Annual Food Festival, where the top restaurants in the Czech Republic come to show off their best, was being held during my visit. The cuisine varied from all cultures. Quite amazing.

View of city from Castle

The nightlife in Prague was sub par to London, although I had a great time (not to mention at a fraction of the price). My second week of work is coming to an end. I have another class tomorrow and then I’m off to AMSTERDAM! I will be staying at Hotel Casa 400, 1.5 miles outside of the city center.

For now that’s all… I will update my journey with pictures and more details when I return.

Quote of the week:

Find your inefficiencies to eliminate them and to find your strengths so you can multiply them.”

-Tim Ferriss

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