Today is Friday, friday evening when the weather here is kinda frustrating, actually a proper time to snuggle yourself with a thick blanket. It’s getting colder here, winter is really coming now. Well, Friday, this reminds me of what special every friday for these past two years, either sad or happy scenes. And today, my brain dragged me to a friday outside Germany, a capital city in central Europe, a beautiful stunning city called Prague.
It was 7 months 18 days ago, the moment when I decided to escape from this city as I couldn’t afford myself for not coming back home at the time my bestie had her wedding. Complicated story though, but let me tell something interesting happened. 😉
Prague, I had gone there before in April 2014 with a friend from the city I studied in my first year. Then, why should I go there again? I did get invitation from a student travel agency few weeks before departure. Still hardly thinking at that time, I needed refreshing time, I needed fresh air to throw away my worries and guilty feelings. It was the dark time that I ever encounter here. I contacted a friend whom I went with before, asking about the price and everything, then she said “it’s cheap. If you wanna go, just go.” As the time passed by, I contacted the agency either there was a place for me or not. Thankfully, they said “yes Nova. we have a seat for you.” Well done, packing my stuffs right away at the moment my bestie prepare herself for her big day. I really didn’t care who would be there as well. One thing, I brought myself, with expectation reaching some happiness out there.
Unbelievable, in departure day, while kept contacting the guy from student travel agency that i was still on my way until I reached the venue, my eyes suddenly pointed and stared at three cute guys whom I knew at the moment I arrived there. Hey, how come these three men are here? At first, I thought maybe they only spent some time together there but I was so surprised as I knew they traveled as well, with the same student travel agency. Well then, I decided to be with them. Deep inside my heart, Dear God, please let me be happy and forget things happened, maybe through these guys or new people I would meet.
It was on thursday afternoon, starting the journey around 6pm and reach the next day in Prague around 9am. After having the breakfast at hostel’s restaurant, the group were getting back into the bus and heading to the city. The first stop was the Prague castle from behind. We joined the guided tour until the tour guides brought us to tourist information center where people could buy the ticket for night clubs. I did realize, they did too, that it was FRIDAY. We are muslims, meaning the guys (especially) needed to pray the Friday Prayer. Thanks that I had my “off duty” during this traveling, so no need to worry about my prayers. As far I remember the details, those scenes were too funny, even though it was exhausting. At the moment people from the group tried to buy tickets for night clubs, we (me and these three guys) were ‘busy’ asking the person in that office where the mosque was. Prague’s weather was so nice, but not that friendly for people who had walked for quite long. We were exhausted, hungry and thirsty but the final destination hadn’t been found meanwhile the Friday prayer was coming sooner. Thankfully it was summer, so we had quite longer time rather than usual.
The staff in tourism office seemed trying to help us seriously as she saw us kinda craving to reach the place. She didn’t know, me too. The first time I came here was nothing to do with searching the mosque as it was always easy to find any place for daily prayers, not for Friday one. She gave us a map, with a marked site where the mosque was. At the same time, I contacted a friend who lived there before. He sent two links of mosque in that city but sadly the phone died too fast. Well, “Bismillah”, we could find the mosque only by using this map, i tried to whisper myself.
We kept walking along the city center even though the sun welcomed us “so warmly”. As we thought we had reached the place but there was no sign of mosque, we tried to wander around, looking at people who might know it. Thankfully, there was a guy who knew the mosque. He took us to the venue and finally we found it. It was just normal building, situated between two money changer counters. Nobody would notice it could be a mosque. Some guys were also already standing up in front of this building, made us feeling happy as the prayer hadn’t started yet. Here are the mosque site, really don’t know its name.
But then, suddenly I felt insecure as there were so many guys. Deep inside my mind, would I be okay? too many guys here. I kept walking behind these guys and looked down. It was so strange for me, especially when I knew there wasn’t any place for women in Friday prayer as normally Aachen has.
They were going inside and I decided to stay outside (no place for women). There was stairs in front of the mosque’s door. I chose to sit against the wall while kept looking at my shoes. Yes, my shoes. My phone was off, and I didn’t have intention to read the map more. Guys kept coming into mosque, I was exhausted enough to go outside. Well done, while waiting for them I kept staring at my shoes and felt asleep. It didn’t take that long for praying though. Roughly 5 minutes, the only thing which was quite long was the speech.
I woke up at the moment hearing steps from inside the mosque and voices when people came out from that room. Then, hey what about these three guys? Will they leave me alone? I’m not brave enough to lift my face up. tens of men kept going out from that room. But well, I knew them, I knew they wouldn’t leave me. But how could I search them? Too many guys. While being so confused and kept asking myself, one of them stepped in front of me. Yeah, thankfully I noticed their pants, so I tried to lift my face up. And ouyeaah, I was correct. They were standing in front of me while holding their shoes. Alhamdulillah, really couldn’t wait to go out and search for the food.
We were seeking for food until getting attracted to an Indian restaurant, such WOW decision to have Indian food in Prague, not even in Delhi or somewhere in India. It’s small restaurant, kinda scary actually but as I had three “bodyguards” then I felt okay. One thing we firstly asked was “is it halal or not?” Surprisingly, it was halal so no need to worry to eat chicken curry. It was so delicious, but unfortunately I forgot the restaurant name.
Well, the rest of the day was awesome. After we came back to hostel and took a long nap, I continued roaming around the city with an Indian woman and her daughter. It was peaceful evening, never imagined to come back to this city so soon. And the second time visit, it had different taste and stories compared to the first one.