May 1, 2017
Where the Fox is Naomi? PRAGUE!
Arriving in Prague in spring has felt like a fairytale. Walking the cobblestone streets lined with ornate pastel buildings and flowering trees has been a dream and dare I say, it’s my favourite spot already.
Like most people, I arrived here with a set of expectations based on reports from friends and colleagues who have travelled here. I was expecting cheap beer (check), amazing architecture (check), and of course, I was dying to go to the Mucha Museum which was a personal favourite from design school (check). It is the travel cardinal sin to base your expectations on what someone else has said, but fortunately, Prague is too huge and offers too much to even begin to summarise it to someone. But here is my attempt.
On the first day, like most new visitors, I went straight to all the tourist hotspots and was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Old Town square to find it buzzing with Easter festivity. For the month, the city puts on colourful Easter Markets. I devoured everything all the stalls had to offer from the greasy sausages to the grilled cheese (a personal favourite) and these donut-like pastries called Trdelnik that are advertised as traditional Czech pastries but are just another tourist trap (a very delicious one, however).
The energy and bustle of Prague is a sharp contrast coming from the casual off–season Croatia. There are definitely good reasons crowds of visitors are drawn to the city’s big 3 (Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle), but once I toured them all, I did think for a moment – now what?
The beautiful thing about living in a city for a month, and not just visiting, is you get the opportunity to push outside the tourist bubble. I’ve been loving testing out different bars and cafes and relaxing with my fellow ‘Remotes’ in the ultra-cool, ultra-casual beer gardens and rooftops.
I’m also growing to appreciate exploring the quieter streets of the city every day. The ‘residential’ neighborhoods also boast some amazing architecture, statues, and very cool graffiti. You can see that while Prague still proudly holds onto its heritage and history, it is still open and progressive enough to absorb and embrace contemporary and street art into the city’s aesthetic.
Our workspace for the month is an ex-Danish embassy, so the building’s a lavish piece of European architecture, but it has been fitted out with some awesome contemporary art and murals – #classicprague.
Every day I get up at 4.30am and trudge the freezing 10-minute walk to the co-workspace. It’s usually just myself and the cleaners at this time of the morning and I use those couple of overlapping hours with my team at What The Fox in Australia to sit in on brief calls over Skype and make any artwork changes needed. Once everyone in the Fox Den goes home, I then have another five hours left in my working day. Being the only person on the trip with this schedule, it does mean I miss out on seeing a few sights, but this new experience has lifted my creativity and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Living and working in Prague has allowed me the opportunity to not only discover the true identity of this city but also how I fit within it. For the remainder of this month, you will find me exploring more art (in the galleries and on the streets), eating all the cheeses, and just creating my own little Prague fairy tale.
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to visit 12 countries in 12 months, while getting paid! Thanks to modern technology and What the Fox Creative’s forward thinking, graphic designer, Naomi Fenn is doing just that.