My first month in Ostrava

by Beata, Erasmus Student in Ostrava, OEC Intern

Before I am going to tell you more about my first feelings and my first impressions, let me share with you one, but very important detail of my very first days in the city. It is public transport.

Can you see this small but such a glorious device in the photo? It enables you to buy a single ticket. All you have to do is to tap your card on this device and it will charge you for a single ticket by default. Isn’t that genius? We all know that one of the most annoying experiences when we visit a new city, especially abroad, is that we don’t know how the public transport works there. Which type of a ticket, for how long, paper ticket or plastic card ticket, where to buy those? Well, at least you don’t have to worry about that in Ostrava. Just tap – and here you go!

Now, to the point. When you move to another place one of the questions you might be asked for (also by yourself) is how do you feel after spending your first days in the city. That is ‘do you feel acclimatised or settled in?’ Usually when we answer such a question we talk about what surprises or upsets us, we compare, we complain, or we cannot stop our fascination about the new place. When it comes to me, the moment I realised about my settling-in Ostrava came unexpected when someone else referred to this issue. Then, my first thought was ‘Wait a minute… Did I actually do something like settling-in in Ostrava?’ 

See, my point is that my settling in Ostrava was so easy and friendly that I didn’t even notice. It felt like I could easily have lived here before, that I am able to live here now and I might potentially stay here in future. I don’t know if that is a common impression of newcomers in Ostrava. But if you are a foreigner who is or will be coming to Ostrava, then I wish you to have such kind of soft landing here as I did.

Despite that, my feelings about the city were for sure a bit limited due to the pandemic which prevented me from feeling like a real tourist here. All the most important tourist venues as well as the restaurants are closed even until now, so I couldn’t experience any of the most popular places and spots in Ostrava. Fortunately, as I said before, even this fact didn’t stop me from befriending with the city. However I’m still looking forward to loosening COVID restrictions in public life and public space. There are so many places to visit here. I can’t wait to take a look at the city from City Hall Tower, I can’t wait to go to the ZOO. I miss the atmosphere of places like Stodolní street, I would love to go to some restaurant with my Czech friends and simply enjoy a good time with them. I can only be patient for that.

There is one more challenge in Ostrava which I have to tackle with. You might be surprised, since I am Polish and my language seems very familiar to the Czech language, but I seriously felt unsure about communicating with others and with my plans of trying to pick up a bit of Czech language. But it did not undermine me to give it a try, at least. That is why even later this evening I may take another online lesson of Czech language. So, wish me luck with learning Czech as well as with my stay in Ostrava.

That’s all from me for now. I just wanted to share with you my reflections and impressions about the city. I hope you enjoyed it. 

Stay safe and healthy!

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