Back to where? Pardubice! This is the city where I participated in an international exchange project to work in the bakery field (food technology school) in 2001. It was a project for about two months, two months that changed my life a little bit :). I gained a lot of life experience over there. I made new friends and I’m still in touch with them. First years after my graduation, in 2001, as a baker, I returned as much as possible to the Pride of East Bohemia, Pardubice. Sometimes I went for three weeks, sometimes for two days. When I’ve got money and days off, enjoy going to see my friends in Pardubice. Yes, going to parties, but there is also something that is more important in Pardubice, attending games of HC Pardubice, the local ice hockey team. Is it an ice hockey team? No, call it a religion! It is the hometown of Dominik Hasek, “The Dominator,” who made the Czech Republic Olympic champions in Nagano 1998.
In the last few years, I have discovered that there are many more places in the world to explore. So, the past two years I didn’t go to Pardubice. On the 18th of May, I saw some inexpensive Flixbus tickets from Brussels to Prague (a Friday night bus). I left my job early on Friday, took a shower, grabbed some things in a bag, and booked my ticket. At 12:20am Flixbus from Brussels North, arrived 02.30pm in Praha central station (Hlavni Nadrazi). First train to my second hometown Pardubice! I’ve counted; it’s my 39th trip in 16 years. When I was on the bus, I contacted my Friend to announce that their Belgian is coming to say hello. And in a short time, a small reunion was organized :).
The last 6 years, my life has changed. I have and do struggle with an alcohol abuse problem (to be honest, when I traveled to Pardubice before, almost every day I was drunk. Always some friend was available to party.). Arriving in Pardubice Central Station, I felt again a hurricane of emotions; it feels like coming home. So many memories and stories; many of these memories related to friends and yes, alcohol. I took a walk from the central station to the city center, which is not that far, to see what had changed. I love Pardubice, but it is also the place where a bad part of my life was created (alcoholism). In the evening, gathering with my friends, lots of fun and laughs, and remembering our crazy party stories :).
The next day, I had to leave again to Prague and catch my student agency bus to Brussels North. But, before I left to Prague, I took the opportunity to walk in the streets and photograph my second hometown. Pardubice, this place where memories are held, memories that have played a part in the person I am today.