A glass of Kofola: and saying goodbye to the Czech Republic

A week before I left the Czech Republic, I impulsively bought a bottle of Kofola— (a glass bottle! makes the taste better you know)— that unique Czech brand of pop, which was meant to replace Coca-Cola when western products weren’t allowed during the communism years. The only other time I’d had Kofola was while drinking, and I honestly don’t drink pop that much. Too sweet, too many bubbles.

Kofola, with my guidebooks.
Kofola, with my guidebooks.

But as my time in Hradec Králové drew to a close, I found myself wanting to try things I soon wouldn’t have access to— like Kofola. It’s interesting, a very unique cola— and a bit herb-y. (Goes well with rum.)

It has been almost a month since I finished teaching— and several weeks since I left the Czech Republic for good. I’ve been doodling in my journal, and trying to put into words my thoughts on the last few months. The thoughts don’t want to go into words— even drinking a bottle of Celia’s, Czech’s gluten-free beer, didn’t help.

At some point, I was the shy one— angry shy, really— who hated it when teachers called on me, would get red in the face and stammer in my high-pitched voice. Getting up in front of people meant both my legs and voice would shake.

Now, however, I’m the teacher in front of the class: the one who has to call on people, to draw the quiet students out of their shells. How time changes things.

Also, I’ve been craving Faygo lately. Faygo is sweet, overly sugary pop that is sold in Michigan. (My personal favorite is rock and rye.) When I head back to Michigan this summer, I’d like to have a bottle— and see if I can remember what memories are linked with that certain sweet taste of sugars and chemicals.

A bottle of orange Faygo.
A bottle of orange Faygo.

(And yes, I say “pop.” Detroiter and midwesterner!)


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