Archive for June, 2009

Czech Blues

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

I’m a bit disheartened by my Czech life style.  Lately, I’ve been feeling that I’m climbing the life ladder backwards.  I feel that I’m at dead end crossroads.  I’m no longer happy at my job or my life in the Czech Republic.  My job is like Patsy Klines’ I fall to Pieces.  It’s interesting how a job so much can resemble a partner.  I escaped my life and job when I agreed to a short stint in the US, helping a fellow friend, who is a travel agent, playing host, translator and tour guide for two Czech families who won and all expense paid trip to San Diego.   Before we went on the trip, my travel buddy asked me to help put together some restaurant and attraction tips.  A California friend of mine suggested Dick’s Last Resort as a memorable restaurant choice.  I immediately snapped back an email, why the hell would I submit myself to the depths of unsolicited  surly behavior when I get that for half the price and 24/7 here?!  I loved the American service and was so happy that random people would talk to me and just simply smile.  I really dragged my feet getting back onto the plane.  Not more then 48 hours back in Czech country, I encountered a free Dick.  Within minutes of arriving home late from our weekend trip to Karlovy Vary, I flew out of the car in desperate need of the WC (water closet aka toilet), leaving Marek with our assortment of strewn luggage.  I get to the front door of our building, unlock it, then I began to tremble through my jingling mess of keys to unlock yet another (gate) door.  I’m on my homerun lap as I dashed up the stairs to our door.  I started to untangle the last piece of my metal key puzzle, revealing the last 2 keys to unlock our door.  However, I’m stopped dead short of the final key, as I hear this hallow gargantuan voice looming in the stairwell beneath me.  I also start to shake from agonozing bladder pain.  Great timing.

“Halo. HALO? HALO! (this is the Czech version of “hello”).  What do you think you are doing?,”  ushers the first floor neighbor.

In bewilderment I turn my head down towards the staircase.  With each word he’s climbing yet another stair.  He’s like the State Puff Marshmellow man torpeding up my way.

“What?” I manage to conjure up.

“Why did you leave the gate unlocked? You never know who can come in and steal your stuff!”  (Note: Even if the gate is unlocked you still need a key to open it.  There are no turning doorknobs, just fixed knobs.)

“I”m returning right away.  I just need too…”

Cutting me off he snips,  "I don’t care!  You think you are the expection here.  It’s people like you that allow theives into our homes!"   (Note: Everybody has at least 2 deadbolts on top of a normal lock.  Talk about post-communism paranoia.  Geez.)

“Look, I”m just trying to leave my dog here and return to the…”

“I’m sick and tired of people like you!  You shouldn’t even be living here!  There are codes here.  You have to LOCK the door ALL the time!”  he spatters off.

Relectantly, I fight my racing heart holding off on now the English expletives, as I attempt to again reason with him, “I’m going to return in less then a minute and…”

“Stop with your excuses!  You were just going to leave it unlocked!  I’m sick and tired of people like you!”  He bellows in speat profused sputtering.

“You know what, I just don’t care.  Good day!” I retorted finally having unlocked my final door matrix.

I sat on the toilet shaking in raging anger.  Thinking, why didn’t I just stay in San Diego?