We broke our own rule today. Rule #1 in the Thomason Czech house is “don’t assume.” I believe I’ve written about it before, but basically it works like this: don’t assume you know how something in Czech works. Don’t assume you know how the microwave works, or how to drive a car, or that the store will have eggs in stock, and especially don’t assume government agencies work like they do in the States. This might sound easy, but in practice it’s very hard. You rely on what you know and what’s familiar and you start to make assumptions based on previous experiences. But that’s not always the right way to go and today and I did just that. I assumed. I assumed the “Foreign Police” office would be open until 5pm, but they closed at 2pm which was the time we had scheduled to leave our apartment for the office. Because of that we missed our day to register our visas and now we have to try tomorrow and pray they give us a little grace on missing our “three working day” window to get registered. I can’t believe I forgot my own rule.
On the bright side, we got to go on our second date tonight here in Czech. Our friend Claire graciously offered to babysit for us a while back and it just happened to line up with us trying to go to the foreign police. So we had her come over this afternoon and our plan was to go to the foreign police and then have dinner, but since missed the foreign police we went to IKEA and did some shopping and then headed out for dinner in Ostrava (a town about 40 or so minutes from where we live).
Date night didn’t start so great, honestly. We spent more time at IKEA than I thought we would and Claire had given us the name of a restaurant she likes but when I tried to GPS it we got lost and I didn’t take it so well. It’s not easy being a man and trying to take your wife on a date and then get lost…especially in Czech. We don’t know the language, we cant just find another place to go, and you have limited time as it is. After a 30 or more minute detour we made it to a really nice place and had burgers, pizza, and ended with coffee (photos below). The last photo is of a coal cart that was actually inside the Starbucks. I’m assuming coal mining is a big part of Ostrava’s history, but then again that would be breaking rule #1.
Claire was a champ with our kids and I could tell when we got home that they had a great time with her. She played Wii with Titus, read them books that she brought, took them outside to play, and after she left we realized she had even done our dishes! So nice. It’s too bad she’s heading back to the States this Friday to return to college because I think we would just hire her. Be sure to follow along with Claire on her blog.
We’re so thankful to have had another night out even though it didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped. I know now that I will have to do a lot more planning in the future. These are some of the growing pains of living in a new country and just like physical growing pains they can hurt a little. By God’s grace we’ll continue to grow in our understanding of Czech and how to live and adapt here.