Paying Rent and Still Learning How to Shop

I’m proud to say that I didn’t forget to pay the rent this month! Now don’t think that means it’s easy. Bethany and I started putting our plan together about it last night with notes, account numbers, amounts, phrases, what to do if we don’t understand what they’re saying to us, etc. I even got an email from our Czech friend Katka with the phrase “I need to make a cash deposit into someone else’s account” translated in Czech just in case I needed it. And I did! The bank teller could say a few numbers in English but for the most part she spoke a bunch of Czech that I just didn’t understand. I was looking around the room like a baseball pitcher checks the runners on first and third for anyone to help me and even though my American friend John was there we were still struggling. I tried showing her my phone with the amount I was trying to deposit which helped, but I still didn’t feel like we were on the same page. By God’s grace it all worked out in the end and the rent is paid!

Trust me…I realize that my victory at the bank may seem small, but I’m telling you for us this is a big win. It’s bad enough not being able to say anything more than “good day” to our landlord, and me forgetting to pay the rent on time last month just made me feel terrible. So actually getting it all done at the right time was especially encouraging. As it was, I found out today that I overpaid last month’s rent…yikes. Two steps forward, one step back.

Shopping Like Americans (8/8/14)

We’re still learning how to shop here. Bethany usually goes to the store by herself because that just makes things easier. Finding things in an unfamiliar store in an unknown language is not easy. Add to that a few kids and a mom could have a mental breakdown just trying to find the butter in the mildly cold section. Tonight we decided to go to Kaufland as a family. Basically this means I take the cart and the kids and find random things (like a mouse pad, batteries, and windshield washer fluid) and Bethany goes on the hunt for the necessities. There’s a lot of picking things up, trying to read what it is, and then putting things back (at least for me). At one point Bethany said, “I need to get some meat” and we walked by a huge refrigerated section of red colored meat and Bethany just kept walking. Thinking she just missed it I said, “Hey, we just passed a ton of meat!” She said, “You mean a ton of pork.” Oh. The pork section here is like the entire meat section at an American store. That kind of tells you what they like to eat here, I guess? In the end we get what we need, but no doubt it’s still far from feeling natural.

Tomorrow we have a guest coming to stay with us, but I won’t spoil it on tonight’s blog. You’ll just have to wait in suspense. So tune in tomorrow: same bat time; same bat channel.

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