As I was walking in to the JV office this morning I get a text from Bethany, “Are you in your meeting yet?” I wasn’t. She texts again, “Can I call you?” “Yes,” I replied. Phone rings. I pick up.
Bethany: “So…we don’t know how much our rent is.”
Bethany: “[our landord] just came over and gave me a note written in English that we didn’t pay enough for rent.”
Me: “Oh man.”
And so continues the saga that began with me not paying the rent on time to thinking I had figured it out the second time, to me now not paying enough for rent. Honestly, I’m really trying here. I thought I had read the contract correctly and even after a review of the entire document by both Bethany and I we’re not seeing where the extra fees are coming from. But after having our Czech friend look it over she says we owe what our landlord is asking for which is totally fine, I just want to do right. It’s hard enough going to the bank to try and make a cash transfer to our landlord’s account, but having to do it again and again is just double difficult. Even today I tried to get to the bank on my way home only to find out they close earlier today and I missed it by 15 minutes. I can’t win…but I digress.
Babička (pronounced BAH-BEECH-KA) in Czech means “grandma” or “grandmother.” That’s what our landlord (who lives above us) wants our kids to call her. Even though we can’t communicate very well with her we know she’s really sweet. I actually take it as a big deal that she wants our kids to call her grandma because that means she likes them and whenever she sees them she calls their names and says hi.
Shortly after babička came over to talk about the rent issue, she came bearing a gift for our family. Sigh of relief…she must not be mad about the rent! The gift was a cake. In Bethany’s words it’s “some kind of walnut/nut cake with chocolate mouse and chocolate and vanilla icing.” It’s awesome. Czech desserts and pastries are amazing and this one lived up to the Czech standards. It was a really nice gift and genuinely made us feel like we’re not offending her. I guess I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, but we’re going to work under that assumption! Here’s a photo of the cake.
Today Bethany worked with Titus on his hand writing in a workbook we have for him. When I got home from work he said, “Daddy! Look!” and went on to tell me what he had done. It was really special to me. About drawing the letter “A” he said, “You do this line…then this line…then you pick your pencil up and make a bridge across.” He gets an “A” for awesome job.
I wish I could say that the rent thing was the only hangup we had today, but sadly other things continue to be problematic. While at the JV office today Martina (a Czech who works for JV) came in to where I was working and said, “Shay…I need to talk to you.” Basically, she wanted to know if the Czech embassy said anything to me about getting a special stamp on our visas within “3 working days” of getting our visas. Her concerned look to my reply of “No” was not reassuring. We’re already passed the 3 day mark on Bethany and my visas and we’re headed back to the embassy on Thursday to get the kid’s visas. Now I need to find out if there are any issues with our visas and if this going to be a problem. Pray for us.
Every day we’re making progress on our language learning and the more I work on my vocabulary the better for me it is to understand and hear things when I’m out and about. We have language lessons tomorrow and I still have homework to do. I better get on that before it gets too late!
One response to “The Tale of the Rent and the Babička”
I just can’t win. First I didn’t pay the rent on time, now I didn’t pay enough. Yikes: http://t.co/qWfVFVCeFn