We've been in Prague three weeks today, and we've accomplished quite a lot in this time span. So much, in fact, that I was lulled into believing that I could continue to check things off my still very long "To Do" list at a rapid-fire rate. Instead, I've had a day in which nothing was accomplished according to my desires. I've had one of "those" days.
- My parents mailed us a package, and wonder of wonders, it's already arrived. (If we still lived in Russia, I wouldn't even look for a package until mid-October.) We were given a large packet of papers from the post office a week ago which confirmed the package was in the customs house, and told that we could begin to file the appropriate forms to claim it. I foolishly thought that claiming a package in a progressive country like the Czech Republic would be pretty straight-forward, but for every paper I've submitted, I've received another request for more information. Today, I was asked to send in either a work permit or my study-abroad papers, neither of which I have. I'm starting to think that I may never receive this box or its contents.
- One of the things we were told we had to do once we signed the lease on our flat was to transfer the utilities into our names, and we needed to do this within 10 days of moving in. "Okay," we thought. "No problem." It probably wouldn't have been a problem except it took the resident manager nearly a week & half to get us the proper forms that we needed. It probably wouldn't have been a problem if it hadn't taken me an extra day to complete these forms (and this was with a great deal of help from one of our co-workers.) Still, I gamely set out to find the main offices for the electricity and gas services, believing that I'd be able to just get us in under the wire. I reached the offices about 1:15 p.m., only to discover that they'd both closed at noon. "Yeah," someone told me later, "forget trying to conduct business on a Friday." Information that would have been useful yesterday...
- The refrigerator we purchased came with an extended warranty, but the warranty wasn't delivered with the frig. But not to worry, said the e-mail which came on Wednesday, I simply needed to find one of the stores and ask them to print the warranty information for me. Sounds simple enough, right? Not if you're trying to conduct business on a Friday!
- We had three days in which to register our visas when we first arrived in Prague, and we did so. However, we have a new apartment, which means we have a new address, which means that we have to re-register our visas! I'd sent the signed contract which confirmed our new address to the visa agent (who truly has been incredibly helpful - I'm grateful to have his assistance) but unfortunately, we won't be able to get an appointment with the foreign police until at least two weeks from now. That's okay, because in the meantime, Phil has to declare me his legal power of attorney in Prague so I can take his passport with mine to register us both at the same address.
Quite frankly, the events of the day made me feel that I was still living in Moscow, but with much nicer weather and friendlier clerks. In fact, I was starting to wish that I *was* back in Moscow, because at least I would know what sort of hoops & hurdles I'd have to jump in a day's work. I took myself to a coffee shop to sulk for awhile, noting that at least I was only paying 1/3 of what I'd pay for coffee in Moscow. It was one of those classic "pictures of Egypt" moments, when you start to wish for what you had, not necessarily because it was great, but because it was so familiar. It's important to remember that God did not call us to serve in Prague because it would be "easier" or "calmer" or "better" than our previous place of service. He called us to be here because it's where He wants us, period.
Thankfully, I'm ending the day on a better note than I started it. I did manage to collect some necessary groceries on the way home, and I even found some local honey (which hopefully will help with my terrible allergies!) I'll rest & recoup over the weekend, and set out to accomplish the same tasks next Monday.