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They Generally Do

August 23, 2012

I managed to find the Polish embassy today.  Here are the google maps directions that I wrote down and carried with me:

How to find the Polish embassy in Prague, part 1.

How to find the Polish embassy in Prague, part 2.

The meters are actually quite useful, because each meter equals roughly one step, so 30 meters vs., say, 200 meters, gives a very good idea of relative distance.  Most of this route is actually one road, but it changes names, let me see… a bunch of times.  That’s how many, a bunch.

Anyway, I got there.  And while I was trying to communicate through a static-ey intercom with a brusque and thickly-accented receptionist, a perfectly nice Polish diplomat, with flawless English, walked up, took me under his wing, and explained to me that consular affairs are handled in a different building… on the other side of town.  He gave me a map and even told me which trams to take.  Unfortunately, the office of consular affairs closes at 13:00, so there was no way I could get there today without being gouged by a taxi, but I will go tomorrow.

In the end, I’d say I walked a good 10-12 kilometers.  I was gone 4 hours.  I tried to find a vegetarian place that the hostel staff had recommended to me, but I was starving and I gave up and ate at Loco Burrito, which was exactly like eating at Free Bird or Chipotle in Austin; they even had Cholula sauce.  I got a vegetarian burrito, with jalapenos and cilantro, for 125 CZK, (about $6), and I was perfectly happy with it.  Of course, after I ate my burrito, I stumbled across Maitrea, the place I had been looking for, but that’s okay.  It was a bit spendy, anyhow.

I got back to my hostel around 13:00, found the Polish consul website, and tried to initiate the visa process online, but quickly hit a snag.  There’s a field for inputting the dates of your passport, and no matter what format I tried, it wouldn’t accept my inputtage.  So I guess I’ll go there in the morning and experience whatever new impediment there is to experience.  Although, as a general rule, I endeavor to avoid expecting anything under any circumstances, in this instance I think it is wise to expect that there will be unforeseeable complications at every stage of the visa process.  If I assume that part of my adventure is experiencing these oddities, I will be able to enjoy myself, whereas if I depend upon things happening with swift efficiency, I will just be frustrated and anxious.

And then I struck up a conversation with an Australian woman of Malaysian descent, a very widely-traveled and urbane individual.  It was the first real-time conversation I’ve had in two weeks.  We talked about places we’ve both been and places she’s been that I haven’t.  (She’s already been more places than I will ever go; she was in Burma six years ago!)  Next she’s off to Warsaw, where I may also go, but probably after she’s gone.  Then she’s on to Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.  It was a pleasant surprise, this breaking of my linguistic isolation.  Conversation is one of my main pleasures in life.  I love and cherish my online connections, and they keep my going, but nothing can replace the old face-to-face.

So I’m in a good mood.  I’m still floating on the pleasant feeling that I have a job.  I’m a little worried about the visa process and making my money stretch until I start getting a check, but I’m pretty sure things will work out.  They generally do.

And if they don’t? I’ll just walk around until they get straightened out.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2012 5:13 pm

    you need a jet pack. I think a jet pack would solve all of your problems.

    First off, once you’re in the air, the view would look just like google maps. You’d just have to print out the map with landmarks and just jet pack over to it! Second, all the ladies would fall in love with you due to all the saving of them falling from buildings you’d be doing. That task comes hand-in-hand with jet pack ownership. Finally, you’d never need a stage again. You could just hover 10 feet in the air and fly all around the crowd and perform with your guitar.

    Wait. Nevermind. It would take you three months to find a printer to print a map. Scrap my jet pack solution.

    • August 23, 2012 5:20 pm

      The problem with jet packs is that they only fly for about 30 seconds, and that costs several thousand dollars in fuel. So just jetting to the Prague Kinko’s would eat up my life savings and then some.

      Otherwise, your advice is rock solid.

  2. August 23, 2012 8:26 pm

    I am happy you are happy. A happy mood makes your banter funnier, especially with that Houston comedian.

  3. Norbert permalink
    August 24, 2012 12:25 pm

    I hope your adventure today goes a little smoother, but I guess the more people you meet the more confidence you will get, so in a really twisted kind of way they were probably doing you a favour by directing you to the wrong office. Sort of…

    • August 24, 2012 1:14 pm

      There’s something to that. It doesn’t really matter what errand I think I’m on; what I’m really doing is gradually acculturating and picking up all the little things that make daily life possible.

      • Norbert permalink
        August 24, 2012 9:54 pm


      • August 24, 2012 10:12 pm

        It can’t be helped. Everywhere one goes, one gradually begins to conform. The only antidote is to keep moving.

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