365 Czech Republic

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

Today was Titus’ third day at preschool. We all got up and walked together to his class this morning which is actually really fun. As we were putting his stuff in his cubby he told me, “I bonked my head over there,” pointing to some area in the bathroom. We’re still not quite sure about that or what exactly happened. Other than a head bonk, Titus is loving school, which makes it much easier to leave him in the morning. When Bethany went back to pick him up this afternoon he said, “Mommy, I didn’t cry for you.” He was talking about the past two days where apparently he was crying. Poor guy, but so glad he was happy to not cry.

For me (Shay), the past hour or so this evening was more eventful than the entire day. I took the car to get gas around 8:30pm tonight. We’ve got an early morning and I was going to do gas and a grocery run and grab a few things for Bethany. When I got to the station I realized I forgot my wallet and had to turn back. Upon returning to the station I pumped the gas and went inside to pay. Swipe…card declined. That’s weird? I know how much money is in our account and I used my card earlier today with no problems. Swipe again…nope. The lady of course said something to me in Czech, but it was clear when she said, “Ne” or “No.” Ok, try another card. Swipe…nothing. Swipe again…still nothing. Card number three comes out and it’s my Czech bank account card with a special chip inside. I swipe it, the lady tells me in Czech that it has a chip and to hold on a moment. I put the card in: “Enter Pin.” Oh no. I don’t know the pin to this card! I call Bethany at home, she scours through a stack of paperwork and finds my pin, I enter it, and…approved! Finally! Can I go home now?

A Tesco Christmas (10/20/14)

It took some time, but I finally got it squared away with our bank on the phone tonight. They thought there had been fraud but we cleared it up. And I did end up making it to the grocery store which is where I saw the above photo as I was driving in to the parking lot. Just outside of Tesco (one of four different grocery stores we shop at) is a huge Christmas tree, fully decorated. It instantly brought a smile to my face and I took the photo so I could show it to Bethany. I like the big star on top. I like the size in general of the entire tree. It’s funny how weird it was to see one. Maybe they are super normal in Czech, but I genuinely don’t know. Halloween isn’t big here and they don’t really have Thanksgiving (that I know of), so I guess Christmas is the next big holiday? Either way, it was nice and a bit of a bright spot on my night. Even as I write I’m reminded why we celebrate Christmas: the coming of Christ. It’s a sober reminder because we know it meant He would come and eventually die for our sin. But it’s a welcome reminder as to why I’m sitting in the Czech Republic: to tell others about Him.

365 Czech Republic

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.