Noilly Prattle: Bad Hair Day

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bad Hair Day

I hate it when a trip starts out memorable. It's something like an eventful flight. Usually, “eventful” in relation to a flight means something at least unpleasant if not downright bad happens. Like your two hours out over the Pacific Ocean and the captain calmly announces that we have to turn back because of a faulty reading in one of the gauges. (Apparently we couldn't be sure of our altitude.) So, for two long hours you sit helplessly waiting to see if we're all going to plunge into the sea.

“Memorable” in relation to a trip means something out of the ordinary, usually unpleasant, happens. It's one of those things that you laugh about long after the fact. In this case the SO and I were trying to lay in a few basic grocery items for our three-month stay in Prague. It is already full day Number 2 and the weather hasn't been cooperative—cloudy with intermittent rain. Today there were occasional tentative patches of blue, but, for the sun, it was a losing battle.

We trekked off to a Tesco super market (a sort of Czech Costco) to stock up. We had a basket full of necessary basics and headed for the checkout counter. The cashier scanned everything and I presented my credit card but it wouldn't go through although it had worked fine an hour earlier in the same store. I then presented her with another card that went through but required a PIN number, which neither I nor the SO could remember. Completely humiliated we had to dump everything out of our backpacks back onto the counter in front of everybody and, to add insult to injury, the cashier made me show her the inside of my backpack--to be sure I wasn't stealing anything. Well, talk about feeling like crawling into a manhole!

We came back to our apartment in a state and made a stiff Manhattan and started to come down.  

pissed off in Prague

After we calmed down enough we trotted off to a nearby Czech style restaurant recommended by our driver from the airport and had more alcohol—a nice local pilsner--and proceeded to get a little more pissed than when we first arrived.

Lokal pub and restaurant

better pissed than pissed off

my shy, slightly out of focus SO and delicious Lokal Czech dinner

The funny thing is, during the discussion on the way home, it turned out that I had enough cash in my wallet to pay the Tesco bill. But, being caught by surprise your brain just shuts down and all rational behavior goes up the drainpipe and you do stupid things--like completely forgetting that you have cash in your pocket. 

Not quite what I had expected to say about our arrival in Prague, but there it is. S*** happens sometimes. And that's what you remember about your journey. As a matter of fact, that's a pretty good metaphor for the big journey—life.

You just never can tell.

Oh, and by the way the same credit card that didn't work at Tesco worked fine at Lokal pub.

Go figure!

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