I’m feeling really sad because I took an online quiz to find out if I’m needy, and I am. Oh well. It makes me feel bad about myself.
I was a sadsack today, I guess ’cause my dad’s out of town…? Sonya and I didn’t get a lot done on our novella for various reasons, but she cheered me up by pointing out that her country is opening its borders now that the coronavirus threat is receding. YAY! I can ideally go visit her later this year, I hope! As of now, you can get into the country with a “valid reason” including attending a wedding, so I told Sonya she needs to find herself a groom posthaste. She thought that was hilarious. I was wondering how many people are entering the country and saying, “I’ll be attending a wedding,” in disproportionately larger numbers than the number of weddings that are going on.
They ask you why you’re entering the country, and you have to tell them, apparently. Here’s what my resource website says:
Officially, people may only visit the Czech Republic if their trip is “ESSENTIAL” (i.e. for work, education, essential family visits, medical appointments and weddings).
I was glad that Sonya showed so much enthusiasm about my visiting again! Nothing could make me happier.
Anyway, then the site says:
If you are arriving by plane, you will be asked what the purpose of your journey is.
And I’m wondering how to say, “I’m going to a wedding!” with a straight face. 😀
However, if you are arriving by road and rail, there are almost no border checks. Tourists arriving by these means can make their own mind up how “essential” their trip is.
Sweet! Anyway, I have no intention of going until they become more lenient and allow in those of us who’ve been vaccinated. I mean, I can’t lie on the spot to save myself, so my wedding line would probably get me detained. It’s too funny. “It’s a potluck wedding! A real hoedown for both cousins.” Yeah, that… that would do me in, for sure. [Facepalm.] Like, you’re trying to lie so you embellish, and then no one believes you? The person would probably ask, “Okay, so which wedding partner are you related to?”
“Uh… both?” Yeah. I’d be dead meat.
Or I could go with the somber option of needing a doctor visit. How would that go?
“So, you’re coming to the Czech Republic to see the doctor, ya?”
“Yes,” I’d say. “Gotta see the doctor for a Czech-up. Get it?”
“Quite funny. Does your doctor speak Czech?”
“Of course she does.”
“And do you speak Czech?”
“Oh, yes, all the time.” I’d nod. “Beautiful language.”
“Máš pravdu, rozhodně. Jaký typ lékaře navštěvujete?”
“Um… yes, for sure.” I’d nod some more. “I completely agree.”
Yeah. See? I can’t lie. Or I shouldn’t lie. It’s too funny. And I have no intention of trying. But the fact that Prague is loosening its borders is wonderful news. Although to be honest, I had so many emotional problems today that I’m feeling insecure about my abilities to travel on my own again (referring to getting to and from Prague alone, because I always stay with Sonya, of course).
(This blog post has been sponsored by Google translate. Like I’d be able to type Czech on my own?! Get out!)
I’m not sure what went wrong today, but it scares me when I can’t seem to maintain a grip on my mental equanimity. I mean, I know my dad’s out of town, and things aren’t the same without him; but why is that a bad thing? Did you guys know that his bedroom is a treasure trove of junk food? (Gee, Meg, you say that like it’s a good thing.) Or at any rate, it was a treasure trove of junk food. [Groans.] At least I found some Pepto in the bathroom last night.
Yeah, I was sad and emotional all day. The stress of working with Sonya on our novella must be what broke me. I had unlimited energy going into it, but then that level of energy started to falter, and then it fragmented, and then it exploded into a huge atom bomb of cosmic despair and shrapnel and… good grief, Meg, don’t kill the metaphor.
I recognized that I was stressed and asked for a break, but by that point the stress had hit me hard and there was no coming back from it. I’m not sure I could’ve spoken up sooner. Whatever was going wrong happened so swiftly that my stress seemed to increase exponentially with each moment that passed. Suffice it to say that we have one or two scenes written.
It must be nice to have a brain that isn’t mentally ill.
Oh, Meg, don’t give in to self-pity.
Well, I was keenly aware of how poorly my brain was working. It felt like an energetic crash. One minute I was fine, and then I’d passed a threshold that I couldn’t return from. It’s scary that massive stress can build up so badly. It reminds me of when I was in the airport the first time I was going to visit Sonya. For those of you who don’t know this story, I was sitting in the back of the plane in my assigned aisle seat, waiting for takeoff, but there was a thunderstorm. I’d made it to Philadelphia so far but not yet out of the country.
A man from up front stood and came back to where I was so he could speak to the nearby flight attendants. “Excuse me,” he said. “Is it normal for the plane to be leaking on me?”
And I was thinking, oh, geez, don’t tell them that! This plane will never take off now! Thanks a lot, buddy.
The flight attendant gasped and replied, “No, no, it’s not normal!” She rushed past me.
The young woman seated next to me started to hyperventilate. “I’ve-gotta-get-off-the-plane-gotta-get-off-the-plane-gotta-get-off-the-plane-gotta-get-off-the-plane.”
I offered to switch seats with her, but she declined.
The flight attendant returned. Apparently, the leak was from the overhead bin and the man was coated in fruit juice. Fair enough.
The intercom came on. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. If we can’t take off in the next five minutes, then this flight will be canceled.”
There was groaning. And thunder. The plane shook.
The young woman next to me chose that moment to have a colossal meltdown. “AAUGH! I can’t stay on the plane! We’re all going to die! We’re all going to die!” She stood and took balletic flight past me, and then she was gone.
The flight got canceled. After we’d exited, they told us to use our cellphones to reschedule an upcoming flight.
I don’t have a cellphone. I didn’t have one then, either.
The staff desk was swamped by people who, dare I say this without venom, had cellphones, and I couldn’t get past them. I started walking briskly through the dim airport. The lights were out and everyone else had gone home, or so it seemed thus far. It was maybe 2:00 in the morning.
Eventually, I staggered upon a manned help booth and wound up sobbing on the floor in a puddle of weepy Meg under my trusty travel jacket. They waited patiently for me to become sane again and then used their computers and landline phones to book me on tomorrow afternoon’s flight to Spain (and from there to Prague). At that point I was an oozing cesspool of gooey gratitude. My heroes! My saviors! I loved these people!
I’d never flown except that one time in 1995, so I had no idea what to do, but I actually managed to figure it out. I had to access and recheck my luggage, but while I had it on me, I withdrew the medicines from it and put several of them into my travel bag. It was around 3:00 or 4:00 AM at this point, and I spoke to someone down in the luggage area about where to spend the night.
“We can take you to the nearest hotel, but you’d just be brought back here in an hour,” she said. “Sorry we can’t offer more, but that hardly seems worth it.”
I agreed. But I knew I wouldn’t get rest sitting in a hallway somewhere.
She suggested the Minute Suites, which I’d seen earlier, so I went there. They were on the airport’s second floor. They charged roughly $120 an hour for restful repose. I told them I’d need ten hours but couldn’t pay for more than two. They said they’d bill the airline due to my canceled flight, and they let me stay there for ten hours at $240. I was all over that.
Ahh, the tiny room had a fan, a TV which I never figured out how to use, and all the snack food I could ever need, including beverages. I sedated myself with my meds and slept soundly on the little sofa-bed after eating my way through the bowl of snacks.
The next day, I withdrew some coins off my debit card. I called my dad from the airport’s payphones area and told him that my plane had been leaking, or that it had blown up, or something like that. I can’t even remember, but it freaked him out. He was like, “Whaaat?! Are you okay?” And he’s normally so unflappable.
I said I was fine (and indeed, I was well-fed and well-rested), and I asked him to call Sonya and give her my new arrival time. (I’m not sure how many quarters it would’ve taken to call Prague from America, but I’d left all important info on the refrigerator at home.) (My dad and Sonya have talked a few times on the phone, and they each think the other is nice.)
So at long last, in midafternoon of that day, like 24 hours after I’d left the Louisville airport and reached Philly, I finally left America. Off we went to Spain!
In Spain, oh goodness, people walked far too quickly. I was keenly aware that if I were to dawdle, I’d get trampled by polite, well-spoken people with British accents and high heels. It was wild! The airport had a shopping mall, and I found a bench to sit on, and I actually fell asleep on the bench. (Only time in my life that’s happened.) I clutched my carry bag for dear life, wrapped my arms around its straps, and slept like a log.
I spent a lot of time shopping around and there was a lot of time to kill, and it was fun. When I got on the final flight from there to Prague, the flight attendants were these scary British dominatrices which you’d think I’d appreciate, given my sexual proclivities, but they were so intimidating. HA HA HA HA! Oh my goodness. Their hair was pulled back into tight buns, and they had A-line skirts and sharp cheekbones and scary looks. I was afraid to cross them!
Unfortunately, during the flight, I might have pushed a button whose usage I couldn’t figure out. A butler appeared almost immediately. He was wearing the whole butler regalia and everything. “You rang?” he said pointedly.
I blushed. “Oh, uh, sorry. I didn’t know what the button did. I’m… I’m an American. We can’t help it.” I waved my arms around like an idiot and grimaced.
He sniffed and departed.
So anyway, I got to Prague shortly. The only long flight was the one from Philly to Spain.
Telling that story always puts me in a good mood!! I love traveling!! I can’t wait to get back to Prague!