I’m In Prague!

I’m in Prague! I’ve been here for exactly 19 days, and so far, it has been incredible. In short, I’ve gotten settled into an apartment, registered with the foreign police, taken three weeks of language classes, made friends from Germany, Mexico, Turkey, and Texas, and attended several meetings about the upcoming year. I’ve also been able to do some sightseeing!! I’ve walked what feels like four thousand miles around the city, and it has been glorious. The weather has been wonderful and unusually warm for this time of year in Prague.

Speaking of sightseeing…I am fascinated by the history of this city. From the cobblestone streets, to the spires of the cathedrals, it’s mind blowing to think of all the extraordinary events that have taken place here. I plan on doing a full post about this city’s past, but seeing as it contains close to 1500 years of kings, war, religion and culture, it might take me a while to a) learn about all fifteen hundred years and b) condense it into one single blog post.

In the meantime, I’m preparing for my classes to start on Monday! I’ve been able to meet some of my students already, and I feel excited about getting to know them. I plan on having four classes during the week, youth outreach every Friday night and Sunday night. Once things get going, I’ll have lots more to share about my students and the individuals I’m working with.

For now, I will leave you with this epic story I like to call The Prodigal Phone.

Act I

Monday morning I left my apartment, walked to the metro and caught the 8:30 train into the city. My second round of Czech Language classes started at 9:30, but it takes about half an hour to get there and I wanted to stop for coffee (obviously). I got off the metro and on to the #9 tram towards my stop, Husineská. I got the coffee and made it to language class about ten minutes early, so far so good. There’s free wifi in the building, so of course I reached into my purse to get my phone. Alas, no phone could be found! I tried not to panic and calmly removed every item from my bag, silently thanking God that my wallet and passport were still in my possession. I started sweating and after every last tissue was dug out from the bottom of my bag, it finally sunk in that my phone was gone. I had no time to throw a pity party, since class was starting soon and, for those of you who don’t know, Czech takes 1000% of your attention. It’s apparently one of the most difficult languages to learn. Good job Haley for deciding to move here, of all places.

Anyway, I struggled through the next three hours of class (which I would have done with or without the Phone Crisis) and walked straight back to the coffee shop after class just in case I’d weirdly left it behind. I hadn’t.

So. I took the tram back to the metro station and rode the train back to my apartment, all the while dreading telling my parents that my phone was gone. Pickpockets are rampant in Prague and although I thought I’d been careful all morning, I assumed a professional had swiped it despite my precautions.

I emailed mom and dad, cried a little bit, and then told myself to suck it up because Czechs lived under Communist rule for forty years and Nazi rule for about six before that, so I’d survive without my cell phone for the next twelve months. #firstworldprobs

While I was sad to lose my pictures, I was thankful to be safe and to have amazing parents who came to the rescue. I went to sleep telling myself tomorrow is a new day.

Act II

I woke up and checked my email. Junk mail, replies from mom and dad, Sephora is having a sale…wait…what is this?

Hello,

if you lost white iPhone in Prague, you can call 00420296128311. At the moment you can also pick it up at this adress: Vozovna Motol, Plzeňská 102/217, 150 00 Praha 5-Motol.

Have a nice day,

Radek N.
If I’m honest, my first thought was: is this the pickpocket attempting to con me into meeting up with him or her so they can kidnap me and hold me for ransom?? But the email address is from the Prague Transportation Department. It seemed too good to be true, so I forwarded the email to my manager. He said it seemed legit and to call the phone number. Which I did.

Let’s just say Radek N will forever be my hero. He told me that a kind lady had found my phone on the tram and turned it into her tram driver who then turned it into Radek. HOLY MOLEY. Tram Lady is also my hero forever.

I wish you all could have gone to the transportation office to pick up my phone with me. It was wonderful. I resisted hugging every person in there because Czechs are not affectionate people and hugging them would have really ruined their day. Probably.

I do not feel weird saying that it is a miracle my phone is back in my possession. Don’t get me wrong, I would have been fine without it. I would’ve gotten a replacement (let’s face it, my mom would NOT have been fine without me having it) and we would have moved on. But now I have this very cool story I get to share. Unexpected kindness goes so far. Whoever turned in my phone did so anonymously, knowing they’d never meet me and knowing they wouldn’t be rewarded for their simple action.

What if we were all like that more often? Going a little bit out of our way for someone else, not expecting anything in return. I hope that my time in Prague is just that. I hope to be kind, selfless, and generous with the time and resources I have in this City of A Thousand Spires.

 

6 Comments

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  1. “and then told myself to suck it up because Czechs lived under Communist rule for forty years and Nazi rule for about six before that, so I’d survive without my cell phone for the next twelve months. #firstworldprobs”

    This made me laugh so hard! Lol so glad to hear you found your phone and getting used to Prague!

  2. “…I resisted hugging every person in there because Czechs are not affectionate people and hugging them would have really ruined their day. Probably…” Maybe hugging every person there would be a little bit strange, on the other hand this would not have ruined their day. Definitely not. I would say that would have brightened their day up 🙂
    Honza
    P.S. Prague is called The city of a hundred spires (not a Thousand)

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