Walking in Prague 8

If there’s one thing I hate, and I expect most expats would agree with me, it’s dealing with Czech bureaucracy. Admittedly, it is nowhere near as bad as it was 15 years ago, but they still find creative ways to make things more difficult than they actually need to be.bridge
So, when I got home from taking Isabel to school and Helena informed me that I had to go to the Finančni Uřad, I was less than pleased.
Still, it was for the purpose of getting some money back from taxes that had been withheld on a job I had last year, so I had no choice. I had to take in my permanent resident’s booklet, my children’s birth certificates, our marriage certificate, and a letter saying pretty please.
I found the place (which was not easy) and, since the office I needed was on the 4th floor, went on up. I got out of the lift on the 4th floor, and in front of the lifts was a semi-circle of glass doors, which were all locked. There was no access to the 4th floor, on the 4th floor.
I went back down, approached the receptionist, and explained the situation. To their credit, all went smoothly from that point forward, she rang ahead and someone let me in, the paperwork was quickly taken care of, and I left. So, it wasn’t too bad (15 years ago, there would have been a 2 hour wait involved, I would have been sent to a different office (in another part of town) to buy a stamp, and then they would have closed) but leave it to the Czechs to find some way to make a straightforward operation surrealistically complicated.
On leaving, I decided to walk down the hill as I could see the river down below and I sort of thought I would come out near Sam’s home football field, just a short tram ride from home.
As much as I dislike dealing with Czech bureaucracy, that’s how much I enjoy walking through a Prague neighborhood I’ve never been in before, and it is still a frequent experience.
I actually came out on the river path about two kilometers upstream from where I thought I would be, but that was fine. It was a beautiful day for a long walk home.


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