All’s well that ends well and, as I’m writing this once again in the comfort of my cozy little flat and Isabel safe asleep in her bed, the day has ended well, but it was spotty as fuck there in the middle.
As I was taking Isabel to school (and forgetting to validate my tram pass, but remembered it on the second leg of my journey and did not encounter any inspectors) she asked if I would be at home when she finished, because she had no phone nor keys. I said sure, no problem.
Later, during my Monday morning lessons (two guys who share an office – one is a complete beginner and the other is quite advanced so it has to be back to back individual lessons, which is very good for me) I remembered that I’d offered to meet a woman at 1 p.m. about lessons for her kid at 1 o’clock, but as she hadn’t confirmed, I figured it would be no problem rescheduling. But, I got a message just before the lesson ended and, sure enough, the message was ‘One o’clock is fine, see you then.’
Well, I considered just calling and rescheduling, I’m sure it would have been fine, but I called Helena to see if she could suggest a solution and she did, without hesitation. Go home, get Sam’s keys (Sam’s in France, on an exchange program), drop off your keys with Isabel at school, and go to your meeting.
Like the bad mathematician that I am, I messed up the order of operations and left out a key detail. I found Isabel O.K., although I didn’t know where her classroom was, friends of hers recognized me and led me to her. As I left the school, I thought “O.K., now to go home and pick up…uh oh.” Couldn’t pick up Sam’s keys because I could no longer get into the flat.
No big problem, I thought, I’ll just go straight to the meeting. I thought I’d be there way earlier until I checked a map. She had plainly written Spořilov, but I was thinking Spojovaci, which is an easy mistake to make but a native Czech never would. Anyway, I was still a little bit early, but starving because I’d had no breakfast and it was lunch time, so I stopped into an Albert Express and bought a pack of cookies. They were kind of gooey and sticky, made worse by the day’s intense heat. So, I went into the park where I saw a fountain, a drinking fountain. I pressed the button and water shot straight up, about a meter into the air, a thin stream with the force of a fire hose. I managed to wash my hands and get a drink but I was splattered and looking ridiculous when I saw a woman with a small child approaching me. “Are you Willie?”
Actually, our meeting went fairly well, her kid was a bit shy, but he’s 6 years old and they don’t always open to strangers right away. He knows the alphabet song, all of the basic colors, and the eentsy-weentsy spider, so I think we’ll get along just fine, if his mom decides to go ahead with it.
The way back was quicker than the way there (I don’t need to take the Metro all the way to Rozstyly, it will be quicker to go to Budejovice and catch a bus from there for about 3 stops) and I got home about 2:30. Isabel wasn’t home yet, so I went and sat in the park and played Pix Words on my phone for about an hour, then went back. Still not there, and I was getting a bit pissed off. We do keep an extra key with a neighbor but, since I still expected Isabel to show up any second, I didn’t want to bother her.
I called Helena and she called Isabel’s friend’s mom, and found out that they’d had an after-school thing, so that explained it at least. She eventually got home about 5 o’clock and I didn’t even have the satisfaction of righteous anger because I hadn’t actually told her what time to be home, and I don’t want to be messing with school activities.
But, she’s got to start carrying her own keys, that’s for sure.