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Just a post to kill time between now and when it's late enough in the day for me to try Skyping my mother...

Today has been... rough. Roughrough. It's only half-over, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with the three hours of children's classes I have starting at 3, and the day has already had the grace to be rough. I am here, clinging to the hope that it means the bad has come early, and so the rest of my day will proceed absolutely smoothly. As evidence to support this theory, I am now ensconced in the internet cafe slurping down a bowl of absolutely delicious mushroom soup. Andrew Bird, of all things, is playing over the speakers. So things are looking up.

The first difficult thing of today actually came last night, when English Roommate told me that, actually, he's given it a lot of thought and has decided he would like to try living on his own. I am wavering between pissed off that he was too chickenshit to tell me about this two weeks ago, before I did a ton of research trying to find us BOTH a place to live, and pissed off that now I'm going to have to find someplace, anyplace that I can afford to live in on my own, because I really don't know anyone else in the city well enough to live with them right now. So, two varieties of pissed off. It's possible that Temporary Roommate, who will be with us this month while he does the TEFL program, will be able to scope out the current batch of TEFL people and find me someone who already knows they want to stay in Prague, and that would be GREAT. But it isn't something I'm going to hang my hat on, so for now I'm panicking slightly about the money situation, and quite frankly plotting to do something nasty to English Roommate in his sleep.

Second rough thing: Gave 200 Kc to a woman who I sometimes see begging outside our train station. God. She has an absolutely horrible gash across her face where either someone hit her or something happened to her, and she hasn't been able to do anything about it. The first time I saw her, I hadn't had any plans to buy anything, so I had absolutely no money on me, not even a single crown. And when the person next to me, and then me, didn't or couldn't give her any money, she started to cry. And part of me wanted to reach out, give a hug or some comfort to this woman who was so clearly in honest-to-god despair. And part of me just couldn't. You don't touch strangers. That's weird.

And then of course there was the third part of me that was like, who the fuck are you? Who are you, standing there staring at a crying hurt old woman with pity in your eyes but no fucking hand to reach out and give a moment of human contact? What, are you afraid she's dirty? Afraid her misery will fucking get on you? What good is all your brain and all your education if you can't use it to offer just a little humanity to a person in pain?

So yeah. That was Monday, and believe me it stuck with me. So when I saw her again today, I was prepared. She was surprised and happy, and that made me happy. I shook her hand and she said thank you and then I went to wait for my tram. I watched her walk over and give the money to two men (her husband and son if I had to guess). They went off with it, and she sat down. Honestly, I don't care what they spent it on, just that whatever it was, I hope the woman got something good from it.

That being said, by the time I left, I felt a little ill to my stomach. I can only do such a little thing.

So that was rough, although I don't regret it in any sense. I wound up helping two tourists find their way, and that's an absolutely worry-free, unloaded sort of aid to give to people, so that cheered me up.

Then the doctor's office. I had blood drawn, which made me happy (I like having tests done on myself, don't ask me why, and I always feel somehow better after having blood taken. My dad says he feels that way, too). The bill was hugely expensive (more than $150), but I had my dad's credit card, so I was able to pay. Then I had to go off across town to have another test done at a different office of the same doctor.

I had thought I was going to be fitted for a holter monitor so that we could see what is happening when my heart periodically freaks out. What I got was an echocardiogram. Which is neat, I enjoyed looking at the picture of my heart (good job, chum, keep up the good work!). I was able to see what the doctor meant when he pointed out how my mitral valve prolapse seems to have spontaneously reversed itself.

And then... that was it. Good job, you don't have mitral valve prolapse, make an appointment at the other office to talk about your blood work results when they come in.

But, I said, what about whatever's causing me to throw PVC's so often?

Oh, said the doctor, that's a separate problem, mitral valve prolapse can never cause PVC's. For the other problem, schedule an appointment and we'll get you a holter monitor at the other office.

Just like that, all my going-to-the-doctor, getting-things-fixed happiness collapsed. Because why, WHY WHY WHY, did I just have another very expensive doctor's appointment in a week, for you to tell me that a problem that wasn't really a problem, and that I didn't come to you about, has fixed itself while no one was looking? Why would you do that?

I managed to hold it together until I got out of the office, but I admit that I cried a little on the street before I started home. I am just so angry. I trusted this doctor. I still do, as far as his doctoring goes. But I am tired of either misunderstanding people or worrying about them taking advantage of me because of the difficulties I have communicating. Lord knows I am not making enough money for this. My parents, thank god, have enough to get me through this, whatever it takes, but god, I am supposed to be doing this on my own. Between the house thing and the health thing, I am absolutely going to be counting every single crown for the next two months at least (also it's summer so a huge number of my classes are finishing until September. If I ever did have the money to deal with this, now is not that time).

And I am getting super fed-up about the visa situation. I have heard not a damn thing about it in the more than two months since I dropped off my papers. Everything rides on whether or not I get it - until I know if I have it, I can't sign a lease on a new place, or even start looking for one in earnest. Until then, I won't have insurance and will have to continue paying out-of-pocket for every doctor's visit or prescription. At this point I could care less if they give it to me or don't, I just want to KNOW NOW, so that I can start planning my next step before I start stumbling over inevitabilities.

I feel like there's no one I can tell about this, because between all my various stresses, I've started to get a reputation with the Czechs I work with as being a compulsive worrier. And the stupid thing about that is I don't feel like in my normal life I worry at all, even about things that it would be best to worry about.

All this being said, I saw some amazing statues on my way to the doctor's through an unfamiliar part of town, and fell in love with Prague all over again. Whatever's going on here, it's not the fault of the city, and I still love it unreservedly.

Erin

Date: 2009-05-28 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarcasticwriter.livejournal.com
I have a solution to both our problems:

Ditch Prague, move to Seattle, we'll share an apartment, and you can play the Banjo in Pike Place Market, or whatever.

See? Then you won't have to worry about your visa, an apartment, or money! It's a great plan!

Date: 2009-05-29 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyfalcon.livejournal.com
Haha, you know, the thought actually crossed my mind? I think you'd be driven crazy by my somewhat flexible idea of "clean," but then I also think it would be fun. Unfortunately, even if I do move back to the States, it'll probably be to Minnesota, where my great-uncle has some contacts that could get me into grad school.

Seattle is still on the list, though, of Places it would Be Awesome to Be. Maybe if we both weather our current storms, by the time the next one rolls around, it will be a feasible idea.

Date: 2009-05-28 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostsailors.livejournal.com
That doctor thing is sooo annoying. I don't even know what I would do. I mean, I guess that's just the process, but it's vexing especially when you are struggling financially.

Visa issues ARE real worries. My BF was always freaking out about his here and they were on top of their dates! You honestly are so restricted and can't do anything until all that is in a row.

Don't feel too awful about the homeless woman. You did the best you could. Try also not to judge too harshly when people move by. I would always feel so brokenhearted in Chicago, until I realized how awful some (NOT ALL) of the homeless people were. From not being homeless, to being APESHIT to the point of cutting themselves to get you to give them money (for drugs or booze, because they won't let you bandage them or take them to get food), or pushing you into a corner to take your wallet. I am really reserved now in giving money on the street. I try to never walk by acting like they aren't there. I wish them luck and tell them I'm sorry, but in the end, it's better to help out at shelters or charities 99 percent of the time (if they are even there).

Buck up! Keep going! You're in Prague! Small victories.

Date: 2009-05-29 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyfalcon.livejournal.com
God, yes. I told one of my classes that if I get my visa, I will personally bring in chocolate and champagne to their class. I just feel like if that works out, everything else on earth will be a little less weighty.

I do still feel awful for the homeless woman. That being said, some of your stories sound frightening and horrible and I'm honestly not sure how I would deal. Beggars in Prague are almost entirely servile, it's common to see them kneeling on the sidewalk with their heads bent to the pavement. In some sense you could see this as a ploy, like cutting yourself, but at the same time I can't imagine it brings in enough extra money to make up for exposing that much of your body to the cold sidewalk. The thing with the woman was a special case, and broke my personal rule of not giving more than you wouldn't notice if it fell out of your pocket, and isn't likely to be something I can even think of doing again soon.

And yet I'm in Prague! Pretty big victory, to me.

Date: 2009-06-01 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pirate-library.livejournal.com
I really miss you right now.

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